DWM Facilities Maintenance is a growing company in the Albany, New York, area with more than $25 million in revenue and 60 employees, but the new workers on its payroll live 1,200 miles away in Orlando, Florida.
That’s because DWM was having trouble finding qualified people to serve on the front lines of its business: answering 12 to 15 phone calls daily from retail stores across the country with broken light fixtures, backed-up sewer lines and other maintenance headaches.
It’s not as simple as dispatching a contractor or cleaning crew from the list at DWM’s offices in Colonie.
“We expect a little bit more from our people than just reading from a script,” said Brian Whitt, chief operating officer. “They need to figure out how to problem solve. They have to understand how to deal with customers.”
Finding the right mix of skills in the Albany area is difficult because of competition from the state, health care industry and other employers.
Orlando is a good alternative, Whitt said.
There’s a strong hospitality culture because of the presence of Walt Disney World and other theme parks, as well as hospitality programs at the University of Central Florida and community colleges.
Another big factor: Southwest Airlines and JetBlue offer direct flights to Orlando from Albany International Airport. The airport is just a few minutes away from DWM’s offices.
“If I come in the office and get things going, I can jump on a plane and be in the Orlando office in the afternoon,” Whitt said.
The Orlando office has just six employees, and that could grow to 10 or 15 by the end of this year. Starting salaries are $14 to $15 per hour, depending on experience.
Whitt said there’s no intention of moving the entire company to Florida.
“It’s a supplement to what we’re doing,” he said.
The company has run out space at its offices at 2 Northway Lane in Colonie but hasn’t considered moving elsewhere because it owns the building.
DWM, named for founder David M. Weeks, handles maintenance calls from about 30 retailers with 40,000 locations in the U.S., including Barnes & Noble, Dollar Tree, L.L. Bean and Big Lots.
The company also has a project management division that fits up buildings for retailers and restaurants.
Source: Albany Business Review, http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/news/2017/03/07/why-this-colonie-company-is-expanding-in-orlando.html
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Founded in 1997, DWM is a full-service facility solutions company that specializes
inside the box. Under our 3 divisions (Facilities Maintenance, Construction & Renovation, and Water Filtration),
we handle anything from day-to-day break-fix items and water filtration to concept to completion project management and full-scale construction management.
We pride ourselves on the level of partnership and customization we provide to our clients; rather than acting like a vendor, our facility solutions coordinators and project managers act as if they are an employee of our client’s organization. This mindset provides best-in-class problem-solving, troubleshooting, and cost control. Our commitment to being the best in the world has created a culture of continuous improvement, exemplified by the fact that our original client is still with us 22 years later!
A market leader, DWM services the retail, restaurant, grocery, convenience store, education, healthcare, and financial markets; under a mantra of “We’ll handle it”. More information about DWM can be found at www.dwminc.com.