Facilities management services provider FM Solutions launched their specialist technical unit, FM Solutions Technical, in June 2021 – thereby expanding their facilities management services to include technical maintenance.
“We are now able to provide a tailored package to our clients, ensuring that our service offering and associated costs are aligned to client- and site-specific needs. Through partnerships with our clients, we ensure compliance, increase client satisfaction, and reduce costs and potential environmental impacts. We pride ourselves on rendering a service that goes beyond the execution of the work,” explains FM Solutions director Zaahir Forbes.
FM Solutions clients span across the public and private sectors, as the company renders professional maintenance services to a range of contract types and sizes. The company caters to many disciplines in the technical maintenance space, including electrical services, building fabric services, heating, ventilation and air conditioning maintenance and repairs, and utility services.
Forbes points out that the launching of the technical unit was prompted by the company’s noticing a lack of consistency from service providers rendering similar services. FM Solutions also noticed that clients prefer engaging a single company for coordination of work.
“This technical unit has created job opportunities, met the demands of our clients and ensured that we contribute to corporate and social responsibility. The creation of hybrid working environments this past year, owing to Covid-19, has opened up new opportunities for us to provide new solutions for this changing business environment.”
Forbes affirms that the division only proposes a solution to clients after fully understanding their needs.
Client requirements are determined in various ways, such as engaging them on their needs and formulating a scope of work, as well as identifying the occupational health, safety and environment and legislative requirements that clients need to maintain their assets in alignment with.
Further assessments are completed through identifying warranties and guarantees that may be in place by original-equipment manufacturer service providers, proposing a solution, as well as discussing this solution with clients to ensure full comprehension and transparency.
“We are fortunate to have many experienced project managers, facilities managers and engineers who are skilled in conceptualising suitable service level offerings. These offerings will always be based on an understanding of the client’s core business. When a solution is proposed, it will be done to mitigate the associated risk and ensure that the technical service does not obstruct the client’s core services.”
The unit currently has a footprint in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.
“We have a number of contracts currently taken care of by this unit. In some instances, they are contracts that span across South Africa into neighbouring countries, and in other instances they are localised to one building in South Africa. We are finding that the need for professional facilities management services continues to grow throughout Southern Africa.”
Forbes argues that the facilities management industry has a role to play in empowering and uplifting individuals, as well as small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) by working in accordance with government policies, as well as the company’s in-house goals and responsibility of focusing on enterprise development.
“We ensure that our approach to implementing new contracts incorporates the creation of jobs and provides opportunities to promote existing employees into new opportunities. This is a concern in the industry, as more focus and structure needs to be provided for on-the-job coaching and mentoring – organisations need to drive a culture of empowerment among the employees and in the business. We have built this into our organisation through our policies.”
FM Solutions is contributing to meeting this demand for skills improvement in the local market by incorporating SMMEs into larger contracts with similar service level requirements as those of the principal contractors, and upskilling workers from these SMMEs on contract management, service level administration and technical skills.
Further, the company has experienced positive results in terms of its contribution to skills building in local SMMEs.
Such areas include an increased market presence, an increased skill set and service offering in these SMMEs, improved certification and Construction Industry Development Board grading of the SMMEs, as well as the improved ability of these SMMEs to bid on new opportunities.
FM Solutions has also identified some of these SMMEs as preferred service providers and contracts them on a recurring basis.
“We have incorporated a number of SMMEs in many of our contracts. This approach is part of our organisational values and goals. As corporate citizens, we are constantly updating our approach to ensure that we meet or exceed government goals and internal milestones,” he concludes.