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Outsourcing is the way forward

Subcontracting the O&M services of District Cooling companies and chiller plants to specialists purportedly has many advantages

| | Feb 9, 2016 | 2:28 pm
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Over the years, the District Cooling industry has witnessed an impressive growth in some pockets of the GCC region. Even as more such companies and chiller plants continue to come online in the region, some of the challenges tied with it remain unresolved.

Addressing one such issue, Dan Mizesko, Managing Partner of Al Shirawi US Chiller Services, suggests that outsourcing some of the operation and maintenance (O&M) services to HVAC/chiller specialists will greatly benefit owners of District Cooling companies. Although outsourcing a core activity of a District Cooling company in the GCC region is unheard of, Mizesko lists a few reasons explaining why building owners must consider otherwise:

Dan Mizesko is the Managing Director at Al Shirawi Chiller services

Dan Mizesko is the Managing Director at Al Shirawi Chiller services

1. Having qualified and experienced personnel: The in-house engineering personnel of a District Cooling company or a chiller plant are in charge of looking after the mechanical systems, who may not have in-depth expertise as compared to a specialist. On the other hand, an HVAC/chiller contractor will recruit and train personnel specifically for the job. The recruited personnel will be aware of the latest equipment and systems, and also ensure that the plant is operating at its peak at all times.

2. Emergency situations: In the event of a breakdown of cooling towers or a glitch in the mechanical systems, the specialists will have the required resources to fix the issue at the earliest, which may not be the case with the in-house staff.

3. High-quality service: The reputation of contractors is tied to the service they provide; hence, they will ensure that their personnel are well-informed and able, by regularly assessing their performance. Not only will they take extreme care of the systems to keep them at peak operating conditions but will also take measures to improve the systems, while also finding ways to save costs for the owner. A satisfied customer-base can draw potential clients.

4. Eliminating liability: Employers are usually held liable for any breakdown of systems, labour and consumables. If the same work is outsourced, the liability rests upon the HVAC/chiller specialist. The contractor takes the responsibility for hiring, firing, training, supervising and disciplining the staff, thereby shielding building owners from risks associated with these activities.

5. Ensuring guarantees and cost-saving: As the District Cooling company and the HVAC/chiller contractor will have service-level agreements, the building owners will be assured of high-quality service and performance, along with guaranteed budgeted costs. Additionally, the burden of having to dealing with payroll, accommodation, transportation, labour issues and the such is taken off the owner, saving not just costs but also time.

6. Easing the cash-flow situation: Building owners are required to pay their employees on a monthly-basis, while also taking care of their other expenses. However, if they are working with specialist contractors, the payment can be made after 90 days, which allows for extra cash-flow during this period.

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