“We’re a bridge between Korea and the world”

ADEN’s Korea Hub focuses on bringing the new-wave of facility management to Korean business overseas, especially in ASEAN countries and China. We sat down with Rachel Um (Global Account Director, Korea) to talk about the state of Korean FM and why the industry is due for some big changes.  

We’re a Korean team, but not a Korean company. We like it that way. It means we have the freedom to do things differently. At the same time, we understand Korean business culture in-and-out. Relationships matter hugely in Korea, even more than China. There are so many unwritten rules to doing business here. It’s not something you pick up from a guide book – you have to feel it in your bones.     

Facility management in Korea is very traditional. We aren’t. When we meet potential clients, they’re often a little shocked. “Wait, you don’t just staff cleaning and security guards?” We have to explain that we can do those things – we do them well! – but our main focus is applying new technologies to facility management in a way that produces real savings for clients. New innovations create new efficiencies.

When we present Aden in Korea, it’s an unfamiliar model for many. Aden has moved into new territory for the industry. We’re saying, and demonstrating, that facility management should serve the needs of this new era and be powered by the latest technology: optimizing and distributing clean energy on-site; EV-charging infrastructure; automating a large share of your building’s services and systems. 

We’re not shy about saying it: Korea’s facility management industry needs a shake-up. In fact, most companies recognize this, but they’re not in a position to act quickly. The captive market is so huge that even small changes can take years to implement. Partnering with Aden is a way for Korean companies to jump over many of these hurdles and get the efficiency they need right away. 

Korea has many successful exports, but traditional Korean FM isn’t among them. The classic model in Korea is that each company runs its own facility management from top to bottom. Domestically, Korea has produced some great FM experts, but they’re highly specialized for the Korean market and Korean ways. What works in Korea doesn’t often translate to success in other countries. There are different networks, regulations, licenses, and labor issues when you go abroad. That’s where we come in to help – we’re a bridge between Korea and the world.

We give Korean companies the best of both worlds. For our Korean partners, we speak the same language and share a common background. We know how to work with Korea’s business community.  At the same time, we bring the international advantage and Aden’s full network in Asia. That way Korean companies can focus on their core business agenda, and we take care of everything else – Aden’s full suite of solutions whether you’re in Vietnam, China, Indonesia, or wherever else.  

Traffic flows two ways on a bridge. We’re linking Korea to the world, but we’re also linking the world to Korea. Korea is one of the most technologically-advanced countries, and as we build contacts in Korea, we also grow Aden’s network for robotics, drone technology, AI, etc. That all feeds into more innovative solutions from Aden, wherever it operates. And there’s also the human capital – Aden has begun drawing some serious talent from Korea.

Korea’s economic slowdown will put efficiency and innovation at a premium. When times get tough, you look at your expenses. How much are we spending on energy? Do we really need X number of people to do this job? In this context, Aden is going to really shine. Energy’s a major cost? We have Adenergy to optimize your energy and automate your systems. Your overseas site is spending too much for too many different facility management contracts? Aden can do the same services and more, but streamlined and put in a single contract. 

Hard times can produce good outcomes. Nobody is happy about a slowdown, but we’re confident that it’s an opportunity for Korea to rethink old models of FM and take a closer look at Aden. The difference between the old school and the new wave will be clear.

 

KOREA BY THE NUMBERS: 

For a small country, Korea punches above its weight. Here are some figures showing Korea’s footprint abroad.

 

ADEN’S KOREA DESK: 

Meet the team bringing Korea to the world.

 

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