DUBAI, UAE, 29 September 2019: The growing importance of data-driven technology in the move to enhance efficiency and promote sustainable building operations was a key topic of discussion during the FM EXPO, from September 17 to 19 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Prabhu Ramachandran, Founder and CEO, Facilio, said that this trend can be observed by the increase in number of participating technology vendors, which, he said, is a good sign of the sector’s initiative to adopt and integrate innovation solutions. “Even among the visitors coming in, their expectation is more on tech,” he said. “They want to understand how tech can be used to optimise operations. Customers, building owners and FM companies are all moving towards efficiency – energy efficiency, workforce efficiency or asset efficiency – and looking at how technology can be used [in this regard].” Ramachandran said there is a growing number of RFPs in the market that underscore end-users’ inclination for new technology offerings over traditional solutions.
Jamal Abdullah Lootah, Group CEO, Imdaad, shared a similar observation. “Technology is always our number one focus at Imdaad,” he said. “In today’s economy, there is a pressing need for cost-effective solutions, and we believe that we can leverage technology to develop them.” In keeping with that, Lootah said the company endeavoured to create a more interactive stand showcasing its portfolio of solutions at the EXPO. “We included live demonstrations of what we do, how do we do it, how we engage with our clients and offer them value through our solutions,” he said.
Lootah said that in addition to presenting new solutions to the market, FM EXPO continues to offer a valuable platform for educating the industry on best practices. “As an industry leader, we believe we have a responsibility to transfer knowledge within the broader ecosystem,” he said, adding that to this end, Imdaad continues to host its Work Series. “We bring in instructors from all around the business sector – this includes developers, consultants and contractors,” he said.
In addition to the Imdaad Work Series, the FM Forum and Waste and Recycling Summit hosted a number of seminars on a number of issues facing the industry. Stephen Morris, Global Head FM Sector, RICS, facilitated one such seminar, during which he highlighted that in addition to promoting best practices, it is important to educate the entire value chain on the need to adopt standards to raise the bar within the industry and promote consistency across organisations. “One of the biggest challenges for FM over the years, particularly for the Middle East region, has been the quality of procurement,” he said, pointing out that there are gaps owing to typical processes. “Not one organisation is following the same standard of approach of how we would cost something, how we would measure something or how we would even deliver that tender process. What we are trying to emphasise today is that there is a huge range of standards, and if everyone, from service provider up to client, uses the same standards we have consistency, we have accuracy, we have greater value and a better outcome.” Morris added that implementing standards would help develop stronger relationship between the client and the chosen service provider, which will further bring value to the project. Such stakeholder engagement, he further added, is vital, considering FM sector’s role in ensuring energy efficiency of operations.