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FMM: Revolutionizing Qatar’s facility management game with robotics

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FMM hit the headlines in May 2022, with the launch of its Virtual Reality training platform for the company staffers

For the past few years, Qatar’s booming construction industry has brought about a surge in demand for facilities management (FM) services. In this dynamic and competitive landscape, FMM has managed to rise as a key leader in this industry, thanks to an innovative approach based on tailor-made services delivered by its highly experienced team.

Created through the Joint Venture of Qatar Airways and Spain-based Ferrovial Group in 2013, , FMM has been managing and operating the facilities management services of Hamad International Airport (HIA) since the latter’s opening in 2014. Being one of the Qatar’s most prestigious landmarks, the award-winning Airport daily welcomes 100,000 passengers. . In 2022, it was voted the ‘World’s Best Airport’ for the second time in a row by Skytrax.

FMM provides facilities management activities at HIA such as daily cleaning of a combined surface of over 600,000 sqm, conducting more than 20,000 maintenance monthly tasks and ensuring the safety and smooth functioning of over 120 km of roads and tunnels throughout the Hamad International Airport network.

“We feel so grateful with what we have achieved so far, as our main client portfolio is based in key landmarks in Qatar,” said FMM CEO Eng. Irene Vidal, while adding, “We manage iconic cultural facilities for Qatar Museum or architectural gems as the Smart City Msheireb Downtown Doha”.

The HIA project turned out to be a crucial one for the FMM, in terms of building its capabilities, and developing a robust platform for staff recruitment, training, and Performance assessment. This ensured a continuous service improvement as FMM keeps on investing in developing their manpower and technology.

“Training is the pillar of our quality services,” stated Patrick Ishac, FMM HR Manager.

“All our staff go through a rigorous induction program followed by several refreshment and specialization sessions that count for approximately 15 days per year. We focus on our procedures, health and safety, as well as customer experience management as we want our operational staff to be able to handle challenges without the constant monitoring of their supervisors,” the official elaborated further.

FMM’s staff training took a turn in May 2022, as the company launched its virtual reality training platform. When asked about this tool, FMM CEO Eng. Irene Vidal responded, “This opportunity came as a solution to a problem that we identified, as our new joiners were idle while waiting for their documents and training to start working at HIA, we decided to create a tool to train them remotely but showing the actual rooms of the facility.”

Hence, the interface of this training platform reproduces our clients’ facilities, and the new recruits are able to see their upcoming working environment and we train them inside much before they obtain their working and access permit to the site. This platform enables us to significantly gain in efficiency as our valued employees join faster than before,” she added further.
Since its inception, FMM has put its emphasis on technology, as the company kept identifying innovations like robotics that could improve its operational performances.

FMM, as of 2023, uses the world’s most advanced cleaning robots in HIA and the state-of-the-art Aisha Bint Hamad Hospital.
According to Ms. Jessica Jung, Custodial Manager of FMM, “With more than 2,000 cleaners working round the clock in our projects, the addition of such high-performing robots naturally boosts our overall cleaning performance and safety records.”

These cleaning robots have the ability to work continuously for six hours, with only two hours of charging time. These devices can also clean all types of corners and edges, something which is considered impossible for conventional machines. Moreover, these robots’ environmental performance manages a monthly saving of over 4,000 liters of water, compared to standard cleaning.

FMM also uses robots in the other daily maintenance activities to gain in time, efficiency, and safety, like cleaning of conduits. The ducting inspection, which is a time intensive activity, due to scaffolding erection and safety risks, is now performed by these robots, which are equipped with cameras and mounted on remotely controlled mobile platforms. These devices inspect ducts in a faster and thorough manner than manual methods.

“The high-resolution images and videos we obtained with these robots were not achievable before with manual cleaning,” said Juanjo Garcia, Senior Manager at HIA, while adding, “We are moreover able to reach areas which were impossible to inspect manually. At the end, it reduces staff downtime and risks while generating savings and better performance.”

FMM employees have also been trained on how to interact, control, assist and maintain these robots. When asked about the next steps of FMM, Eng. Irene Vidal, FMM CEO declared, “We are convinced of the promising future of robotics in Facility Management, and therefore, the team supports the idea that such technology will inevitably get an ad value.”

“Our next major step will be to support the State of Qatar of their vision about sustainability, for this we have brought electric cars into our fleet of vehicles which unavoidably will become standard. Then our long-term goal is to focus in providing upscale FM services to our clients while reinforcing and developing partnership with equipment and material manufacturers to remain competitive and as a pioneer in this industry,” she said further.

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