Dated: 22-05-2011
Facing the challenge from within

The regional facilities management industry is becoming increasingly sophisticated as the focus is building up on implementing and utilising innovative technologies for integrated facilities management.

In play are global best practices and unique ideas to service iconic structures that are dotting the regional skyline right across the GCC, more so the UAE. The industry in the UAE alone is estimated to grow to $10 billion by 2012.

Market leaders within the industry have consolidated their position over the years to provide multiple services from soft to hard services, without unduly putting the weight in one area over the other, in the need to maintain diversity amongst their client portfolios.

Clean Middle East spoke to two such market leaders, namely Emrill and EMCOR to understand how they implement best practices in handling projects which they have found to be challenging recently.

Emrill is the Gold sponsor of the FM Expo this month. The company holds a vast portfolio of clients including corporate, residential, community  retail, and hospitality clients across the UAE, with projects such as KPMG, Royal Bank of Scotland, Downtown Dubai, Dubai Festival City, Al Bandar and Dubai Silicon Oasis to name a few.

Emrill have been audited and certified ISO 9001: 2008 for Quality Management Systems, ISO 14001:2004 for Environmental Management Systems and OHSAS 18001:2007 for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems.

Emrill utilises innovative technologies and Computer Aided Facilities Management systems to efficiently self-deliver services. With a workforce of over 4000 staff directly employed, allowing a direct control on quality and greater flexibility, Emrill commands a steady growth since its formation with the expertise of its operating company, Carillion Plc and its
shareholders which include Al-Futtaim Group and Emaar Properties.

Emcor Facilities services is a leading FM service provider with 15 operating companies across the MENA region and projects valued in excess of AED1 billion. EFS delivers total FM solutions through an integrated service platform and builds partnerships with its clients to ensure business continuity.

The EFS management team has over 500 years of core FM experience, supported by quality in-house learning and development programmes and a 1500 strong and growing workforce. EFS’ diverse client base include; Saudi Aramco, General Electric, Unilever and HSBC.

Emrill’s account of the Dubai Marina challenge

Emrill has been providing world-class, benchmarked standards cleaning services to Dubai Marina ever since the master community with a sea frontage of 8.5 kilometres was transformed into a hive of fine skyscrapers and construction activities. The high profile community matrixed with a road network of approx 16 kilometres was a challenge, since we began contractual services in 2008, as constant construction activity and roadworks used
to keep us pushing the envelope to provide our recognised standards of services to keep the road, footpaths and areas clean, in what was one large construction site.

The roadworks often changed directions and routes within the community with unpaved roads and dirty roads. During this time our staff faced a battle of dangerous drivers on unfamiliar changing roads and the accumulation of built up dirt.

We had to work very closely with each site manager to educate construction workers to clean up after tasks and to be careful with wastage and spillages. Very often work materials were spilled on to the community roads and pavements and could have become an issue with local municipal institutions had it not been for our continual supervision on
a priority basis, to ensure the client was satisfied during inspections.

Suggestions and implementation of best practices by Emrill

The project was tendered by Emaar last year and this was the perfect opportunity to put forward suggestions, improved work methodologies and increase the mechanical element which would result in a far superior end product with improved efficiencies.

As Health & Safety is Emrill’s prime concern, all external cleaners’ uniforms were changed from blue cotton short sleeved shirts to reflective yellow long sleeved microfibre shirts. This provided our staff with protection against sun burn as the fabric has cooling properties, warmth during the cooler winter months with a high level of visibility to ensure their safety.

We suggested in our inclusion that the labour intensive work of sweeping pavements and roads be replaced with mechanical efficiencies such as manual sweepers which cover 1500 sq mt. per hour.

Another initiative was to eliminate the water pressure washing of the railings around the Marina which not only consumed a high volume of water but also created a possible hazard to a cylindrical water spray system. This initiative saves 5,000 litres of water per month. Dubai Marina is considered one of the world’s largest and most meticulously planned water front developments. Due to our committed and professional delivery, Emaar awarded the Dubai
Marina Master Community contract to Emrill which includes cleaning, maintenance and security.

EMCOR’s account of their recent challenging project

All projects are challenging in their own unique way, clients give us challenges which working with them we overcome on a daily basis.The most challenging in recent months has been working with an international partner to mobilize a contract in the banking sector across the region. We had three months to mobilize and recruit 170 staff &associate partners. The contract is for 5 years and has various locations across the region. Egypt proved to be the major challenge; this was due to the contract mobilizing at the same time as the unrest in Cairo. Logistically this was a problem for us as we were concerned for the welfare of our staff and their security.

However, despite all odds, the client has been very impressed with the transfer of services to Emcor and the support we have given our staff during mobilization. Our plans for the next 6 months are to develop our first FM training centre in the Middle East, the establishment of a Centre of Excellence and explore and expand into the market in India. We also decided to sponsor the FM Expo 2011 and launch a new brand image to the market at the event.