Gliding over all

How Glider has cultivated success through an innovative culture

One of the key objectives of a business is to look after its people and its clients, to form a consolidated community, built on a foundation of trust and communication. When Nick Hutchinson and Steve Rukuts founded Glider five years ago they began cultivating a strong internal culture, one which would reflect the core values of their business, setting a clear path for the future and the success they have achieved to date.

In the past twelve months alone Glider has enjoyed significant growth in its team while winning industry awards - including the Cloud Based Technology of the Year category at the 2020 Construction Computing Awards - not to mention having the honour of working with and continuing to support many outstanding businesses who are doing some groundbreaking things in the built environment.

This year Glider strengthened its team with the addition of a new Business Operations Manager, a new Head of Sales, plus a Digital Delivery Manager and Software Engineer, all of which will be instrumental in supporting their clients and stakeholders.

Nick told us: "For me, culture is everything, it drives who we are, how we behave and how we treat people at all levels. We do this with a social conscience and have taken giant steps to not only be a responsible business, but to ensure the safe keeping and wellbeing of our magnificent team."

Looking ahead into 2021, Nick added: "We will be celebrating our fifth anniversary this year and have plans to continue our expansion of the team and entry to new markets. Combined with introducing new software technology to the industry to safeguard its future."

The continual onset of digital globalisation is tearing down geographic boundaries and removing barriers to new market entry. Glider is constantly growing and evolving through its innovative approach to information management, and it is this innovation which has become a core driver of growth, performance and customer value.

Steve told us: "I am frequently asked what makes a business successful? Is it a phenomenal understanding of your market? A visionary growth strategy? A value-driven customer focus? A strategy that enables digital transformation and the answer to this is, all of the above. But there is also something else; successful businesses are innovators, ones which are ahead of the curve - and at Glider we always want to be that one step ahead.

"To truly create an innovation culture, we must take action on innovative ideas. This isn't to say that every idea is a great one, but the creative process should always be acknowledged and appreciated. Often business leaders are largely focused on the urgent matters of everyday management and innovation may be placed on the 'we will look at this tomorrow' pile. Although innovation is considered an important issue, it may not be given the same level of priority as other more pressing concerns.

"If more business leaders were aware of the fact that postponing innovation today would undermine their ability to innovate tomorrow, then innovation would be given higher priority status."

One such example of its innovative nature is how Glider is playing a key role in the digital transformation of Coventry University. With the introduction of its pioneering Common Data Environment (CDE) software gliderbim®, Glider is enabling the University's Estates Digital Services Team to create their own unique CDE for data, models and documentation - providing the tools they need to manage the production, approval, delivery and maintenance of all estate asset information.

Coventry University is known for the world-leading calibre of its engineering and design graduates - particularly in the automotive field - and is rapidly expanding, with multiple locations across the UK including Coventry, London and Scarborough. The University had a requirement to digitise its estates information and over the last two years, Glider has worked alongside the University to support its digital journey, creating asset information models hosted by the gliderbim® CDE platform.

The BIM Manager for Coventry University Estates Digital Services Team, Hadeel Saadoon, spoke about the project: "Coventry University is an enormous estate with 138 buildings, including accommodation. We first started working with Glider to discuss the best approach for onboarding estate asset data, however, this quickly transitioned into a wider project to implement the use of gliderbim® across the entire estate."

Steve commented that "This was initially a complex project, with the need for accurate data capture, information alignment and analysis programming. In addition, it required the delivery of live projects as well as supporting an active University campus. We began by providing a central location for information, which meant a major clean up and complete scan of the existing physical archive was needed."

Nick added: "This is one example of the way in which we are supporting forward-thinking clients. At Glider we have some of the AEC industry's most talented developers, information management consultants and thought leaders, shaping the future of the digital built environment and allowing clients to take control of their data."

For Glider innovation is at its core, self-confessed bold thinkers, helping others achieve the extraordinary. The Glider big-picture thinking for information management generates new ideas to solve the complexities of large scale construction and infrastructure projects.

The gliderbim® CDE is a secure and structured repository for managing information about the design, construction, management, operation and maintenance of built assets. It is used to collect, validate, manage, communicate and share information across distributed teams.

It is continuously updated throughout the asset lifecycle, holding the latest and most accurate information. gliderbim® not only enhances collaboration but it streamlines systems and increases data security.

The advanced data management technology within gliderbim® is ISO 27001 compliant and can integrate with any single sign-on solution using Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML). With its metadata security classifications and G-Cloud compliant security model, client data always remains secure.

Nick said: "We thrive on guiding asset owners, public sector bodies, developers, architects, engineers and contractors through the full lifecycle of a building project - from conception to operation. We are here to support our clients through every phase of their asset's lifecycle through our specialism in information management and our custom-built CDE platform.

"The concept from which Glider was born is still very much part of who we are today and that is down to the passion we have for innovation and embedding this into our business culture. We remain committed to driving societal change and enabling a sustainably stable future for the built environment."