With plans for UK-wide expansion, AB Glass and AB Access Control currently provide an innovative one-stop solution for the construction sector in Wales. Access control director, Justin John, tells BQ about innovation in his company.

What does your business do?

Since 1991, AB Glass has been serving the construction, architectural and local building industries with the highest level of environmentally conscious doors, windows and facades. Today, the company is one of the most successful manufacturers and installers of sophisticated curtain walling, structural glass assemblies, commercial and domestic aluminium windows and doors, and other related products and services.

AB Access Control is an ADSA approved installer, working for the domestic and commercial sectors. We offer a full technical sale, installation and follow up service for all our clients. AB Access specialises in the design, installation and maintenance of access control, door entry/intercom, automated gates/barriers, PA and intruder alarm systems. The nature of the company’s activities places emphasis upon the experience and professionalism of its personnel, and the quality and reliability of its products and services.

Our team of engineers are conversant with all aspects of system construction and can deliver a single or multi-discipline package on-time and on budget. The access systems coupled together with the already established and reliable door solutions offers customers a complete one-stop solution for access control and doors systems. These systems can be installed in 99.9% of buildings and can be integrated with existing access systems, or we can supply a brand new system solution designed for customers.

What innovative products, services, materials or processes do you have relevant to the construction sector?

AB Glass are the only aluminium door and window manufacturer that has its own in-house access control division, offering a complete supply and installation solutions to our client base. AB Glass Doors and Windows offer complete design specifications on the doors, windows and access control systems, ensuring the projects are on budget and have the correct specified projects.

What difference does innovating make to your business?

AB Access Control division enables us to offer a seamless and trouble-free supply and installation package to all our clients. So everything in the specified product range works correctly and offers a complete solution to the client/end user.

How do you manage innovation; how do you encourage staff to innovate in their jobs?

AB Glass and Access Control encourage all our staff to be innovative. Our engineers during surveys will always advise of anything that could help the client with regard to the systems they have requested. For example changing token access systems to biometric and retina, but still meeting the client’s security requirements.

How do you encourage innovation in your supply chain, or in those that you partner with?

AB Glass and AB Access Control always encourage and where possible, source our access control components from the UK. We use a voice and video entry system manufactured in the UK. We use UK components where possible on power supplies and switches. AB Access Control have partnered with a Welsh local social enterprise called Connective Touch on our Biometric Fingerprint reader systems. This partnership has gone really well and we are excited for the future for this company and AB Access Control.

What is the most interesting/innovative contract or development you have been involved in?

AB Access Control are currently liaising with numerous council and housing associations in Wales, to offer the complete door, window and access control solution for their Disabled Grant Works (DFG). We are offering them a very unique service with regard to the installation. This will enable their less abled tenants to have free access and free movement in their properties or the property where they reside.

What has been your biggest challenge with embedding a culture of innovation?

Sometimes it’s hard to change people’s perception when it comes to innovation. As soon as the word innovation is mentioned people assume that this is going to cost them money. But AB Access Control are trying to instil in our client base that the slightest innovation, in the long run, could save them lots of money in the future.

What advice would you give to other businesses looking to increase their innovation?

I think if businesses worked out the total implications and costs long term rather than the short term, then they will realise innovation can help save money and offer an opportunity for the company to grow. This offers new possibilities and markets for the company to expand and grow revenue.

What are your plans for the next 2-5 years?

We are looking to grow the Access Control division to possibly become a company of its own that covers the whole of the UK, with regional offices throughout the UK, that service specific areas. We will be offering unique services and products to the clients in that area, saving costs and labour times for our clients.

The systems AB Glass and AB Access Control offer in Wales would be applicable to all other areas throughout the UK. We have the experience and expertise to roll these services out and streamline them for the whole of the UK. This would make us an innovative UK-wide company and not just based in Wales.

Related campaign:

Innovation 100 Construction Wales is a major initiative to identify some of Wales’ most innovative companies across the construction and built environment sector, looking particularly at the supply chain to highlight the depth of the sector and its relevance to the future economic prosperity of the sector in Wales.

The campaign will showcase nominated companies through inspiring content via a digital campaign and a series of events and debates shining the spotlight on Wales’ most purpose driven construction companies and their businesses.

For more info visit https://www.innovation100cw.co.uk/.