• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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We tailor our services to align with clients’ scope of work – Alpha Mead MD

We tailor our services to align with clients’ scope of work – Alpha Mead MD

Wole Olufore, managing director, Alpha Mead Facilities Limited, in this interview with BusinessDay, in commemoration of the World Facilities Management Day, spoke on a number of issues, including the company’s track record of developing skilled facility management professionals, investment in technology to enhance its operations, such as deployment of sensors to some of the facilities it manages to monitor various aspects such as temperature, humidity, energy consumption, equipment performance, and occupancy. He also spoke on a key challenge in the industry, which according to him, is the perception of Facilities Management as simply maintenance or repairs. Excerpts:

As the world celebrates World Facilities Management Day, what message would you like to share with the facilities management community in Nigeria?

Happy World Facilities Management Day to all the incredible facility managers in Nigeria! Our behind-the-scenes work is essential for keeping businesses running smoothly, workplaces safe and healthy, and contributing to a positive built environment. Our FMs are the unseen heroes who ensure everything functions efficiently, from smooth operations to comfortable workspaces. Here’s a message to celebrate All FMs in Nigeria, Africa and across the globe: Thank you for your tireless efforts in maintaining and optimising facilities across Nigeria and elsewhere. Your expertise plays a critical role in the success of countless organisations. You significantly contribute to productivity, safety, and sustainability in Nigerian workplaces. Your work fosters a positive environment that allows people to thrive.

Facility management is a dynamic and growing field. Keep up the fantastic work, and explore the many opportunities for professional growth and advancement within the industry.

On this World FM Day, let’s celebrate our achievements and acknowledge the vital role FMs play in Nigeria’s development. We inspire, integrate, and innovate, making a real difference every day.

How has AM Facilities Management Nigeria Limited contributed to the growth and development of the facilities management industry in Nigeria?

Alphamead has a strong track record of developing skilled facility management professionals. Many former Alphamead employees have gone on to lead their own FM companies or join larger corporations as in-house FM specialists.

We foster an environment that encourages staff to grow their FM expertise as we actively support their professional development by contributing significantly to their professional qualification fees.

Our Training platform- Alphamead Training Center (AMTC), recognised by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), provides ongoing training opportunities for all staff. This ensures they stay current with the latest FM trends and best practices.

We celebrate World FM Day annually by hosting events that bring together industry leaders across the built environment. These events encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration, ultimately improving FM practices and adding value to businesses in a dynamic environment. Discussions are centered on the year’s World FM Day theme to stay relevant.

What innovative solutions and technologies has your company adopted to enhance its services and stay ahead in the industry?

As a process-driven company, as part of our continuous improvement efforts, we have invested in technology to enhance the way we do what we do. We deploy sensors to some of the facilities we manage to monitor various aspects like temperature, humidity, energy consumption, equipment performance, and occupancy. This data enables us to structure our planned preventive maintenance (PPM), optimise energy usage, and improve space allocation.

For smart buildings, we use a digital model of the building to help track assets, visualise potential changes, and manage maintenance schedules. We Integrate software for Computerised Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS), space management, and tenant requests in a centralised platform for streamlining operations, improving communication, and enhancing transparency. Others include: Using keyless entry systems and smart locks allows access control and monitoring for better security and convenience.

Self-Service Tenant Portals where Tenants can submit maintenance requests, access building information, and pay rent through online portals.

Mobile Apps- Our in-house developed Facility management app- eye-on-site allows our staff to report issues and raise requests in real-time, access maintenance schedules, and manage tasks on the CMMS.

Sustainability and wellness: Smart Building Technologies through whichsystems integrating lighting, heating and cooling can automatically adjust based on occupancy and weather conditions, optimising energy consumption and creating a comfortable environment.

Indoor Air Quality Monitoring: Sensors can track air quality, allowing for adjustments to ventilation systems and ensuring a healthy indoor environment.

Occupancy-Based Sensors: Lights and other systems can be automatically activated or deactivated based on space utilisation, further reducing energy use.

Predictive maintenance:

Machine learning and AI: Analysing sensor data using AI can predict equipment failures before they occur, allowing for proactive maintenance and preventing downtime.

Condition monitoring: Continuously monitoring equipment performance helps identify potential issues and schedule maintenance before they escalate into major problems.

By adopting these solutions and technologies, Facility Managers can improve efficiency, optimise costs, enhance occupant satisfaction, and gain a competitive edge in the industry.

How do you ensure that your facilities management services align with the needs and expectations of your clients, particularly in the Nigerian context?

As Facility managers, we understand that client expectations vary. We tailor our services to align with each client’s specific scope of work and service level agreements (SLAs). However, a core focus remains constant: achieving exceptional customer satisfaction.

