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MEFMA Confex exhibitors share trends in FM industry

Participants cite paradigm shift among customers and need for technology integration to reinforce market advantage

| | May 1, 2018 | 8:30 am
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Dubai, UAE, 1 May 2018: MEFMA Confex featured a number of FM companies highlighting their solutions, alongside the workshops and panel discussion during the event, held from April 29 to 30, in Dubai. The participants provided a snapshot of emerging trends within the industry, gleaning from their observations of the market and the conference.

Gary Reader, General Manager, ServeU said, “It’s always a good networking event with MEFMA, and a good opportunity to meet people and see the innovative solutions we can do and use in the market as a benchmarking exercise.” Customers, he said, are showcasing more awareness towards the benefit of investing in technology for greater efficiency, despite possibly higher initial cost. “You have to look at the return of investment,” he said, “and you have to look at the bigger picture. At ServeU we are going through a process of change to benchmark and gather data so we can learn how the market works and how efficient we can be.” The company, he said, is also working towards integrating robotic machinery in FM services. Essentially, Reader said, it’s about cutting down resources through the use of technology, especially through AI or robotics.

Also speaking about growing emphasis being placed on technology, Alaa Eldin Wannous Business Development Manager, Dussmann Service Middle East, highlighted its application for clients and staff to cultivate a more integrated approach in energy management, MEP services, Cleaning and Security. “The world is turning digital,” he said, “it’s easier to communicate and evaluate, and it’s easier to act when you get the feedback quickly, that’s what gives way to faster reactions and you can do more.” Nowadays, Wannous said, it is important to view technology integration as a means of market advantage, stressing that everybody provides a service, but that stakeholders are looking for streamlined communication and ease of use.

Mohammed S AlMosaidi, Deputy CEO, Workforce Saudia, speaking for Initial Saudi Group, an FM company established in 1983, spoke of how the company is complementing technology integration with ensuring personnel are trained to have the proper skill set. The company, he said, has offers its own customised systems to clients to ensure transparency, particularly in managing air conditioning equipment. AlMosaidi said that the company ensures that there are engineering specialists taking care of this requirement, which is high in the region owing to the ambient conditions. He stressed that embracing change is necessary for companies to enjoy longevity in a competitive market. “That’s why,” he said, “our clients have been with us for 30 years, because we are always innovating and updating to help them.”

The advancement of the industry, however, is underpinned by ensuring proper standards and Werner Heeran, MEA District Vice Chair, BICSI Middle East and Africa, spoke on the standards association’s participation in the move to facilitate knowledge exchange towards best practices. The organisation, he said, often collaborates with MEFMA during such events to advocate training and certification for infrastructure of telecommunications in view of developing a consolidated platform to promote best practices with regard to data centres, power quality, temperature controls and other aspects related to the FM industry.

Ali Al Jassim, CEO, Etihad Energy Services, also touched on the need for greater collaboration among stakeholders, especially in view of the country’s energy-saving goals. “FM they have been doing great for the past years,” he said, “and you can tell from this conference, but today we want to look at energy sector as well. FM companies could become energy-services companies.” With the proper training, Al Jassim said, FM companies can serve the dual purpose of providing facilities management and energy services by working to reduce consumption and save energy. A collaborative approach, Al Jassim said, is needed from the design to FM and, later on, the overall savings.

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