The Middle East’s leading facilities management (FM) company for 2013 and 2014 is putting customer experience at the forefront of its technical innovation as it looks to transform the modus operandi of the industry.
Emrill has won a brace of awards during a three-year period, which has seen it grow 70 percent and deliver services to some of the most prestigious projects in the country with sites across many sectors, both residential and commercial.
It has become a reliable go-to for all things related to building maintenance, with projects spanning from international airline Etihad Airways to the sustainable Masdar City in Abu Dhabi.
As well as customer experience, technological advancement at the company is driven by the desire to impart sustainable practices across the UAE, demonstrated by it’s recent launch of the ground breaking ‘Business Smart’ model which combines the use of mobile maintenance teams, mobility solution and wireless monitoring.
The advantage of deploying user-friendly technology is not only beneficial to clients in terms of response times and cost savings but also to staff, who are trained in new methods to stay up-to-date with the latest technology and provided development opportunities thanks to Emrill’s Centre of Excellence.
Only last month did Emrill’s Managing Director Jason Ruehland see the company reclaim it’s accolade as the region’s best at the Facilities Management Middle East (FMME) Awards in Dubai for a second year in a row.
“We won the award for constantly improving ourselves and raising the bar in an extremely competitive industry and being recognized as a market leader,” he said. “We don’t operate in the status quo and always work to advance the industry.
“It means a multitude of things. It’s great for customers and employees who can see we are being recognised where people want to work with us and for us.”
The European CEO magazine also awarded Emrill best FM Company in the Middle East, sitting alongside other FMME recognitions from recent years including Health and Safety Initiative of the Year and Innovative Use of IT in FM.
Central to this success are three core pillars comprising people, quality and technology. “Everything we do relate to these aspects; everybody knows what we stand for and that has been the cornerstone of our success,” Ruehland added.
The full works
Having been established in 2002, Emrill’s initial work comprised of looking after the premises of key shareholder Emaar Properties and has since evolved to provide and serve a number of industries such as retail, hospitality, education and leisure.
Emrill offers their clients, hard services, which include mechanical and electrical maintenance while providing soft services such as security, cleaning and concierge. Emrill has two divisions, one focused and specialising in energy management and engineering while their other specialist division focuses on providing home maintenance services.
Showcasing the armory of quality services provided is the five-year IFM (Integrated Facilities Management) contract with international airline operator Etihad Airways, a deal secured about a year ago.
“This is an important international client of ours,” Ruehland added. “We manage a whole array of their sites in the UAE including their headquarters, training premises, staff accommodation, airside facilities for customer services and retail outlets.”
Emrill’s client range spans from airlines, corporates and residential to the very unique Masdar City, believed to be one of the most sustainable communities on the planet just southeast of Abu Dhabi and designed to be a hub for clean-tech energy businesses.
The city, designed by Norman Foster, demonstrates the cutting edge in low carbon buildings and transport systems, with Emrill providing facilities management services on all key sites from offices and apartments to the new university.
This work highlights the company’s commitment to sustainability as a key part of its CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) strategy.
“We are able to turn sustainability into a business,” Ruehland said. “We retrofit systems to save energy in buildings which makes money for us and saves money for clients so everybody wins. If a client lacks the capital to invest in this we can offer them a finance deal as an incentive for our energy performance contract.”
Emrill has teamed up with Crowley Carbon, Ireland, to deliver solutions that quickly assess what can be done to improve energy efficiency by up to 40 percent which creates considerable savings for clients on their energy bills which can rack up into the millions.
Exploring change through technology
Departing from traditional modes of operation via innovative technology that enables end users to grasp their operations and utilise the conveniences of e-commerce has played a large part in the company’s recent recognition.
“I’ve always had a passion for innovation and technology that enables change to business models and this has accelerated over the past few years,” he said.
“I believe you can try a lot of different things out for little money and you know most won’t work, but the one that does can be a real game changer. It is about asking the right questions and not accepting the way things have been done is not always the right way.
“What I have noticed is that the industry all around the world has been constrained by old school technology, technology, stuff that’s for engineers by engineers, yet the industry is about servicing customers.”
With this in mind, Emrill partnered with technology company Urbanise to develop service solutions designed for customers, including e-commerce platforms for FM services and remote monitoring of assets that enables business critical maintenance, like vibration, temperature and flood detection, removing the need to have staff measuring on site.
As well as offering ease of use to customers, the new technologies invested in are also easily passed on to the 6000-strong workforce and not reliant on arduous training.
Emrill’s employees, on top of being tuned to the latest techniques, actively input into the culture of innovating at the company, central to which is the Centre of Excellence, a body, which has seen ramped up investment in the past few years.
At least 1000 employees pass through the centre each year, making the most of the dedicated training rooms for both hard and soft skills.
“It is not just about the technical hard skills,” Ruehland said. “Equally if not more important is the soft skills right through the ranks like leadership and how to deal with difficult conversations. This runs right through the business.”
Staff are also looked after to ensure life and work balance with good residential and recreational facilties. Emrill has accommodations across the UAE and invests huge resources into keeping them healthy and entertained while they are away from home.
The Annual Emrill Carnival runs across the residential communities for four months of the year and involves a range of cultural and sporting events, culminating in a large party dedicated to prize giving and celebrating achievements.
Diversity is a key part of the company’s beliefs proven by the fact that it employs workers from 21 nations across the Asian subcontinent, Africa and the Middle East.
Ruehland said: “These guys are really important to the quality of service we deliver. Their engagement and enthusiasm is what drives our business so it is important we look after them.”
By continuing to invest in staff and industry-changing techniques focused on customer experience, Emrill looks well-placed to defend its 2014 title of Overall FM Company of the Year in the Middle East.