The story began in spring 2017 when Colin was working as a construction delivery manager on the Dark Skies LED project in Northumberland for, Galliford Try. When the project was nearing closure Colin decided to take the plunge and go into self-employment, an opportunity he felt ready to pursue.
The good relationship Colin had formed with Galliford Try, and his good work ethic led to the company asking Colin to stay on the project for a further four months working as a consultant whilst they were seeking someone with his knowledge and experience to replace him. With other projects Colin was winning, he had to make the decision to leave GT completely and put all his time and effort into making AFIS what it is today.
The company has 2 directors, a husband and wife team in Colin, and Nicola.
Colin has an extensive history in construction street lighting. Colin gained his knowledge working with some of the leading street lighting companies in the Northeast of England including SSE, Galliford Try and AK lighting. Since leaving school Colin has worked in the construction industry and worked around many parts of the UK on a variety of projects with some of the big players in the industry, these include Colas, Ringway, Galliford Try, and now SSE to name but a few.
Nicola has a 17-year history as a qualified NHS Nurse, working in major trauma, accident and emergency and general surgery. A big career change for Nicola, but she believed in Colin’s vision for the company and wanted to be involved supporting her husband to help with the development of AFIS. Nicola joined the company in April 2018. Main roles and duties have included managing finance and business administration. In October 2018 Nicola completed her IOSH in managing safely and chose to make her role the company Health and Safety advisor after taking a keen interest in the subject. Nicola is looking at undertaking her NEBOSH diploma. She has recently done the NEBOSH leadership excellence course.
As a small family business Colin and Nicola have close working relationships with their staff, they understand the very hard balance between work and family, throughout their own careers Colin often worked away, and Nicola was doing shift work including nights and weekends often not crossing paths, and juggling childcare. They strive to make the business a friendly, and supportive place to work. Staff are well respected and appreciated, and they know all the team personally. Having those close relationships was very important.
Staff training and development is always encouraged, and they use a training provider in ASL to maintain staff portfolios working towards there NVQ qualifications for the HEA