How is OMTrak performing in the Middle East?
Douglas Langmead, CEO of Aptitude Management Services, on OMTrak’s significance to Middle East FM
Please share some details of your operational presence within the Middle East’s FM sector.
Aptitude Management Services is a Dubai-based company covering the MENA region. We support the construction and property sectors in consultancy roles and information technology, with the benefits of nearly 40 years of regional experience across the property spectrum. We have represented Australia’s WebFM with sales and support for OMTrak in the region since 2007. Both companies were established in the year 2000, and work closely together at the cutting edge of new business practice.
How is your regional supply chain organised?
We support the entire region from our base in Dubai. Since OMTrak is a web-based Software as a Service (SaaS), we can support our clients around the region with backup from WebFM in Australia for continuity of support.
How was 2016 for your company, and what are your product line and operational plans for 2017?
2016 began very promisingly with highly productive discussions and negotiations with corporate developers. The general slowdown in commitment to new projects has delayed implementation on several major projects where OMTrak has been specified, but their construction contracts are yet to be awarded. We anticipate a strong year in 2017 as projects for [Expo] 2020 move into gear.
Which companies does your clientele include?
In the MENA region, OMTrak is currently being used by organisations such as UNESCO, Omran, and Moby. Major regional developers have realised the importance of timely handover of O&M manuals and asset registers, with the result that OMTrak has been specified for a number of major projects that are currently either out to tender or are coming up in the next year.
What are the distinctive features of the OMTrak platform?
OMTrak’s Manuals (O&M) module is the world’s leading system of its kind. OMTrak delivers quality electronic O&M manuals and asset data configured to the client’s asset management software. The Manuals module allows contractors and sub-contractors to upload their O&Ms progressively through the project. The system has a validation process to ensure a quality outcome.
Manuals (Design Reports) is a unique process developed by WebFM that allows the design team to ‘create’ its reports online in a pre-structured format. Each consultant contributes their content progressively and can attach relevant files or documents as needed.
What type of solutions are FM service providers or building operators looking for when they approach your company?
FM service providers and building operators and are typically looking for early insight into the services and systems of properties that they will be taking over, the ability to monitor and provide input on O&M manuals progressively from the outset of the project, and collaborative, web-based process flows for easy and auditable tracking of the progress of the manuals. Information needs to be systematically and consistently organised across all the trades and be fully searchable. The end result needs to be a digital database that migrates easily into whatever CAFM system they elect to use.
How is demand from the GCC’s FM and building operator market changing?
For many years, ‘build to sell’ was the guiding principle for new developments in the Middle East. Little thought was given to post-completion ownership and operations, with the result that little care or attention was given to handing over comprehensive O&M manuals and asset registers, resulting in high costs of efficiently operating and maintaining properties due to uncertainty, inefficiency, and ignorance about building systems and effective maintenance routines.
With the emergence of major institutional developers, reducing life time costs and service charges has become increasingly important. CAFM systems rely on accurate as-built data for maximum effectiveness and a smooth transition from construction to occupation.