CLD Fencing Systems have become one of the first manufacturers in the United Kingdom to offer full open access architectural support to assist in the specification of mesh fencing and security gates. As the United Kingdom’s largest manufacturer and supplier of Rigid Mesh Fencing Systems and Security Gates, CLD wanted to create a digital platform that would promote a channel of truly open access with no restrictions for architects, landscape architects and specifiers.
Work began in early 2017 when the project team sat down to look at the challenges faced and how these could be solved. Due to their position as market leaders, CLD were able to consult with a number of multi-discipline agencies, councils and landscape architects to generate a brief that would see the project split into a number of phases.
- Phase One – Partnership and Delivery of Open Access Building Information Modelling Support to BIM Level 2 to be delivered by 1st March 2018
- Phase Two – Design and Production of Continual Professional Development that looked at the real challenges faced from the industry to be delivered by 1st April 2018
- Phase Three – Design and Delivery of a digital platform that gave open access to BIM, CAD and Q40 assistance to be delivered by June 2018
To solve this ambitious challenge a number of resources and key partnerships needed to be formed ranging from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to a UK Elite (Top 100 status) creative agency. The project was headed up by CLD Fencing Systems Director of Marketing; Stewart Plant who had to deliver against a strict budget and timeline.
Stewart said, “We set out to create a user experience that enveloped you in the story of fencing and who we are as a company and individuals…”, he continued; “part of my role at CLD Fencing Systems is the assisting of architects and security advisors in the specification of fencing systems and security gates. When we first spoke about the project and how we could bring open access architectural support for fencing and gates to the marketplace I was able to speak with partners who we had assisted in companies such as AECOM, ARUP, WYG, Costain, Arcadis and a host of other organisations and councils.”
“What shocked me the most was how much information was hidden away or restricted for no reason other than to try and farm information. The advent of GDPR also provided a basis for us to work towards. We set out on a journey where we were going to have to review everything we wanted to place in the public domain, could we have Security Rated systems downloadable without compromising sites and security?”
Consolidation of data and designs was carried out throughout 2017 before everything was security cleared to proceed to the first phase. CLD Fencing Systems looked at partners to deliver the BIM Modelling assistance before finally appointing RIBA in the form of the NBS National BIM Library and in February 2018 were the first manufacturer to host Revit Models and full IFC Data for 23 Fencing Systems and 11 gate solutions on the platform.
“The initial feedback we had after launch was amazing, I can remember one of our partners at a major multi-discipline agency contacting me shortly after the go live to say this is exactly what they had been calling out for.” Stewart said before continuing; “it proved we were on the right track and we had managed to deliver the first phase a month before the programme deadline.”
Running concurrently with phase one had been the production of phase two. The marketplace seems saturated with a number of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) seminars that just worked as a sales platform rather than an educational one. To create a number of CPDs that covered areas from architectural education to security consolidation required the team to present and fine tune the lesson plan to seminar after seminar ranging from open forums to closed door national events. The final part of the process was evaluation and third-party observation which validated the lesson plan, learning objectives and the delivery format of the seminar.
“We were able to create a number of key CPD Seminars that actually were designed to educate. Talking with teachers, assessors, security advisors and third-party observers helped blend each seminar into something that now receives 5 out of 5 feedback from the attendees. We start each one with one simple question… “Does Fencing Matter?”
The final phase saw the production of the last part of the project and one of the most challenging, the design and delivery of a digital platform that gave open access architectural support in the form of BIM, CAD and Q40 assistance.
“What became apparent from the outset was our current digital platform just wasn’t up for the task in hand. Too many legacy issues and design constraints meant that the user experience and ability to find what you needed without gateways would prove a problem so we had to look at a new solution.” Stewart continued, “I sat down to produce the brief in January 2018 after presenting at an Intersec fringe event with BRE Global in Dubai. One of the questions that kept on going through my mind was how we could make this open access not just to the UK markets but the global ones.”
“The key aspect behind all this was finding a partner agency who could deliver against the brief, within the time scales but who also bought into what we wanted to achieve and could bring their experience of working in vertical markets to the design and user experience.” Work began in earnest to interview agencies and after a number of meetings SO Marketing were appointed who were able to solve the issue of GEO-IP with an innovative digital solution.
Creating a new digital platform required a wealth of planning and the production of new copy that would cover all the new areas of the platform and its aims and objectives. The last line of code was written at the end of June and Monday 2nd July saw the brand-new launch in a live environment and the start of a new chapter in the brand evolution of CLD Fencing Systems.
“Everything and more that we set out to achieve was accomplished with this project. When I speak with architects and specifiers now they find the ability to source exactly what they need in real time to be ground breaking. Not only are we able to give them the exact format of architectural support they need in an open access environment but we can also offer them advice and training on the nature of fencing systems and sectors that they are working within.” Stewart finished by saying, “we are always looking at innovating the physical perimeter security industry and this is just one of the projects that runs alongside our extensive product research and development programme that allows us to stay at the top of the industry every day.”