Emrill launches online customer portal at FM Expo
Event sees a 27% increase on 2010 and more than 60 exhibitors
Emrill launched an online customer portal at the sixth annual FM Expo 2011.
The service is an extension of the company’s Helpdesk, allowing customers to manage their services, pay bills and access support online.
They can also track and request services, ask for online quotations, make payments using a Visa or MasterCard credit card, or set up an account to receive monthly statements of charges for services ordered and delivered.
“With the increase of digital services, the need for conventional ways of running a business has begun to subside,” said Ben Churchill, managing director, Emrill.
“People expect to be able to control and monitor their business transactions online. We are very proud to be the first FM company to offer these services. We are always developing ways to simplify customer requests and provide our clients with the most convenient and time saving solutions.”
The new portal lets customers check the latest information in their organisation or community, upcoming events and emergency broadcasts.
“We understand that some individuals prefer the conventional payment methods over the digital ones. But I can assure them that that we are utilising the same highly secure technologies used by Online Banking Systems around the world to ensure our clients’ information is safe at all times,” added Churchill.
This year’s Expo, held at Dubai World Trade Centre, (May 17-19), saw two new events including the World FM Congress and Sustainable Facilities Expo and Emrill was announced as the official Gold sponsor.
H.E Eng. Hussain Nasser Ahmed Lootah, director general, Dubai Municipality, launched proceedings where he spoke about the need for a greater focus on sustainable facility management in the UAE.
He told visitors that facilities management is in a position to drive better environmental solutions throughout the management of buildings in the Middle East and spoke about the need for widespread adoption of sustainable strategies that must become embedded into the operational maintenance of buildings in the UAE and various initiatives the government has and is continuing to implement, to achieve a more sustainable way of living.
One such initiative was the launch of the Sustainable Facilities Expo, in partnership with The Environmental Centre for Arab Towns, a division of Dubai Municipality.
The exhibition was there to promote energy efficiency in facilities management and hosted exhibitors such as Panasonic, which was showcasing technologies used by building managers who want to reduce energy costs and carbon footprints.
“The FM Expo is now in its sixth year and is the largest exhibition for facilities management in the Middle East,” said David Wilson, event director.
“This year we had over 60 exhibitors, a 27% increase on 2010. We also had 20 key-note speakers and multiple training sessions including a two day certified training course run by IFMA (International Facility Management Association) in their first visit to the Middle East.
“It highlights the growing importance of FM in the Middle East and is testament to an industry expected to be worth US $8 billion by 2013.”
At the World FM Congress, guests had the chance to compare best practices in the Middle East with that in Australia. Greg McTaggart, director of building development and maintenance at the Sydney Opera House, spoke about the day-to-day challenges of managing a building without compromising operational requirements, especially for a building that is listed by World Heritage.
Tim Bushell, director of engineering, Atlantis Palm Jumeirah, discussed energy management systems for more sustainable operations and David Redman, director of facilities at NASA talked about how it achieved LEED Silver Certification.
MEFMA (Middle East Facility Management Association) was also involved in the World FM Congress and Ali Al Suwaidi took part in a panel to discuss the legal requirements for Owner Associations and their respective responsibilities.
“Under the FM Expo brand, so much has been achieved in 2011 that we can be proud of,” said David Wilson, event director, FM Expo.
“We have organised and promoted two incredibly successful events; the World FM Congress with delegates attending from all four corners of the globe and Sustainable Facilities Expo with our trusted partners at the Environmental Centre for Arab Towns.
“We also expanded upon the training and invited IFMA to the UAE for the first time who managed an FMP accredited course on Project Management. And as part of FM Expo’s regional expansion, dmg :: events organised the inaugural Saudi FM Summit, supported by the Big 5 in Saudi Arabia. Bringing it all together, FM Expo has worked with over 40 partners this year – testament to an industry committed to its own development and promotion of best practice.”
Wilson said it received feedback from exhibitors that exceeded expectations, included those that signed new deals on-site and others who expressed delight at the volume of potential buyers that visited the show.
“With such success behind us, we will now take our momentum forward with even greater motivation and aim to double the size of the show for 2012,” he added.
“We have already signed up Farnek Avireal as a sustainable sponsor. We will also continue to develop our database of VIP visitors and through our valued partnership with Dubai Municipality, sustainability will remain a priority and will only grow in stature.”
Other announcements were made by Emcor Facilities Services (EFS) Group. It said it is on track to cross the 1 billion AED mark thanks to a project backlog by Second Quarter of this year.
The company recently launched operations in India and Egypt, following an expansion in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman, as part of its planned growth.
The strategy to expand in Egypt and India is to service Emcor’s multinational client base including GE, Unilever, ISS, HSBC and Credit Suisse.
It also wants to develop a sizable business in these countries with banks, financial institutions, universities and large gated communities.
Tariq Chauhan, group managing director, EFS, said the company will leverage these operations to source and develop FM talent to support its growing business in GCC and was pleased to announce recent project wins including MERAAS, Engineer’s Office, ISS and Omniyat.
The Board of Directors has also approved a new logo backed by a new brand entity, EFS.
“With the market growing, we see massive opportunities in the facilities management sector that is growing as more and more properties are completed and handed over,” added Chauhan.
He said the facilities management market in the GCC region is expected to soar to 3 trillion AED within the next 25 years, according to research by Middle East Strategy Advisors (MESA).
The UAE will account for an estimated value of 2.5 trillion AED, Saudi Arabia will follow at 352 billion AED and Qatar will be a close third at 337 billion AED.