Stephen Hilton is the Arcadis Leader for the Critical Facilities Sector in Asia and manages the Mechanical and Engineering Teams in Hong Kong. In both roles, he provides strategic support to clients and works with them to maximize the value of their built assets through the provision of consultancy, program and project management support.
One of his key focus areas is the reduction of energy consumption in data centers and corporate real estate to provide sustainable and cost-saving solutions. This includes Engineering Based Assessments that identifies Energy Management Opportunities (EMO’s). His team also specialize in the provision of Integrated Building and Energy Management Systems (IBMS).
Last week, Schneider Electric had the pleasure of hosting hundreds of customers and partners in Hong Kong for our Innovation Summit. One of those partners was Stephen Hilton, Global Engineering Director at Arcadis. Stephen co-presented a banking solutions customer success story with Schneider Electric’s Global Director and Solutions Architect, Hugh Lindsay from the Banking and Finance segment. Together, Schneider Electric and Arcadis provide value to our mutual customers in the banking and finance segment. Please find Stephen’s blog on the importance of working with clients as a critical facilities partner in the age of digital transformation below. Stephen’s blog was first published on September 29 on LinkedIn.
This week I was a guest panelist at the Schneider Electric Innovation Summit, Hong Kong, discussing the impact of digital technology with other industry leaders. We covered best practice and future trends, but also talked about how specializing and understanding your market sector, and working in partnership with your clients gives greater clarity in being able to deliver sustainable customer focused outcomes.
Whilst clients still require our specialist knowledge and engineering experience, we are in fact finding our added value is coming from the change in our approach. Our orientation is as strategic advisers, not just engineers. Rather than simply providing solutions, clients increasingly value our collaborative approach and ability to look at things from their point of view.
In a period where many of our clients are industrializing or outsourcing work to find operational efficiencies, we have found that it is increasingly important to make sure we’re working even closer, and in partnership with our clients than ever before. This approach not only gives better understanding of the needs of a client, but it allows us to take full ownership and responsibility of the work we deliver.
However, the model also needs the client and their managers to sign up to the concept and act as vendor managers rather than continue to perform in their original role and often the transition for them can be difficult. But progress will only be made once the client team have full confidence and trust in the ability of those performing the services of the main delivery partner.
Our team specialise in mechanical and electrical engineering within data centres and corporate real estate where we act as consultants and program managers on multi-faceted infrastructure projects that involve integrated systems in facilities that need to be kept in operation during our works and it is here that we need to show the client that we fully understand how their facilities and business operate. We need to understand our clients’ needs and challenges and empathise with them.
We have enhanced this approach to include other key stakeholders that support the client such as IT, Security, Procurement, Designers and the Facilities Management teams. These are all teams that play an integral part in operating and maintaining the equipment we install. This provides clarity around aspects of the project creating a holistic approach means we can build flexible and efficient systems that support the business from day one.
Even when changing out aged equipment, we complete a full analysis of how we can deliver the most efficient solution. We would never allow our teams to simply change out like-for-like part without considering sizing, specification and energy efficiency.
For example, we have recently installed an integrated building and energy management system for a large corporate client in a Tier 4 Data Centre. Rather than specifying the equipment we required we went to the market with an expression of interest and asked the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to recommend how they would design a solution to meet the client’s needs, which we outlined following a detailed user need’s analysis.
By helping clients improve their facilities operation we also help them reduce energy consumption and their carbon footprint whilst achieving significant cost-savings. But whilst technology can enable a reduction in energy consumption, it is in fact the specialized engineering team that optimize the operation of equipment and plant. This customer focused approach has significantly helped us to take the facility operation performance to the next level.