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Timing is Key: The Importance of a Facilities Management Approach for Successful Businesses

To state the utterly obvious: running a business is serious commitment. Dozens of employees must be hired, hundreds of daily challenges must be overcome, and thousands of potentialities must be considered! The burdens will certainly be headache inducing—but there are tools that can help. In particular, the right facilities management (FM) approach will simplify a huge aspect of running your business.

FM itself is a huge field. It covers all aspects of designing, operating, and maintaining facilities of any type, from industrial power plants to Class-A office buildings. FM providers, such as Hill International, work to save money and operate facilities more efficiently and safely. Good FM services are integrated, meeting the many different needs of clients’ diverse facilities in a streamlined way. Moreover, the services are client centric and align with the culture and vision of a given organization.

“Within the umbrella of FM, there are several different models for managing your organization’s portfolio of physical properties,” says Rami Elbadawi, Hill International’s FM Director. “For instance, we offer FM consultancy services, FM managing agent, and FM service delivery. Each of these has its value. With FM consultancy, we offer clients a wide spectrum of services through the lifecycles of their facilities, from the early stages of design, moving through construction, procurement of FM services, and the transition phase from construction to a state of steady operation. We can provide companies with the professional guidance and expertise they need to provide for their facilities internally. FM Managing Agent is an excellent choice for large businesses that need to focus their energies on organizing their core business activities, while we handle the daily FM operations. For FM service delivery, we focus on providing an integrated solution that drives efficiency into client operations.”

As critical as the choice of the service model, the timing of the FM service implementation cannot be understated. Planning your FM early is absolutely critical to saving money and preventing headache. Rami says: “There are so many things to be considered, from the material selections to the designs of entire buildings. Early FM involvement will result in lower cost of procurement due to reduction in design alteration and rework. It will provide for a facility that is better suited to the needs of the end users. It will give you a facility that is attractive to potential users and clients, one that can respond to their needs, a facility that is easy to run and maintain, control and manage. Each decision, large or seemingly small, will pay off or cost you later on.” Especially in your business’s early days, your focus should be developing your primary service, whether that is investment management or operational manufacturing. To worry about the electrical, mechanical, cleaning, pest control, financial, security, and many other aspects of your buildings’ operations would surely be to detract from your primary goals as a business.

When establishing your FM service delivery strategy, it is important to integrate the services. Rami usefully illustrates the contrary: “Say you’re trying to install a new air conditioning unit. Simple, right? Well not if it’s a civil contractor who removes the old one and is in charge of repainting. And then a mechanical contractor brings in the new one and puts it into place. And, of course, a different electrical team configures the wiring. We’re talking about an absolute labyrinth of coordination and administration! Then if there’s a mistake or a delay, we get disputes over responsibility and conflict. And then multiply all this by the hundreds or thousands of air conditioners in your facility, not to mention all of the other areas of need.” Rami’s point hardly needs to be made explicit.

Moreover, when executed early, integration of FM services improves facility health, saves money, and saves time. When a single FM team consults on the design of a building, uses money-saving and sustainable materials early, plans out operational services, recruits the necessary employees, implements a computer aided facility management system, and creates institution-wide training programs, the resultant FM service is exponentially more efficient. Rami concurs, saying, “Integration improves your FM services in every case.”

And now is the time to act. “It can become very difficult to break habitual and inefficient FM practices,” warns Rami. “Once the operational tendencies of a given facility or portfolio pick up momentum, then it can be very difficult to change direction. In discussions with managers in the past about Hill’s FM services, we’ve experienced some opposition from those with long-entrenched ideas about how their facilities should be managed.”

Every music teacher warns against the development of bad habits—posture, hand or lip positioning, strumming or bowing patterns can be extremely difficult to fix later on in a musical career. So too do FM experts, such as Rami, warn against the development of bad FM habits. The analogy holds, in particular, because of the grand complexity involved in both the musical arts and FM. Rami says: “It is important for business owners and executives to opt for the right FM model early on in the lives of their facilities. That way they can reach their potential as a business, unhindered by the headaches that come from mismanaged facilities.”

Hill’s FM strategy

Our strategy is focused on working in partnership with our clients enabling them to feel the added value of our services. Rami says:

“We understand that today’s clients have large expectations. We celebrate and respect those expectations. Therefore, whenever clients pick any of Hill’s FM services, our primary goal will be helping them to identify the right FM approach to suit their portfolios, drive efficiency into their FM operations, and optimize cost while maintaining quality.”

We have developed our FM services over the last decade and we have been growing our manpower’s expertise year after year in UAE and Egypt. As technology is at the heart of innovation, we are continuing to invest in the implementation of the latest technology in FM. Our FM business plan for the next five years is to continue growing and maintaining the best services for our clients across the Middle East.

When you have decided that your business will benefit from professional FM services, Hill FM will be prepared to customize a highly integrated and efficient service offering for you. Timing is key; there is no time like the present to undertake a fresh review of your organization’s FM strategy for added efficiency and value.