Oman's new National Museum hires Macro for facilities management

06 October 2016

The National Museum of the Sultanate of Oman has appointed Macro, Mace’s property consultant and facilities management subsidiary, to support its recently publicly opened museum to provide Total Facilities Management. The deal is set to last for four years.

The National Museum of the Sultanate of Oman was officially opened in 2015 and opened to the public in June this year, to showcase the Kingdom’s cultural heritage and treasures. The new Museum is located in the capital city of Muscat. The city covers more than 25,000 square metres – of which 13,000 square metres is dedicated to thirteen permanent exhibition halls. The Museum is home to more than 5,000 artefacts related to the Kingdom’s history: from maritime history to weapons, cultural achievements, Aflaj, coins and pre-history, among others. The building also provides space for temporary exhibitions. As part of the Kingdom’s cultural preservation efforts, the museum also supports a conservation department along with facilities for collections management.

Oman's new National Museum hires Marco for facilities management

Oman's museum recently announced that it has selected Macro, the property consultant and facilities management arm of Mace, to provide Total Facilities Management (TFM) for the new Museum. Macro was established in 2002 to encapsulate Mace’s earlier work in the space which traces back to the early 1990s. The subsidiary today has a footprint on four continents and provides its consultancy and management services to a diverse client base.

The four year contract, the value of which has not been disclosed, sees the firm provide a broad range of services, from technical solutions, cleaning, and pest control to managed polices to Quality Management System (QMS), Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) and Quality, Health, Safety & Environment (QHSE).

Acting Director-General of the National Museum, Jamal al-Moosawi, says that the institute is “pleased” to be working with the Macro Group. "Their flexible approach and robust processes and procedures have helped us align our FM services. Both the Museum and the Macro teams have worked hard to ensure the opening of the Museum was a success and we look forward to maintaining our high standards for this cultural landmark,” he adds.

Chairman of Macro Group and Managing Director of Macro International, Bill Heath, says that the firm is “honoured” to be working with the National Museum - Sultanate of Oman, which is set to be “a world class museum.” Heath adds, “This builds on Macro’s recent successes in the arts and culture sector.”


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How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

11 April 2019

Amey Consulting has leveraged data insights to assist Network Rail with the improvement of its South-Eastern route. Using the Quartz tool, which monitors train movement, Network Rail will now be able to commit to data-enabled interventions to quickly improve underperforming train stations.

With rail services in the UK coming under strain from the demands of modern commuter life, while the infrastructure and service delivery of the nation’s railways has come in for sustained criticism in recent years, a period of regeneration is on the cards at last. Network Rail is the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain, and has subsequently tapped the consulting industry on a regular basis to help find areas of improvement.

The group recently drafted in consultancy BearingPoint to conduct a thorough organisational evaluation and advise Network Rail (High Speed) on attaining a ‘fit for purpose’ organisational standard – for which the consultancy was nominated at the 2019 MCA Awards. Meanwhile, ArupArcadis and Aecom have been contracted to help Colas Rail and Babcock Rail implement a decade-long framework for Network Rail, aimed at supporting the delivery of the next generation of rail systems, with the contracts said to be worth as much as £5 billion

How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

As Network Rail further aims to improve its performance and customer service offering, another area it has sought help from the consulting sector for is its South-East route. The network of railways connects London with the southern parts of the country, as well as with Europe, making it the busiest in the country, with more than 500 million passenger journeys per year. This crucial expanse of rail was plagued with small minute delays, which were impacting millions of passengers every day, while reducing the efficiency and capacity of the overall network – something Amey Consulting was selected to help solve.

Amey Consulting soon determined that with the sub-threshold delays to services only lasting for 1 or 2 minutes, most were not the subject of detailed root cause analysis, and this made their corrections almost impossible – with dire consequences. Without addressing these delays, passenger satisfaction would fall, while the capacity and efficiency of the network would be reduced, stinging the income of Network Rail even before a host of delay-related fines would hit the company.

In order to help the client gain a better understanding of where, how, when and what these small delays occur, Amey Consulting looked to demonstrate the value of data-led consulting, with a significant reduction in delays within the first month of rolling out changes to key stations. The consultants embedded themselves in Network Rail’s team, helping them learn the key skills needed to support and apply data-driven solutions.

Agile transport

This involved the deployment of the Quartz tool. The system utilises to-the-second train movement data to present the performance of individual stations across the South-East route. It allows users to effortlessly understand station performance with a high level of detail, and use this information to identify losses caused by small-minute delays. The granular data allows for targeted actions to drive efficiency savings and performance improvements. More importantly, it allows users to understand the impact of small process changes on performance. 

Steve Dyke, an Executive Partner at Amey Consulting, said of the project, “We looked to identify the physical root cause on the infrastructure, building a case for change then managing that project implementation and tracking the benefit/value.  In doing so we are working to define a data performance improvement service to the operational and infrastructure owners.”

Just as important for the project as the technology, however, was teaching the Network Rail team how to leverage it after the consultants were gone. The Amey Consulting team worked to develop an agile working culture within Network Rail’s South-East division, helping staff to be confident in using data to improve the journeys of millions of people per year by attacking the problem from the ground up.

Dyke concluded, “This is less about the tools and about the approach to managing performance.  It meant using by-the-second analysis, data science, and then agile development to visualise and identify areas where improvements can be made.  We then worked with NR to change the way they approached the management of the infrastructure changes.  So rather than pass the information down the value chain, any of which could have been missed, we managed the change end-to-end.”

The project was so successful that Amey Consulting was also among those honoured at the recent MCA Awards. The firm scooped the Performance Improvement in the Public Sector prize for its work with Network Rail, at the 2019 ceremony in London.