Interview: From Design to Building Operations - How BIM, CDE, and FM Bring Real Estate Together

January 10, 2022

You would seem to be from two different worlds, and your companies offer solutions that cater to different groups of customers. Yet you have decided that it is worth joining forces. Can you say why?

Dariusz Meres: As it turns out, our common end customer is the "Building". The difference is that the CDE solution (1), implemented by Maciek, is applied at the implementation stage, i.e., at the design and construction stage. Singu FM, on the other hand, is implemented after the ongoing operation of the building has begun. That’s why the question naturally arose—why not try to create an integrated solution and join forces?

Maciej Dejer: Exactly. One day, during one of our coffee conversations about the relationship between BIM (2) and FM (Facility Management), we simply concluded that the solutions we offer complement each other, and thus what we could offer is a comprehensive service for our clients.

Sounds promising. That said, let's start with how you met each other.

Dariusz Meres: It happened in perhaps the best possible way. (Smile) During one of the meetings, when a common potential customer (already strongly considering the CDE solution), started looking for a system for the ongoing maintenance of the property. Maciej's company was also an advisor here.

Maciej Dejer: During that meeting, I saw a familiar person, and recognized the name of the company. I quickly realized that it was Velis Real Estate Tech, which was represented by Darek. Interestingly, for more than two years we had been sharing the same office in the Krakow Technology Park, being close neighbors! Surprisingly, until that moment we had only passed each other in the corridor saying the customary, “Hello”.

It seems business is often all about coincidence, don't you think?

Maciej Dejer: Yes, but not only coincidence. The fact that we come from the same environment—I mean Kraków Technology Park—is not without significance. It is hard to explain it in a few words, but it was much easier for us to start discussions knowing that we are dealing with people who, just like us, think outside the box and want and are not afraid of challenges. (Smile)

Dariusz, you are part of a company that offers leading PropTech solutions. You have gained the trust of your customers in Europe and around the world. What made you trust ePMflow? Did you have any concerns about working with a startup like ePMflow?

Dariusz Meres: Absolutely not! We have always been interested in working with business partners, having worked with over 20 partners from different parts of the world through the Velis Partner Program. The whole idea behind Singu FM is that it is constantly evolving based on the knowledge, experience, and needs of our clients and technology partners. We are creating a kind of community built around Singu FM, an international environment from which we learn, and thankfully we are able to deliver a mature solution that takes into account the best practices in the real estate market. It is important to note that ePMflow is a team of very experienced people who know the industry, the real estate market, and the full range of business needs. Our cooperation has started with BIM, which we are learning to work alongside, as a company. The opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience with experts in BIM and CDE is of great value for us.

In terms of this collaboration, what are your expectations?

Dariusz Meres: Obviously any collaboration should generate value for all the parties involved. The Velis team has noted that ePMflow is dedicated to developing solutions for the building segment, a market with which we are less familiar. So far, Singu FM has been implemented in existing buildings. Now, having a partner like ePMflow, we can broaden our group of customers. In addition to that, sharing experience both in terms of business development and expertise is a great value for both sides.

Maciej Dejer: Huge. When considered separately, ePMflow and Singu FM are two powerful systems. By joining forces, we open up a huge market of potential clients who are looking for an investment management platform for the complete investment lifecycle—from design and construction to ongoing maintenance. As a result of our cooperation, we have been able to come up with many out-of-the-box ideas we would probably not have come up with on our own.

Dariusz Meres with Maciej Dejer

How will this collaboration benefit your customers?

Maciej Dejer: First of all, a complete supply chain is maintained. By joining forces, we can support our customers from the beginning to the end of the investment process, including the operation stage. In ePMflow, our customers handle the management of millions of files/terabytes of data and processes that occur during an investment. Singu FM, on the other hand, supports our customers in managing defects and handovers, processes that also occur at the operation stage.

Dariusz Meres: Singu FM is the solution that builds a community around a building. The system is accessible to tenants, the property and facility managers, maintenance teams, technical services, and, of course, the owner, who is most often the owner of an entire property portfolio. From the point of view of the building's existence as a structure, a very important element is the collection of archival documentation and insights into the current operation, as well as plans and predictions. We were used to implementing the system at the stage of current operation already after the construction. Now that the system will be able to be launched as early as the construction stage, it will bring great benefits to the property. The documentation created at the construction stage will be able to be quickly implemented into the stage of the ongoing operation. This will significantly reduce the time of "implementation into the building" facility management company, or facilitate the work of the future property manager.

Do you plan to integrate your systems then? If yes, then please explain at what level?

Maciej Dejer: The integration of the systems has already been completed. We have the first customers using the possibilities of ePMflow and Singu FM. However, we must remember that we are speaking here about two different systems which complement each other. Hence, the integration is carried out in such a way as to ensure that the advantages of both solutions are kept. At the moment, our clients can use the functionalities of both applications, seamlessly switching between the systems without the need for multiple logins. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but with such experience, we will surely have very good ideas for the next stages of integration.

Thank you for the interesting discussion.

Interview: Kacper Troć with

Maciej Dejer (ePM sp. z o.o) and Dariusz Meres (Velis Real Estate Tech)

Common data environment – an agreed-upon source of digital information for a projected or existing "resource" used to collect, manage, and disseminate associated "information packages" in a managed process. (1) Source

Building information modeling – a set of technologies, procedures, and principles that enable innovation-based construction projects, particularly those based on the "BIM model". The acronym BIM is also sometimes developed as building information management or as a building information model (see "BIM model"). BIM is often divided into BIM methodology, which includes the procedures and principles of project implementation, and BIM technology, which includes the tools for implementing the BIM methodology. (2) Source

Written by:
Kacper Troć
PropTech Expert

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