In The Media
Article from: Focus Malaysia, Issue 265, 30 Dec 2017
HARTA MAINTENANCE VENTURES INTO ENERGY MANAGEMENT
It’s vital for companies to keep their ears to the ground and being able to switch gears when needed. Conversely, change can only happen if the leader of the company steers the vision accordingly.
For Harta Maintenance Sdn Bhd, technology advancement and globalisation have pushed the company to diversify its services to include energy as well as asset management in order to keep itself ahead of the competition.
“Harta [Maintenance] started off as a small cleaning company in 1980 but began offering full-fledged services in integrated facility management (IFM), from indoor air quality to cleaning and housekeeping, landscape and pest control,” its founder and managing director Datuk Radzali Hassan tell FocusM.
“With the current technological stage, the supply exceeds the demand, so the prices are falling, the globalisation adds a component that facilitates new entrants and low production cost. Therefore, the perspective must change, think outside the box and develop a clear picture of how to break from competition,” he explains.
The company’s estimated revenue last year stood at RM101 mil and aims for a 13% growth to RM114 mil this year.
The company which is head-quartered in Batu Caves, Selangor has grown over the years, providing services to major shopping complexes, including Mid Valley Megamall, and hospitals.
Harta Maintenance’s competitive edge is not only due to its technical know-how and machinery, but also the environmental-friendly method it applies.
Two-pronged diversification plan
Five years ago, Harta Maintenance developed its own franchise for its cleaning services called Harta Environmental Management (Harta EMS), which later changed its name to Harta Rovers.
What makes Harta Rovers different is that it is essentially a cleaning services business on the move where all the equipment is kept in a van and three cleaners will be travelling in the van to undertake cleaning work.
This is done to create cost-efficiency as the franchise will not have to spend on storage area and lean team of three would be enough for small-scale cleaning. Harta Rovers also provides maintenance and specialised cleaning such as for carpets, curtains and sofa.
To-date, Harta Rovers franchisee has grown to five, where three are in the Klang Valley, one each in Johor and Terengganu. The franchise fee is RM20,000 for one and a half years and Harta Rovers will also be providing the training.
Cleaning equipment where machines such as vacuum cleaner, portable steam machine and pressure washer will be provided for a sum of RM40,000. Harta Rovers’ services range from RM55 for specialised cleaning and RM1.20 per square feet for floor cleaning. The company also has operation offices in Johor and Penang.
“Our major revenue contributor is still the [large-scale] cleaning services. However, in meeting uo with clients’ expectations we have introduced improved services such as green cleaning processes, high-tech equipment and attentive customer service engagement.” Radzali says.
The company had also begun to concentrate on another component of facility management. “We have niched into energy management and indoor air quality. We foresee that will be our future development area that we will be focusing on,” he adds.
The energy management system that Harta Maintenance has embarked on are computer-based control systems that control and monitor a building’s mechanical and electrical equipment such as heating, ventilation as well as lighting, where the building services plant is connected to back a central computer to allow control of on/off times, temperatures and humidity.
Harta Maintenance is also responsible for the cabling and connections and any cabinets or panels in the building, as well as the testing of sensors accuracy and the safety of all digital inputs in the building.
Meanwhile, indoor air quality has become pertinent as many companies operate from office buildings or commercial buildings that are air-conditioned.
Indoor environment quality (IFQ), which focuses on airborne contaminants, is another area of focus for Harta Maintenance. It provides services that prevent airborne bacteria, mould and other fungi, as well as radon from contaminating the building.
In IEQ, Harta Maintenance uses environmental-friendly machines and cleaning materials that do not emit pollutants to purify the indoor air quality and ensure that the humidity level will no longer make the building spores prone. Both building management and IEQ require high technical skills and Harta Maintenance would train its employees based on the requirement.
Radzali also opens up on the ways he deals with operational issues. “During the last ten years building Harta, of course there were times when I realised pieces of the business or certain strategies weren’t working.”
“My approach is always to admit as early as possible that the approach is failing and work to resolve the situation, without letting it drag on. I’ve had to make some tough decisions but ultimately, I think the best companies are those that can recognise when something isn’t going right, and fix it, instead of just turning a blind eye because it’s easier.” Radzali says.
The company now owns one of the industry’s most sought-after heavy duty cleaning machines such as ride-on sweeper and ride-on cleaner, which are the size of a van and capable of cleaning rough surfaces such as a car park. The cleaners, which are imported from Germany, is energy-saving and battery-operated instead of diesel-powered.
Harta Maintenance is also looking at branching out into asset management business due to the huge opportunities in the segment.
“We don’t have ability to perfectly predict the future but we do have the creative thinking skills and behaviours to build an imaginative look at the future and to help companies create future scenarios and plan appropriate implications,” Radzali says.
Art of Maintaining customer relationship
HARTA Maintenance Sdn Bhd’s operations rely on high-tech machinery but large part of its business is also in the art of maintaining customer’s relationship and having them as long –term clients.
“One of the hurdles in this business would be meeting customers’ expectations. Services offered need to be outstanding and line with if not better than market demand. Incorporation of innovation in the business will ensure relevancy and profitability of services offered.” Its founder and managing director Datuk Radzali Hassan says.
In line with this, Harta Maintenance conducts annual strategic planning workshop, which enables top executives (34 of them) in the company to get together and brainstorm new ideas. The three days-two nights training will also develop the attendees’ soft skills, especially communication skills.
“Sustainable integrated facility management should cover all aspects of built environment in order to work in harmony with clients’ business objectives, enhancing the well-being of the facility occupants and care for their assets.
“Proper asset management will enable the appreciation of the values of the clients’ assets and contribute to successful client business continuity.
“The only way to be successful is to be able to build new and competitive advantaged knowledge. We discover through powerful designs, research and development. We also want to discover the unknown future opportunities – what we don’t know and creating the longer-term future needs and wants of the marketplace,” Radzali says.