[box type=”shadow” ]Facilities management no doubt is being increasing opted for, but what is interesting is the fact that it is expanding into different sectors. One such sector that is fast gaining prominence is – Retail. This article gives a brief on Retail Facility Management (RFM) in the UAE.[/box]
RFM is a lucrative, niche industry within the much larger facilities maintenance industry. RFM differs from other segments of the industry because it focuses on maintaining and managing retail stores, distribution centres, outlets, lifestyle centres, malls and standalone stores. RFM covers a wide range of functions from general maintenance/repair to disaster preparedness, preventive maintenance as well as ensuring the smooth functioning of the retail space.
– Youssef Abillama
Within the retail sector, a ‘one size fits all’ approach to FM is impossible, as every retailer has a unique set of assets and the FM solution must reflect that, particularly in the UAE where many developers construct residences, hotels and other entertainment outlets alongside their major retail outlets. Compared to other facilities, providing FM in a retail centre is literally a 24/7 job, notes Youssef Abillama, Co-founder and CEO of MMG Overseas Ltd, a regional facility management group present since 1999 in the Middle East, Lebanon, Qatar and Syria with more than 700 technical and administrative staff. He says that in a retail sector, the FM provider has to ensure that, for example, the outlet is clean, the AC is working and the POS is working, during opening hours, but also has to carry out other works after closing which cannot be done when there are customers there. Attention to detail and rapid response to any issues is also critical.
– Steve Beesley
One of the companies that provide integrated facilities management to retail spaces is Transguard. While they specialise in the delivery of FM and Security services into retail and leisure space, they are also responsible for delivering services into some of the most iconic malls and theme parks across the UAE as well. Besides providing the required technical training,whether in maintenance, cleaning or security, they deliver customer service training for their retail contracts through the dedicated Transguard Centre of Excellence. According to Steve Beesley, Transguard Chief Operating Officer – Managed Services, at an operational level, services such as cleaning and security take on a much wider remit with a significant focus on customer service. “More often than not, the cleaner or security guard is the first point of contact for retail customers and it is, therefore, important that staff at this level have excellent customer service and language skills,” notes Beesley.