Lightbody Ventures: better connectivity and telecoms to enable flexible working

The background

Lightbody Ventures creates food products which suit the customers of well-known brands, and then sells those products to retailers using that brand under license. For example, they produce a range of foods for toddlers under the Disney brand. They also make chocolate biscuits for Thorntons and for Reese’s, and work with Universal and Hershey, among others.

They’ve been in business since 2009. Based in Glasgow, they also have a US arm.

The challenge

Although they now use a phone system supplied by Silver Cloud, that wasn’t the focus at the start of the relationship.

“The problem was our broadband. We’d thought about at increasing our speeds, and the only way we knew to do that was to get a dedicated leased line” Ian Flynn, Logistics Supply Chain Manager

The eventual catalyst was that one day their conference calls stopped working. As one of the people affected was the Chairman, things then started moving fast.

Our solution

When we looked at the telephone system that Lighbody Ventures had been using for over ten years, and considered their business needs, we saw quite a few opportunities to improve things. The phone system had served the business well, but it lacked many useful features.

We saw that many of Lightbody’s suppliers and clients are based overseas. The company also has remote workers, who need to connect to the server at head office. All of that requires a fast and stable internet connection. They didn’t have one, and this was hampering the day-to-day running of the business.

We suggested installing a dedicated fibre optic internet connection which would provide stable uncontended internet access. Service level agreements (SLA’s) would give a guarantee of quality. This would open many doors for the business: for example, they would be able to use cloud-based systems and applications.

While doing this, it made sense to upgrade the existing telephone system and migrate Lightbody’s ISDN lines to SIP trunks. This gave the business much more flexibility and convenience: for example, we gave a remote worker in Poland a handset that connected back to the Glasgow HQ.

The SIP trunks also reduced the company’s call costs, as we were able to offer an inclusive calls package which covered UK mobiles and landlines.

We recommended a Panasonic telephone system with a conferencing module, which enables Lightbody to quickly and easily schedule conference calls between internal and external parties. This removed the need for a third-party conference service, and so took out another cost to the business.

Lightbody were concerned about the sound quality on calls made with VoIP, as they had experienced poor quality when dealing with other businesses who used it. We put Ian in touch with several local Silver Cloud customers who had had similar VoIP systems installed, and who were extremely happy with the quality and service they had received.

The result

With the new system up and running. Lightbody has seen a huge improvement in performance and reliability. Lightbody is so happy that they’re looking at extending the services they buy from Silver Cloud.

We talked to a few different people, and it came down to a pitch between Silver Cloud and BT. Both of them made a proposal for a leased line and a VOIP phone system. I was far more impressed with Silver Cloud. The people clearly knew their stuff. And they had the personal touch: they spent time understanding what the business did, what its needs were, what exactly we were spending our money on. They asked a lot more questions about what we needed, and as a result their proposal gave us specific solutions to our problems, which they explained clearly.

Ian Flynn, Logistics Supply Chain Manager

We’ve had no blips whatsoever. And, as Silver Cloud promised, the sound quality has been great. We’ve recently asked them to come in and speak to use about our mobiles as well. That shows the confidence we have in them.

Ian Flynn, Logistics Supply Chain Manager

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