Procurement of FM Services? flexibility versus strictness

Real Estate and Hospitality industries are in constant need tosource service providers. Upon handover of master developments and/or projects, theoperation lifecycle commences when services are essential to start with a reasonable overlapping. Sourcing of qualified competitive service providers is not an easy challenge. 

One of the most challenging instruments used to achievethe efficient and problem-free operationof diversified nature of assets is “procurement”. 
It is crucial to differentiate between procuring a service provider and/or contractor during the construction term and procuring a service provider post-completion of construction to handle facilities management services during the operation lifecycle of a development or a project. Large master developershavea robust post-handover operations. 
Diversity of assets is a key challenge in such organizations. It is not that smooth to manage a mix of malls, residential communities, hotels, touristic attractions, and retail centresin addition to iconic towers such as Burj Khalifa. Operations include day to day asset management such asroutine maintenance and state-of-the-art facilities management.
Strategising and processing procurement to cope with the requirement of every asset in terms of nature, criticality, geographical constraints and type of customers is not an easy challenge. 
Procurement, by default, is a rigid inelastic process which, in some organisations, jeopardises both quality and time effectiveness given its functional nature as a cost-driven process. Yet, senior managementin such organizations must be conscious to evade such mindset by eliminating the rigidity of the process and availing of areasonable balance between cost optimisation and quality to ensure the best value for money.
Procurement of facilities management services is exercised with considerations of several dimensions such astype of service, criticality of asset and the class of service provider. Complex sourcing process is in place to ensure quality and cost effectiveness are balanced but this complexity should not negatively influence seamless operation, and here comes the flexibility versus strictness challenge. 
Equal treatment, fairness, impartiality and transparency are basic drivers for any competitive bidding process. Thesedrivers form the ethical part of the process that integrates with the operational part which includes cost/quality balancing. To achieve such ethical and operational integration, not only robust process is established but also the essential degree of awareness at the end users side should be elevated as well. 
Organisational process assets help a lot in establishing the necessary degree of awareness in terms of how to treat the complexity of the procurement process in a way that maintains the flexibility of itsimplementation. 
Flexibility comes out of understanding. It is vital that process owners understand every aspect of the process and keep stakeholders informed and aware.
In Emaar’s Operations, we are conscious that we need to keep up to speed, maintain quality, ensure customer satisfaction and be cost-effective and that is why we do regular quality assurance audits of our procurement process. 

The Author is Hazem Hosny, Director, Commercial, Corporate Facilities Management, Emaar Properties PJSC










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