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In safe hands

Richard Naylor discusses UGL Services' work

INTERVIEWS, Facilities Management, Facilities managment, Kingdom Hospital, Saudi Arabia, UGL Services'

By winning a five-year facilities management contract for Kingdom Hospital Consulting Clinics (KHCC), UGL Services is slowly bringing international best practice to Saudi Arabia.

With this win, the FM company will be providing a whole range of services to KHCC, including asset management, condition audit services and computer software maintenance management, and management of existing service providers and staff.

In addition, it will assist the hospital in acquiring the Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation from a facilities management perspective.

Located in the Al Rabie Quarter in the northern part of Riyadh, it is one of Saudi Arabia’s latest and most extensively equipped private hospitals, and a member of Kingdom Holding Company, which is sponsored by HRH Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal Al Saud.

Richard Naylor, chief executive of UGL Services Saudi Arabia, says the project went live on September 15 2012, and the company carries out a managing agent role. “Up until we got involved they had their own in-house maintenance team. They obviously had some concerns about how that was operating.

“We went in and did a pitch, using our experience in the health sector industry in other parts of the world, and outlined what we felt we could bring to the organisation. This was coupled with the fact that they had an aspiration to look at the JCI accreditation,” says Naylor.

The JCI accreditation, Naylor explains, is not just focused on healthcare, but has implications on conducting preventive and reactive maintenance and facilities management. “So between our pitch and their aspirations to improve standards for the hospital and the patients, we were able to get the contract signed off.”

UGL Services has installed a management team of three (including a full-time facilities manager, a senior supervisor, and a planning/engineering co-ordinator) that sits between the CEO and senior management, and the in-house maintenance department.

“Our role is to bring in the management expertise and management styles we have from our experience from all over the world — setting up the CMS software, introducing PDA technology, asset gathering, conditioned surveys, putting together a structured and planned maintenance regime based on manufacturer recommendations, and managing the inventory they have at the moment by putting it together in a central hub.” He adds that the process is just “smartening up what they had in place for some time.”

He continues: “We’re bringing structure which is more focused on planned maintenance, with a view that if you’re maintaining the plant and equipment in line with manufacturer recommendations, then therefore your reactive maintenance should reduce.”

Kingdom Hospital recently announced expansion plans with a total value of $146.6m (SR550m).

Naylor says: “Kingdom has a $146m expansion plan over the next three years for the hospital. Although there are no guarantees for us, I’m hoping that as the hospital expands there will be more opportunities for us as well, and we hope to continue to work and build on that relationship.”

Naylor says the KSA market is growing slowly, but has some way to go. “There is a shift but it’s a slow change from where they have been to date, to where the Western world is, and certainly where the UAE is. You tend to think the GCC is probably all similar in terms of ability when it comes to maturity of the FM market, but it’s not.”

He also adds that the market has, till date, been single-service providers such as MEP, security, or cleaning, without a bundled approach to procurement. “It’s moving in the right direction, but it’s slow,” says Naylor.

Rising above everything, the firm has tasted success since its official registration in December 2011. In addition to the hospital, it is working on two 20-storey plus tall towers in Riyadh. It is also responsible for the operation and maintenance of several district cooling plants in Jeddah.

Naylor laughs: “It’s gone from being quite quiet to being kind of crazy. But crazy is good I guess.”

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