Vive La Différence

Maf Dalkia vive la difference
FM Magazine discussed MAF Dalkia’s energy-centric service delivery model with CEO, Alexandre Mussallam.

As facilities managers increasingly assume responsibility for building operating costs, FM Magazine discusses MAF Dalkia’s energy-centric service delivery model with chief executive officer, Alexandre Mussallam.



Alexandre Mussallam

Alexandre Mussallam

“MAF Dalkia has been very effective at introducing the energy management concept into the Middle East by focusing on technical deliverables,” says chief executive officer, Alexandre Mussallam. “We believe the combination of energy and facilities management services is one of the pillars of our success”.

With more than 5,000 sites under its management, the joint venture between the United Arab Emirates’ Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Group and global French energy giant, Dalkia, is indisputably one of the largest facilities management companies in the region.

FM Magazine was keen to discover, however, whether the company’s energy-centric delivery model differs significantly from those of other service providers.


Does MAF Dalkia subcontract any facilities management functions to third-parties?

Company policy is not to subcontract multi-technical or energy related functions unless there are valid reasons for doing so.

Valid reasons will include regulatory or legal restrictions limiting the scope or nature of the work we can undertake; with typical examples being local laws governing the provision of fire detection or prevention services and contractual terms stipulating which companies can supply spare parts or consumables.

There will also be rare occasions when our teams will not have specific skills that may be required to work with equipment from particular manufacturers.

But, in general, we only subcontract soft services to third parties since this complements our strategy of maintaining the company’s position as the leading, multi-technical energy services provider in the region.


How do you ensure quality standards are maintained by soft service providers across multiple facilities?

When services are subcontracted, MAF Dalkia has a strict policy of ensuring delivery meets international industry standards. We include key performance indicators (KPI) within service level agreements (SLAs), and insist that expertise relevant to the services that are to be provided is present within subcontractors’ management teams.

Our quality management system also gives clients an additional layer of protection by governing all procedures used in assessing, selecting and monitoring subcontractors. You have made inroads into commercial facilities management following your appointment as service provider to Standard Chartered Bank’s UAE branch network. What other sectors and markets will you be targeting and why?

Although the Standard Chartered Bank contract is very significant for us, we already had financial sector references across the region. And the sector remains one of our most targeted simply because we have acquired the knowledge that is necessary to excel at service delivery.

We have also gained similar levels of expertise in other sectors, ranging from telecommunications to education; and our vision is to enhance facilities management provision within these sectors by bringing Dalkia’s global expertise to the regional market.

The Healthcare sector is evolving rapidly across the region and since Dalkia is a dedicated building energy services provider to hospitals and medical facilities globally, we believe we can leverage our expertise to achieve savings for clients.

We will also be targeting the aviation sector to complement our existing expertise with Sharjah International Airport.


Can you quantify energy management as a percentage of total facilities management expenditure in general, mixed-use facilities?

We estimate 60 per cent of total operating costs relate to energy. This is generated mainly by HVAC systems. Does this explain your company’s obsession with energy-related services?

MAF Dalkia’s focus on, and commitment to, energy management is a result of Dalkia’s position as the world leader in this area and the mission we share for preserving and sustaining our natural environment in the best possible way. We recognise there are different paths to achieving long-term savings for clients; however, energy management does play a pivotal role.


Would it be fair to describe your company’s primary function as “in house” facilities management provider to MAF Group’s principal operating company, MAF Properties?

MAF Dalkia is not an “in house”, facilities management services provider to MAF Properties. The recent project awards from MAF Properties to MAF Dalkia were the outcome of floated requests for proposals (RFP) and our company was selected for several reasons. These included international delivery standards, competitor benchmarking and value for money.

The wider MAF Group operates with a high degree of governance to ensure qualified service providers and contractors are evaluated rigorously as part of any tender process.

MAF Dalkia is therefore required to adhere to standard market practices and procedures and meet all contractual bonding requirements defined within SLAs. Moreover, because we focus primarily on the delivery of multi-technical and energy management services, we can still engage with companies that provide traditional “facilities management” services. Dalkia is one of the world’s largest energy services companies.


Does the marketplace perceive MAF Dalkia primarily as an energy management or facilities management services provider?

MAF Dalkia remains committed to being the leader in building energy services, however, across the region, we are overwhelmingly perceived as a multi-technical services company that includes energy management within its core services offering.

It is in our opinion that energy savings are inextricably linked with the provision of multi-technical services: you can rarely achieve one without the existence of the other.

Even when we deliver traditional facilities management services, we remain alert to any potential for energy savings: such is the degree to which energy management concepts are integrated into our daily routine.

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