The Silicon Review
A chance visit to a mining accommodation village was where it all started for Glyde
Steve Wallis, now the Chief Technology Officer for Glyde, saw an outstanding opportunity to innovate and integrate high end technology into mining communities after a chance visit to an accommodation village.
“Buddy, if you don’t mind, I’m going to apply some digital smarts and see if I can improve your guest experience and save you some money.”
Working with Dominic Letts (Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder), Steve used the mining village, owned by Fleetwood Limited (Glyde’s parent company), as a pilot site to develop the Internet of Things (IoT) technology. Together, they ran some initial tests, saw immediate improvements, iterated and kept delivering enhanced outcomes. This was the beginning of Glyde – smart technology that uses IoT to deliver an optimized stay for customers and more efficient operation of accommodation.
“Seeing the huge upside this smart technology could deliver, we decided to pursue this even further and won an Australian Research Council grant to conduct research and development at scale,” said Letts. “This demonstrated that widespread Internet of Things could place us closer to the customer, as well as our operations, enabling us to deliver much higher value with greater efficiency. With this revelation we decided to create Glyde, our own IoT solution to make workforce accommodation smarter.”Founded in 2018, Glyde is a premium IoT company breaking new boundaries in the workforce accommodation space. In a brief interview with us, Dominic Letts talked about the distinguishing features that set Glyde apart from its competitors and how the company is innovating to optimise the customer experience and offer far greater efficiencies to accommodation owners.
Q. How does Glyde improve the accommodation experience for guests?
In essence, Glyde has two main benefits:
Through Glyde, we can see with far greater clarity what facilities and services our guests are accessing and when. This enables us to understand how, where, with what and when we can best serve our customers and supports us in delivering a safe, secure and healthy environment.
Physically time intensive transactions such as check-in and check-out have been transitioned to mobile, enabling digital transactions to be conducted in a time and place that suits our guests. Glyde learns about the guest to better meet their needs and wants and also allows the guest to learn about their accommodation. For example – Glyde enables guests to see the traffic at an accommodation village laundry or shared dining facility and allows them to make a decision about when to use these services. Glyde’s connection of data between guest, facilities and services, facilitates deeper guest satisfaction and optimizes the use of accommodation assets and services to meet guest requirements.
Q. What are the benefits of going with Glyde? Tell us about your product.
Our market is workforce accommodation, meaning – many of our accommodation residents work long hours in difficult environments such as remote mine sites.
Glyde supports workforce wellness by using data to optimize the use of their valuable free time. The IoT application digitizes guest access to services, monitors needs and delivers healthier room environments to enhance comfort, creating a more pleasant and convenient guest experience.
The optimized accommodation results in a workforce that is healthier and more productive the next day. As an example of how the customer experience is enhanced, Glyde routes a guest’s booking to the Glyde Smart Phone App via text message – allowing check-in and check-out to be completely digital. On arrival at the accommodation, the App navigates the guest to their room and opens their door. On entering the room, Glyde has already pre-set the room temperature to optimize guest comfort and health.
From the point of view of the operator, Glyde enables almost real time visibility of each guest’s use of facilities and services, allowing better decision making and application of resources as well as the automation of tasks, enabling labour reductions. For the facility-owner, Glyde optimizes the use of plant and equipment such as air conditioners to match real guest needs, ensuring delivery of safe and healthy conditions in the most efficient manner. The real-time data from Glyde can also be used to improve the design and development of new facilities in future, ensuring satisfaction of guest needs is continuously improved in the most efficient manner.
Q. How does your expertise help you stand apart from your competitors?
One of Glyde’s greatest advantages stems from the fact that our parent company, Fleetwood, owns and operates workforce accommodation facilities. This gives us unique insight into the real problems and issues faced in the market. It means we have a live learning lab where we can experiment, refine, and improve in a real and accessible environment. This is invaluable as it ensures a laser-like customer focus and speeds up our development cycle. As we control the accommodation, we are prepared to take more risks and trial improvements with reduced consequences and failure rates.
Q. How does Glyde ensure Safety and Security?
Glyde eliminates the need for physical keys. Each guest has unique and individualized access through either their Smartphone App or a one-time issued fob. The unique digital access signature created by Glyde provides an audit trail of when anyone has entered a room. This provides far greater security compared to a hard key for each room occupant. Glyde also can sense and act to deliver air quality outcomes in accommodation and by doing so, support optimal well-being and safety for guests.
Q. What do you think are the biggest challenges that the IoT industry will face in the next few years?
In my opinion, platform dominance is yet to occur in IoT. If history is anything to go by, you would expect a couple of platforms to achieve significant market share and this will guide further product development. A key challenge relates to the projected market growth of IoT as proportionate increases in power and bandwidth to facilitate this growth unsustainable. IoT needs to become more efficient to enable the exponential growth we expect.
Q. 2020 was a challenging year. How was it working through the COVID-19 pandemic? Tell us about your experience.
COVID-19 reinforced the significant value of Glyde. Mining is a critical component of the West Australian economy and the local state government is determined to continue operating throughout. Glyde supported the continuity of workforce accommodation with minimal disruption, by using our IoT and Apps enabling social distancing and contact tracing within workforce accommodation. It really was a game changer and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from our guests, customers, and operators.
The Leader Upfront Dominic Letts, Chief Executive Officer
Dominic Letts is from a Special Forces Army background where high-risk, innovative solutions are required to solve complex problems. This experience enables him to be comfortable and “Dare to Win”. He focuses on the culture of the team and lives the ethos that one person cannot stand alone, rather, we succeed or fail together as a result of our collective efforts.