Be clear about cost expectations, warn FM experts
There is 'nothing good' about value engineering says Global FM Chair
Compromising on quality and safety is not an option, experts warned at MEFMA’s recent 2012 conference in Dubai.
As cost becomes an increasing bone of contention between service providers and clients, FM companies have been told to be transparent about what their costings are, and to make clients aware of the outcome of ‘short-cuts’.
"You have the responsibility of educating your clients on what is the total cost of ownership,” explained Teena Shouse, chairman of Global FM, the Global Facilities Management Association.
“Value engineering is the biggest oxymoron I have ever heard in my life. There is nothing good about taking the value out of something which may end up costing you more in the end."
She was supported by Nishant Ravindran, GM of Inaya Facilities Management, who said cost pressures were the biggest problem facing the industry.
"They will take on jobs below cost and then sacrifice on service delivery, which is the most negative impact you can have," he said at the conference, which was held at the Dubai World Trade Centre last week.
Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Authority’s Marwan bin Ghalaita warned FMs against these practices, saying investors were becoming particularly picky when it came to investing, and that while buildings looked fantastic externally, internally they failed to impress and RERA had collated anecdotal evidence of common defects and problems.
"Most of the complaints we receive nowadays are that 'we do not have a separate meter for chiller services,' or 'some of the installations are very bad for the AC.'
"Some of them complain that the signage is not proper, and the response time of the maintenance is very weak," Ghalaita said.
Ali Al Suwaidi, MEFMA board member, added that clients needed to be educated when thinking that shortcuts could be made on elements such as fire safety.
"Fire safety cannot be compromised on because this is to do with Civil Defense compliance and has serious implications.
"We will try to educate them in a mature way; today we have support form the Abu Dhabi government, the Dubai government, from Qatar even, and we are going to the Saudi Arabian market this year.
"We want to educate people and, without you being involved and sharing best practice in the GCC, it will not happen fast. This is about evolution,” said Al Suwaidi.