Last Sunday, May 22, the magazine Actualidad Económica of El Mundo, within its section, TIC Innova, published a full page interview with Sergio Fernández de Sevilla, CEO of Retain Technologies, in which the technological situation of construction companies and the solutions that Retain Technologies and Retailgas offer for the AECO sector, in general, are analyzed.
In this post, we reproduce some of the most interesting fragments of that article.
A brief introduction to Retain Technologies
Retain Technologies offers strategic enterprise asset management solutions, combining engineering services and proprietary technology through Retain software, an advanced enterprise asset management and maintenance platform.
Our enterprise asset management philosophy uses shared information models to achieve maximum operational efficiency. We specialize in the energy and utilities, hotels and catering, distribution, and property sectors. Our clients include the leading companies in these sectors. Our main objective is to optimize the technical processes of investment (CAPEX) and operations (OPEX) in their broadest spectrum, including solutions for the legalization of assets.
We are part of Grupo Retailgas, a Spanish engineering company with more than 30 years of leadership in the energy and retail sectors. From the need to improve Retailgas’ internal processes, we created our specialized area, which subsequently applied all the know-how generated to our customers and grew in business until we became a spin-off of the group itself. Retain technologies currently has a staff of more than 25 people.
Digitalization in the AECO sector
Within the AECO sector, the areas of design and engineering are undoubtedly the most advanced in implementing digital solutions. However, despite the emergence of multiple technologies, physical construction has assimilated few changes and remains a primarily analog process.
In asset-intensive sectors with a vast network of locations and facilities, such as service stations, large distribution or restaurant chains, and healthcare centers, these assets’ operation and subsequent maintenance must be taken into account during the construction phase. This need leads to changes in the business model, for example, derived from the implementation of BIM and related technologies, focused mainly on improving operations.
The most innovative construction companies rely on technology partners such as Retain, which provides tools that make it possible to integrate all phases of the asset’s life cycle, from planning and construction to maintenance, optimizing all of this to make the entire management process more efficient.
BIM is key to the future of the sector
The BIM (Building Information Modeling) methodology involves sharing information among all stakeholders in a simple and decentralized way. It is a digital methodology for generating and managing data on a building during its life cycle to reduce its total costs. It uses dynamic 3D modeling software in the design and construction phase, and interoperability with the asset’s operation or maintenance phase is also crucial.
BIM has meant a disruptive leap in the standardization levels of construction projects.
In Spain and much of Europe, the use of BIM began around 2010 due to the participation of sizeable national construction and engineering companies in international projects that required the use of BIM. Subsequently, thanks to initiatives that promote the use of BIM, such as Building Smart Spain, constituted in 2012, of which Retain is a member, important dissemination and research projects are being carried out in this area, participating in turn in international projects, such as FacilityManagement&OpenBIM, in which we collaborate with companies and organizations from more than eight countries such as, for example, FCSI (Foodservice Consultant Society International), CBS China or BIM-Connected from Holland, among others.
Looking to the future
The diversification we have been committed to in recent years will continue, and we are already involved in projects related to the global restructuring of the energy market and implementing renewable energy solutions.
For example, we support our customers in leveraging their site networks to deploy photovoltaic installations. We are also collaborating with the Gasnam association on sustainable and green hydrogen initiatives, which will undoubtedly be essential in the future. In this respect, synergies with our partner Retailgas are also vital to increasingly provide integrated solutions for asset management, from design to maintenance.
At the technological level, we continue to develop our platform to make it more flexible and powerful, improving the functionalities of our Maintenance Management Tool (CMMS) but increasingly providing strategic investment management solutions to help our customers not only to maintain their assets but also to optimize their operations and the value of their assets.
Excerpt from the article published in Actualidad Económica (El Mundo) on Sunday, May 22, 2022.