The industry needs an open debate

What has become apparent this month is that the industry needs to let off some steam.

COMMENT, Facilities Management

What has become apparent this month is that the industry needs to let off some steam.

While meeting with companies at this year's FM Expo in Dubai, it was interesting to hear people's thoughts on the different FM related subjects. From sustainability to pest control, engineering to catering, the conversation was broad.

There were some strong opinions expressed, mainly off the record, which led me to come to the conclusion that this industry needs a debate. A strong, lively, open debate for FM professionals to discuss the market and how best we can help it grow and mature.

Both positive and negative comments were made at the show. There is an obvious need for someone or something to take the lead and start directing the Middle East FM industry so it can compete on an international level.

The need for direction is crucial to the successful evolution of any industry.

As we already know, facilities management is presently in an embryonic stage. The potential to influence and shape the market is huge and one that needs embracing by the region.

A debate would enable industry professionals from all levels to sit down and discuss the state of the market and how best to drive it forward. Topics could include legislation as a driving factor, benchmarking, health & safety, the use of technology, best practice - the list is never ending.

There are many companies already out there with expertise in a certain field. These experts need to come forward and offer their knowledge to the market place, to help push FM to the forefront of international awareness. By doing so, places like Dubai can continue to strive towards creating an attractive and lucrative hub for the global business community.

Another element that could help FM find its feet is an industry body. Most developed markets have them to drive innovation and create a working establishment that echoes the voice of the people.

In an area where standards are few and far between, the companies that do work towards some form of benchmark are each at different levels, making it almost impossible to determine a local model.

International standards are a good place to start, but the Middle East plays host to a number of unique situations. Situations that need regional assessment and standardised implementation.

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