May 12, 2021

Facilities Management Amidst the Pandemic — How Dexterra Led the Way

Today as we celebrate World FM Day, we commend everyone in the facility management industry for standing tall beyond the pandemic. 

With more than a year of providing dependable support to our clients in the wake of COVID-19 behind us, we must reflect on how we responded to the pandemic and the actions that helped us rise to the challenge.  

2020 was an unprecedented year for everyone. The FM business was no exception. While the pandemic forced most people out of the workplace, for others, including those in the facility management industry, it meant facing the situation on the front lines. 

During the pandemic, if you had the experience of visiting your workplace, a government-maintained facility, an educational institution, or even a retail store, you’d recall the eerie feeling that came with the realization that nothing was the same as before. However, a sense of relief quickly replaced it upon noticing the safety measures in place. In some facilities, the infrastructure was significantly changed, with new rules about entrances and exits, new protocols regarding the purpose of your visit or interaction with the staff on-site, and physical distancing, as well as installation of hand sanitizing stations, disposable wipes dispensers and temperature scanners. 

In the backdrop of it all, facility management professionals tirelessly worked to ensure that everything would be safe for visitors and workers. 

Ensuring those measures were available on short notice and keeping them up to date, in line with the most current COVID-19 protocols announced by the government, was no small feat.  

However, Dexterra took the challenges in stride. 

Our Pandemic Response Approach 

Dexterra delivers facility management solutions for over 50 million sq. ft. of high-quality infrastructure. Our clients include some of the country’s largest airports, premier retail and commercial properties, corporate campuses, research and education facilities, large industrial sites, state-of-the-art healthcare infrastructure and complex defence and security assets. 

With the spread of COVID-19, each industry sector faced a unique set of challenges and requirements in asset management, risk management, operations, and maintenance.  

While Dexterra catered to each facility in alignment with their unique needs, here is the high-level approach we took to ensure our clients’ safety and peace of mind:  

The Pandemic Task Force  

Time and foresight are two significant factors that determined our success in pandemic preparedness. At the earliest sign of the pandemic, Dexterra put together an internal Pandemic Task Force comprising leaders from our business who continuously provided guidance throughout the developing COVID-19 situation. As the pandemic unfolded, the task force closely monitored the information provided by federal and local government authorities and the WHO guidelines to determine how this impacted facilities and businesses we serve. The task force regularly provided guidance and support on cleaning protocols, health and safety protocols, and operational strategies and conveyed this information in real-time to our operations managers and frontline staff. 

Triaged Operational Safety plan  

While the task force provided guidance, our expert operations managers analyzed each facility’s unique needs, identified the details and prepared customized triaged operational safety plans. Our highly motivated and professional frontline workers, supported by our dedicated 24/7 Help Desk and Operations Centre, continually put those plans into action making infrastructure changes, providing COVID-19 related provisions, and implementing preventive measures such as:  

  • Comprehensive facility cleaning, disinfection, and sanitization services.  
  • COVID-19 checkpoints at facility entrances.  
  • Specialized disinfecting products and equipment. 
  • Installation of social distancing partitions. 
  • Inspection of fire and emergency exits. 
  • HVAC upgrades resulting in better air quality. 
  • Installation of touchless sanitization stations and disposable wipes dispensers. 
  • Temperature scanners and much more. 

Leveraging Technological Leadership

A minimum notice of action called for immediate service support. Dexterra’s proprietary cloud-based service order technology, “Service Control,” provided our teams with a customized, data-driven tracking system that allowed 24/7 access to track service order progress and to access a variety of documentation and reporting.  

Service Control helped our teams:  

  • Stockpile and mobilize essential supplies. 
  • Deploy electrostatic foggers to eliminate germs and pathogens from spaces and surfaces. 
  • Provide real-time insight related to maintenance, supplies, disinfection, and traffic regulation.  
  • Identify high-risk touchpoints throughout the facility.  

Dexterra On-Demand

Facility management during COVID-19 required all hands on deck, especially for the essential businesses such as healthcare and retail who remained open and required extra attention. Dexterra On-Demand (DOD) swiftly adapted new COVID-19 protocols. In addition to our on-site staff, our mobile DOD team proved to be an asset and stayed on top of the situation by securing the necessary enhanced PPE and prevention supplies that enabled their technicians to deliver services 24/7 at short notice, as and when needed.  

Looking back, we have tremendous gratitude and pride for our frontline teams and their exceptional response to an unprecedented challenge.  

Dexterra’s pandemic approach, including the pandemic task force, triaged operational safety plans, technology tools and on-demand services helped us show leadership and resilience. 

As we continue to learn about the long-term impacts of COVID-19, we can expect many new realities to unfold in the world of facility management. To keep standing tall beyond it will require us to be highly resilient, vigilant, adaptive and strategic.  

We thank our clients for trusting us as the partner of choice for the operations and maintenance of assets and infrastructure. As the role of facility management continues to evolve, we renew our commitment to our values of partnership, trust, diversity and accountability to continue providing services par excellence.  

Our facilities management experts are available to help solve any challenges within your properties and infrastructure portfolio. If you are interested in knowing how Dexterra can help your organization adapt to the pandemic realities or have ideas to share, please reach out to us.