Clients rely on facility managers as built environment specialists. We leverage our expertise to navigate complex details and ensure a positive customer experience while delivering measurable value.

What challenges does the facilities management industry face in Nigeria, and how does AM Facilities Management Nigeria Limited address these challenges?

A key challenge in the industry is the perception of FM as simply maintenance or repairs. At Alphamead Facilities, we recognise that FM is a strategic discipline contributing to a company’s overall success. We bridge this knowledge gap by educating clients on how optimised facilities can reduce costs, enhance employee well-being, and support business objectives.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the critical role of facility management. FM professionals became crucial partners with C-suite executives, ensuring hygiene protocols and adapting workplaces to minimize risk. This experience demonstrated the strategic value FM brings to an organisation.
Delayed service charges are a common issue in Nigeria. Alphamead embraces technology to address this. Innovative solutions, such as restricting power access for non-paying tenants, service charge defaulters and we also incentivize timely payments.

How does your company prioritise sustainability and environmental responsibility in its facilities management practices?

In Facility Management (FM), sustainability and environmental responsibility go hand-in-hand. It’s about managing facilities in a way that minimizes negative impacts on the environment while ensuring long-term benefits for occupants and the organization. Here’s a breakdown of the key aspects:

Sustainability in FM: Focuses on the “three Ps”: People, Planet, and Profit. Sustainable FM practices aim to improve occupant well-being and employee satisfaction (people), while minimising environmental impact (Planet), all within a financially responsible framework (Profit).

Resource efficiency: Reducing consumption of resources like energy, water, and materials through various strategies like smart building technologies, water-saving fixtures, and waste reduction programs.

Long-term thinking: Sustainable FM considers the lifecycle of a building and its associated products, prioritizing energy-efficient systems, durable materials, and responsible waste management practices.

Environmental Responsibility in FM:

Minimising environmental footprint: Focusing on practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, and waste generation. This can involve using renewable energy sources, implementing green cleaning procedures, and promoting recycling programs.

Compliance with Regulations: Ensuring the facility adheres to all environmental regulations regarding waste disposal, water usage, and energy efficiency.

Adapting to Climate Change: Taking proactive measures to prepare for the effects of climate change, such as implementing heat mitigation strategies or flood protection measures.

What training and development programmes does AM Facilities Management Nigeria Limited offer to its employees to enhance their skills and knowledge in facilities management?

As an IFMA-affiliated training center, Alphamead empowers our staff through ongoing professional development opportunities. This ensures they stay current on the latest FM trends and best practices, including critical contemporary issues. This commitment to continuous learning equips them to excel as facility management professionals.

How does your company leverage technology, such as facility management software, to streamline its operations and improve efficiency?

Alphamead embraces technology to optimise service delivery and cater to diverse client needs. Our data analytics platform provides valuable insights that guide informed decision-making.

We’ve developed innovative mobile apps to enhance efficiency: Alphamead Eye-on-Site: This app facilitates real-time inspections and issue logging, allowing for prompt problem identification and resolution. Alphamead Call-2-Fix: This app empowers clients to submit requests for specific unbundled FM services. This approach offers greater cost control and caters to clients who only require specific services, not a full FM package.

By harnessing technology, Alphamead streamlines operations, empowers clients with choice, and delivers exceptional service.

What are the future plans and expansion strategies of AM Facilities Management Nigeria Limited in the facilities management industry?

Expanding our reach in Nigeria: Alphamead is committed to growth in the Nigerian market. We’re strategically targeting several key areas:

High-Net-Worth Individuals: We’re expanding our services to cater to the specific needs of high-net-worth individuals and their luxury homes.

Public Sector: Recognising the growing importance of the public sector, we’re actively pursuing FM contracts within various government agencies.

Infrastructure Projects: We’re partnering with major investors in large-scale infrastructure projects, leveraging our expertise to ensure service delivery aligns with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles.

These are in addition to regular responses to EOIs for FM service provisions across the states and industries.

How does your company measure its success, and what metrics do you use to evaluate its performance and impact in the industry? Where do you see AM Facilities limited in the next 5 years?

At Alphamead, we leverage the balanced scorecard to comprehensively measure our performance. We track key metrics like the number of portfolios managed, the total square meters under our care, and year-over-year revenue growth. However, our ambitions extend beyond these traditional measures.

Within the next five years, we aim to become the leading FM company in Africaby:

Capturing Significant Market Share: We strategically plan to secure a substantial portion of the African FM market.

The Partner of Choice: We’ll strive to be the preferred FM partner for clients seeking exceptional service. This will be achieved through our relentless focus on continuous improvement and our commitment to leveraging technology to deliver best-in-class FM solutions.