The UK’s facilities services provider, OCS Group recently announced a business integration initiative wherein it now offers Total Facilities Management (TFM) services and end-to-end solutions to Indian clients. Of the four partners providing services in the areas of engineering, housekeeping, hygiene & sanitation and security services, Buildotech spoke to Pradeep Menon, Managing Director, Absotherm Facilities Management Private Limited (AFM) about the company’s role as a engineering service provider in this partnership.
What are the advantages of forming a partnership consisting of varied specialities
Despite the fact that FM in India is still in the nascent stage and is unorganised to an extent, there is a huge potential in the country for Facility Management. When international companies like OCS come into the field, they bring with them high standards and benchmarks. So when partnerships are formed of the best in the industry, in this case a partnership of Absotherm Facilities Management Private Limited (engineering), Radiant Hospitality Services Private Limited (housekeeping), Cannon Hygiene India Private Limited (hygiene and sanitation) and Central Investigation & Security Services Limited (security services), there is bound to be really high standards and high quality of services. Additionally, this partnership is already attuned to making the best use of IT and software. This ensures that we are capable of providing hard core facility management services but also of providing project management solutions that are IT driven.
Absotherm Facility Management Pvt. Ltd (AFM) offers integrated services in the areas of Asset Management, Utility Management, Housekeeping, Janitorial Services and Security. The company is a single window to all Facility Management service requirements. Besides as a company that specialises mainly in engineering, AFM best suited for the OCS TFM model.
What will be AFM’s contribution to this partnership?
AMF’s strength lies in the derived model that works uniquely and manages the co-relation of Systems-Process-Manpower. Besides Facility Management Services and Retail Services, AMF is also involved in Project Management Consultancy, Safety & Energy Audits and Non Conventional Energy Solutions. We are working on many creative projects for corporates like Mahindra & Mahindra, Ginger Hotels, The Taj Group and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) to name a few.
In the front line, AFM is already a leader and with proper process and systems in place we are a force to reckon with. Housekeeping, janitorial services, pest control services and façade cleaning are a part of our service offerings. However, now under the TFM model, we will focus only on our core competency – engineering which includes mechanical and electrical – and let the other partners focus on their competencies. The idea is to give each individual a free hand in his/her area of focus. OCS will be the single point of contact and will distribute work accordingly to the requirement.
Today, Facility Management companies in India are the real-estate companies with a few individual FM companies like ISS. With this partnership we have an edge over others. We work with our customers as partners and not as contractors or customers. This partnership brings the total workforce to strength of 20,000 people that are skilled and are led by a dedicated and competent Management team.
How is IT and Software incorporated in your systems
We keep abreast with the latest advancements in software and implement the tools best suited for our processes. Currently we are in the process of implementing a total tool for the healthcare industry. This is for the easy management of patient care. Unfortunately in India, customers are still weary of such software and the costs involved. It will therefore take time to implement the same. Such leanings towards software also take away the burden of being man power driven. We aim to be more of a technology driven company and less of a manpower driven one.
However it is important to note that we will not be cutting down on manpower. At any given day we are short of technically qualified workforce. The idea is to get workforce from the rural population and train them with technically qualified skills. For this, OCS has a training centre that provides technical training. We have support from the Government as well for such training. The government gives subsidies for setting up training facilities and giving technical training to rural folk.
Besides this, our experts carry out on-the-job training in a normal working situation, using the actual tools and equipment, documents or materials that trainees will use when fully trained. On-the-job training has a general reputation as most effective for vocational work. Off-the-job training takes place away from normal work situations. It has the advantage that it allows people to get away from work and concentrate more thoroughly on the training itself. This type of training has proven more effective in inculcating concepts and ideas.
Currently we are providing training for security and housekeeping related services. Technical and software training will take some time.