Technology integration leads to substantial savings and improved customer experience
The Middle East Facility Management Association (MEFMA), a non-profit association that provides a dedicated platform for FM professionals, wider construction industry stakeholders and owner associations, has shed light anew on the benefits of technology-enabled facilities management (FM) services in an effort to highlight the impact of intelligent tools on the FM practice in the region.
MEMFA cited the findings of its study on the subject. According to the report, cutting-edge technologies lead to high savings and enhanced customer experience. Around 20 to 25 percent savings on building operating costs can be achieved, while energy cost can be reduced by about 25 to 30 percent, the report added.
MEFMA noted that computer-aided facility management (CAFM), building management systems, mobile solutions, sensors, cloud computing, and remote-control systems provide the greatest potential for development and have the biggest impact on service delivery.
It further cited the advantages of harnessing the power of smart technologies available in the market today. If fully utilized, building management systems, for instance, would make a big difference in energy conservation efforts, while CAFM with an audit module, along with handhelds, leads to lower work volume and higher technician and help desk efficiency. Remote monitoring results in savings as well because it provides time for regular inspections, while mobile technologies, sensors and cloud computing – when combined with data analysis – could further enhance potentials.
The association recently organized a forum, the ‘Future Technology in the Facilities Management Industry,’ at the Marina Hotel in Kuwait to educate stakeholders about innovations that are fast reshaping the regional FM landscape and why the market should respond. The event was sponsored by MEFMA member The United Facilities Management (UFM) company.
The Kuwait workshop led by Tarik Aftat, a MEFMA Certified Trainer and Facilities Manager at Oud Real Estate in Saudi Arabia, opened up considerable learning and networking opportunities. Director of FM at UFM, a strategic corporate member of MEFMA, was a key presenter during the workshop.
A panel discussion moderated by Salmeen also took place during the event, followed by an open room discussion. The panelists were composed of Eng. Ahmed Al-Eisa, Vice Chairman and CEO, Engineering Systems Group (ESG); Eng. Fnyees AlAjmi, Director of General Services, PAAET; Salah Mahdi Boftain, Facilities & Safety Manager, Alghanim Industries; and Traik Aftat.
By organizing the gathering, the association was also fulfilling its mandate of providing a platform where stakeholders can discuss relevant industry issues, exchange experiences and ideas, and come up with effective FM solutions to pressing challenges.
Ahmad Al Kandari, Vice Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, UFM, and MEFMA Board Member, concluded: “Complex and intelligent structures require technology-driven, integrated FM services to ensure optimum use of facilities, smooth and efficient operations, and substantial savings at all levels. The future FM sector in the Middle East will be determined by its capability to adopt technologies and will be measured by the efficiency of its delivery of services. To remain highly competitive in the modern world, we should incorporate smart tools into traditional services to make them more efficient, achieve higher savings, properly maintain the facilities and expand margins for utility management companies and customers alike. The possibilities are endless, and the FM community should keep up with these dramatic changes brought on by ongoing technological innovations.”