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, emphasized anew the need for the regional FM industry to adopt next-generation technologies to achieve considerable savings on building operating costs and provide enriched experience to the more tech-savvy generation of today.
The association made this statement following its recently concluded forum, the ‘Future Technology in the Facilities Management Industry,’ which was held recently at the Marina Hotel in Kuwait. The event was sponsored by MEFMA Members “The United Facilities Management” (UFM) company.
According to MEFMA’s study, applying cutting-edge technologies results in 20 to 25 per cent savings on building operating costs as well as leads to 25 to 30 per cent reduction in energy cost. The association noted that computer-aided facility management (CAFM), building management systems, mobile solutions, sensors, cloud computing, and remote-control systems, among others, provide the greatest potential for development and have the biggest impact on service delivery.
It further cited the benefits of some of the existing smart technologies in the market. 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 helpdesk 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 recent Kuwait workshop led by MEFMA Certified Trainer, Facilities Manager, Oud Real Estate, KSA, Tarik Aftat provided both learning and networking opportunities to all attendees. Bader Salmeen, Director of FM, UFM, a strategic corporate member of MEFMA, was a key presenter during the event. A panel discussion moderated by Salmeen also took place during the event, followed by an open room discussion. The panelists consisted 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 fulfilling its mandate of providing a platform where stakeholders can discuss relevant industry issues, exchange experiences, and seek effective FM solutions to pressing challenges.
Ahmad Al Kandari, Vice Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, UFM, 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.”