It is an obvious statement, albeit worth reiterating occasionally, that once we have constructed a building we need to operate and maintain it for a period that greatly exceeds the duration of the construction phase. This clearly has significant implications for the facilities management sector – rapid expansion of the built environment will ultimately lead to sustained growth for FM.

A case in point is the education sector in the Middle East which, according to research by the International Schools Consultancy Group (ISC), has experienced rapid growth. As this trend continues (and it will) there is therefore a growing legacy of built assets in the region that have very particular operational and maintenance requirements. Furthermore, in many cases these assets will need to be managed within limited budgets, making the efficiency of the FM department of paramount importance in delivering an acceptable service to internal customers.

Fortunately, there is a wide range of computer aided facilities management (CAFM) tools available to help streamline core FM processes while taking account of the specific needs of educational facilities. The right CAFM tools will enable FM staff to spend less time on routine administrative tasks so they can focus on the strategic aspects of their work.

To that end, the choice of CAFM systems is critical. Clearly there are CAFM modules to address core FM areas such as help desk, asset management, resource management and visitor management. However, it’s how these modules interact with each other that makes all the difference to the overall efficiency of the CAFM system. Sharing data between modules and making the right information readily available to mobile operatives and supply chain partners is where the real added value comes in.

And it’s that added value that ultimately results in an improved service for internal customers and a more positive perception of the FM department within the school, college or university.

These principles will be clearly illustrated at FM in Education seminar which Causeway will be hosting at The Change Initiative in Dubai during May. For more information on this event, and other Middle East events, please contact [email protected].

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