Meet our Chairman – Nigel Hedley
Nigel Hedley joined us as Chairman of the Board at Operance and Bimsense in July 2020.
His role is to keep the Board of Directors accountable.
Over the last nine months, Nigel has offered his wealth of experience and expertise and supported us to get us where we are today – launching a brand new piece of software to help improve the safety of buildings across the UK.
We caught up with Nigel to find out more about his background and vision for the future of construction.
Can you tell us a bit about your role at Operance?
Being Chairman of the Board means that I’m responsible for assisting and giving guidance to the board of directors at Operance, as well as holding them to account to their shareholders.
With my experience in management consultancy and digital transformation, I support the team, providing them with advice during a monthly board meeting.
What’s your background, and how did this lead to working with Operance?
My degree is in Computer Science and Maths – I went to the University of Glasgow. During the summer holidays, I worked for a firm of building contractors, which led me to create a 3D simulation of a building for my third-year project.
This was around the late 1980s when 3D modelling in construction was quite new.
After graduating, my career went down the Management Consultancy route, where I worked with various tech, computing and software organisations.
Around the year 2000, I got involved in some smaller companies, including one we successfully turned around and successfully floated on AIM on the London Stock Exchange. At this point, I also started investing in companies and became Chairman of several organisations in Scotland, such as Administrate.
Two years ago, I moved back to where I was born – Northumberland. I wanted to get involved in local companies and use my expertise to help businesses in the region. This led to being introduced to Bimsense and Operance through Mercia, who I’d known for a long time.
Left to right: CEO Ian Yeo, CPO Scott Pilgrim, Chairman Nigel Hedley, CTO Tim Mutlow
What drew you to this opportunity with Operance?
I realised there’s a huge opportunity for the industry here – the progress the construction industry has made since the Second World War is very slow compared to other sectors.
I also get along very well with the Directors Ian, Scott and Tim and think the work they’re doing to bring digital to construction is essential.
Why is digital transformation so important for construction?
There are many different reasons, but the main one’s centre around productivity, environment and safety.
Safety is, of course, a huge factor – not only during construction but also throughout the entire lifecycle of the building.
If you look at the tragic events of Grenfell, you can see real change is needed. We are working closely with the Golden Thread initiative to help developers and social housing associations digitise their records and define, curate, audit and maintain information about a building from design to occupation.
Modern methods of construction and modern materials require technology to construct buildings to more exacting measures. Meanwhile, technology can also help reduce emissions and pollution during both the construction and lifespan of the building.
What’s your favourite part about being Chairman at Operance?
It’s been a tough year for many businesses, and within Bimsense and Operance, we’ve had our ups and downs. However, it’s been rewarding as Chairman to see the team working hard to overcome challenges – they’ve never hidden their heads in the sand and always dealt with issues head-on.
It’s a pleasure to be working with Ian, Scott and Tim.
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