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Delta wins BHP-B deal

PERTH outfit, Delta Facilities Management has begun work this month on a $2.5 million annual contract over the next three years to manage BHPBilliton housing in Port Hedland and South Hedland.

The contract to maintain the 1,160 houses BHPBilliton rents or owns in the North West town came at a crucial time for Delta, after having recently lost the overall maintenance contract for Woodside’s 660 houses based at Karratha. Yet, it still holds a $1 million cleaning contract in Karratha and continues to maintain around 30 buildings on the Burrup Peninsula.

DeltaFM general manager of corporate services Allan Fox said the three-year contract was one of many the company was hoping to secure in mining towns and sites around Australia.

Recently the company put a proposal forward for maintenance management of Rio Tinto’s 60 houses that are used by its Dampier Salt personnel. It also recently tendered for work on Western Mining’s Mt Keith operations.

Mr Fox said using external facility managers made sense commercially and practically for mining companies. Facility managers also had the expertise that real estate agents did not have when it comes to home maintenance.

“We are able to pass on excellent subcontracting rates to our clients. We have endeavoured to create our own niche,” he said.

The new BHPBilliton contract, which is expected to generate savings of up to 8 per cent for the client, includes general property maintenance such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical, floor covering and swimming pool services.

In addition, the company oversees property upgrades, such as bringing the property back to the original condition when a tenant vacates.

DeltaFM, which was founded by Ashley Lewis and Denis Criddle, also provides comprehensive records for work performed and it is in this area where Mr Fox said he believed real cost savings were achieved.

Whereas BHPBilliton, similar to other mining companies, adapts systems designed primarily to run mines to provide facilities management, DeltaFM operates the WinAMS Asset Management System Software.

Developed by Western Australian company Exxelon, the software is now used internationally by facility managers.

“WinAMS is the heart and soul of the operation with all service requests being logged into the system as they are received,” Mr Fox said.

He said proper record keeping was traditionally where companies could come unstuck.

When tendering for a job, facility managers normally price the contract at between $1,500 and $3,000 a house for each year, depending on the work required and the general standard of housing.

In the north west, water and airconditioning maintenance often pushes costs higher.

However, proper record keeping and cost control systems can also work against the facility manager.

Mr Fox said once systems and efficiencies were in place, the client company could often be tempted to take the work in-house again thinking they could do it as cheaply.

“Three years later we may find ourselves out of a job again,” he said.

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