Facilities management (FM) is a highly competitive market with an increasing number of providers trying to offer the most cost effective contract. So, how does an FM company differentiate itself from the rest of the crowd? Two of the most important criteria is quality of service, closely followed by the speed of response. The ability to deliver these vital attributes is usually dependent on the level of support from their suppliers.

Facilities management is essentially the art of delivering solutions to a wide range of problems. To be successful in this industry a provider must be either so large that it can deliver all of the necessary services in-house, or have the ability to carefully select partners, such as Sulzer, to supply some aspects of the overall solution.

With such a diverse range of services that need to be provided, most facilities managers have to decide which can be delivered by in-house professionals and which need to be outsourced to external partners. Of course, there will be differing strategies and assets depending on the types of building being managed. Multiple unit residential buildings have very different needs compared to commercial or industrial premises.

Discovering the right partners

Engaging external maintenance providers with the required levels of expertise and experience can deliver enhanced reliability especially if changes are required to the original specification. With the necessary skills and resources, expert maintenance providers can also deliver design and manufacturing facilities capable of implementing changes to promote efficiency and sustainability.

As a leading global supplier of repair solutions, Sulzer has extensive experience of delivering cost effective repairs and improvements for electric motors and rotating equipment such as air handling units (AHUs). As a pump manufacturer, the company also has the capabilities to design, manufacture and repair all makes and sizes of pump.

Every FM strategy will have unique aspects to it that require the project manager to collate a specific group of skills in order to deliver an effective solution. Depending on the customer, these can include central utilities, pumping systems, energy management as well as mechanical and electrical engineering support.

Delivering the service

It is important that any maintenance partner has, not only the skills and resources, but also original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partnerships and a distribution network that is capable of supplying the high-quality products and services throughout the marketplace. In addition, it may be necessary to be available on a 24/7 basis, in which case any partner must be properly staffed to ensure suitably skilled personnel are available round the clock.

As a worldwide supplier of electromechanical repair solutions, Sulzer has the expertise and an extensive network of service centers that ensure a fast response and swift resolution is never far away. This wealth of knowledge is being appreciated by more and more facilities management companies in the UK and further afield.

Accustomed to delivering turnkey solutions, Sulzer has a wide range of comprehensive asset management of electromechanical services. This includes support for pumping assets, ventilation fans as well as variable speed drives that can reduce energy costs and improve reliability. In addition, periodic preventative maintenance techniques such as thermal imaging surveys for electrical equipment or vibration analysis for bearings can also be deployed as part of the project strategy.

For those involved with complete industrial or commercial parks there may be a responsibility to service and maintain the high voltage transformers on the site, which is certainly a specialist operation. Sulzer can maintain and repair these transformers with a minimum of downtime, ensuring minimal disruption to the companies on the park.

Ultimately, for continued success, every FM team must deliver a reliable and cost effective service. This can be achieved by efficient management and careful matching of in-house and externally-sourced expertise, and ensuring that the latter is well positioned to deliver a high quality service.

  • Kenneth Booth, Magazine Manager

    With 15 years behind his belt in this sector, Kenneth has a keen interest in the construction and management of buildings, striving to learn more and more with each passing year. As a member of the launch team for Building Design & Construction Magazine, Kenneth has seen and followed some of the industry’s leading stories; whether it be the laying of the foundations for Heathrow’s terminal 5, the design and build of the Shard all the way through to the organisation and management of London 2012 Olympics, he's been there for the entire journey. Kenneth handles the majority of the sponsored and advertorial content, pushing the envelope of businesses looking to use Building Design & Construction as a mode of communication for their marketing agenda. With a profound understanding of how construction and property professionals can best put the right foot forward, Kenneth is able to support, and guide the marketing agenda of businesses of all shapes and sizes.

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