'Retail environment is about customer experience'

One of the key clients where ENGIE Cofely has successfully implemented the RCM module is The Dubai Mall. In an exclusive interview with FM today, Graham Easton, Operations Director talks about the benefits and the changes they have experienced by applying RCM at the Mall. 

When did The Dubai Mall adapt the RCM methodology? How different is it from traditional Preventive Maintenance? 

Throughout our initial contract term we work in conjunction with Emaar Facilities Management to collect data and implement the FM processes to enable us to carry out a Reliability-Centered Maintenance analysis of the business and energy critical assets. Revisions of the maintenance job plans enable us to reduce the scheduled maintenance manpower which was key in our contract renewal bid in 2017. RCM is a risk-based maintenance approach which customises your maintenance strategy against your business risk plan. The traditional PPM approach treats an asset in one building the same as another irrespective of that business type or asset use. This often results in the over maintenance of non-critical assets. 

What kind of changes have you witnessed? 

There are a lot of changes one can witness through this module. RCM improves the predictability of asset failure and allows better planning. It provides more reliable asset condition information which is key to accurate life-cycle planning and Opex & Capex forecasting. It also increases the technical competences of the operatives. RCM also produces a reduction in unplanned maintenance and reduction of component replacement. 


What are some of the challenge involved with RCM, especially when it comes to a retail property? 

A retail environment is about customer experience; therefore the criticality analysis has to take account of what affects the customer experience. Malls by their nature have to continually update the customer offering and experience and this makes them a very dynamic space with continuous change. This puts changing and often increasing demand on the assets and their criticality. The reliability of equipment has to be maintained when it is operating to or beyond its design operating conditions. There is a general resistance for end-users and asset owners to move away from traditional maintenance approach and manufacturers recommended maintenance periods. ENGIE Cofely had the advantage of working with a visionary customer in Emaar Facilities Management, who adopted this as part of their overall 2016 – 2100 maintenance strategy.

The skill set for predictive maintenance analysis was not present at technician level. The challenge is up-skilling the required resource without increasing cost. Investment in initial data collection and CMMS system configuration is not always seen as having a return on investment. It is the final application that delivers the ROI. RCM is a dynamic maintenance system and needs to change with business risk and asset performance. 


What kind of savings have you witnessed since the use of RCM? 

We have seen savings in terms of reduction of scheduled maintenance hours, a reduction in component failure and therefore spare parts costs, as well as life-cycle enhancement, business continuity through reduction of equipment downtime, and energy savings through optimising energy critical asset performance. 

Can you give us a brief about the association between ENGIE Cofely and The Dubai Mall? 

Engie Cofely’s relationship with Emaar began in 2008 with Burj Khalifa, which then extended to The Dubai Mall in 2014. Emaar required a service partner to work in close association to help develop and implement their vision and for the region, industry leading world-class FM strategy. 


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Nivedha Sridhar is a member of the founding team at Facilio Inc