Friday, March 19, 2010

Week in Review: March 15th - 19th

Greg - President:
Another exciting week here at City Wide of Minnesota.

First let me say Happy St. Patrick’s day to everyone in Minnesota! The weather on Wednesday was unbelievable and I heard both downtown areas were packed with people. There was a big pub crawl downtown Minneapolis that I heard was a blast. I unfortunately couldn’t partake in any festivities we are super busy here in our office with some changes and transitions that are requiring my attention and couldn’t get off at 12 noon to get downtown St. Paul.

On our marketing front, we are working with a local printing group to re-design our marketing materials to fit our regional needs here a little better. In Minnesota our clients seem to have a stronger need for exterior maintenance needs like snow removal and asphalt parking lot maintenance. So our new materials will highlight those services a little more that our national materials do. The company designing those is also making a strong effort to make a PURL program work us to increase our overall response rate to direct marketing from 1% to a more reasonable number. There are some unique challenges in this as we won’t be able to do blast PURL of 3000 plus which is what they are used to doing. We would have to do a much more controlled program where we are reaching a targeted number of 200 prospects each week, hoping to set up meetings with 8 of those people or so. Wish us luck, this could be a huge win for us if they can get this program functional and affordable for us.

Administration wise we are very busy getting our two new people trained and up to speed here. I am super excited by the small strides we seem to be making here our goal of centralizing all of our administration functions and bidding processes seems to be working. We believe we will get over 100 bids out per month on this program vs. the 50 or so we were producing previously and our sales and ops teams will be able to do what they do best, not be sitting in front of a computer all day. Also, our CRM database will be much more accurate and up to date over time with people specifically focusing on this that are good at it vs. sales people who are always impatient and on the move.

Our operations team has a big challenge ahead of them over the next few weeks. We have uncovered and issue recruiting labor for our clients and we are going to have to put a new process in place to make sure that this isn’t an issue that hinders growth moving forward. Looking forward to working with our ops team and admin team to implement a new procedure for this very important function.

We have also been seeing some success in adding value to our client relationships by being able to offer an awesome upgrade program for high efficiency energy lighting. Anyone in Minnesota needs to take advantage of upgrading warehouse or common area lighting to high efficiency lighting this summer. Of the 25 City Wide locations, Minnesota is the only one with a rebate from our energy provider Xcel Energy.

NCAA Tournament Time!!! Games begin on Thursday and I am pulling for our Jayhawks to win both games this week and advance to the sweet 16 next weekend. Next year we have a plan to do a contest for current customers to participate in a pool contest at no charge that will have a nice price for the winner.

Also, Shalee and I attended a very informative meeting with BOMA MPLS on Thursday at the Metropolitan in Golden Valley. Thank you Shiela with BOMA for making us feel welcome there and to the speaker for the morning. Very important information about branding your building for an overall guest experience.

Thank you again to all of our clients and employees for your patronage and support. I appreciate it and am so excited for what we have accomplished so far!

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Tyler - Facility Service Manager:
We’re growing!! This week I’ve walked through 2 new buildings we will start in mid-April. I am excited to work with and get to know our new customers! This tally’s up to be 12 new starts since the beginning of 2010 for me in the north!

We’ve also extended our scope of work for a customer who has been with City Wide since the beginning! This will give us the ability to keep their facility much cleaning going forward.

How about this weather!? It’s been gorgeous here in the Twin Cities this past week. Spring is right around the corner. I’m an avid motocross fan and racer. There nothing better than the first race in spring!
Everyone enjoy this beautiful weather before it gets too HOT!!

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Mitch - Facility Service Manager:
Wow what a busy week in the world of going green and energy savings! Customers everywhere are throwing money out the window lighting up manufacturing plants, parking garages, parking lots and more. We are here to help put a stop to that. This week I stumbled into two more big projects to retrofit buildings for more efficient lighting to save them money, time and energy. Right now it looks like we could be directly influencing our customers energy bill at the average rate of $12,000 per month!!!

Looking forward to a weekend of a little more R&R. Last couple weekends I was out of town, and next weekend I will be busy as well, never seems to end when people come in and out of town and you’re planning a wedding that is 120 miles away. This weekend should be much more relaxing, stripping and refinishing a coffee table should be complete this week and maybe even get started on my kitchen table.

Driving range is starting to sound like a plausible pass time soon! I know I’m going over Easter weekend to play at the itty bitty Wells, MN municipal course. Already called the owner and told her we were playing weather they were open or not, who needs flags when you’ve played the course 20 times already!?

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Shalee - Administration Manager:
I love weeks where work is busy they just fly!  That's been this week - new appointments, new processes, lots to do to prepare for both.  Being in the office is such a pleasure when time is spent well on hard work and good efforts from everyone involved.

I had the pleasure of attending my first BOMA meeting this Thursday.  It was nice to put faces to names that I've seen in emails!  A huge thanks to the two Davids, Jeff, Blake and Jason who made me feel welcomed to this fantastic group.  They were quick to offer advice and suggestions on how to make BOMA feel more like a safe haven than a task to mark off the list and to share some fun experiences they've had with various groups and committees.  Now I just need to narrow down which committee will make a place for me so that I can really dig my fingers into this associations and start to feel like "one of the gang"!

This week has been gorgeous!  Every day I came home, I was shooing the entire family outdoors! 
I've had quite a few walks with my wonderful husband, enjoying every bit of sunshine that God gave us this week!  (I had to laugh at Tyler's "too hot" remark.  I have a feeling that my "too hot" and his "too hot" are going to turn out to be two very different things!  When you grow up in Tennessee, "too hot" is around 110° in the shade...)

The Great House Hunt is still on for us.  It's nice to see new blood enter the market.  We're bound and determined that this will be our last house for a while, Lord willing, so we're being extra picky about what we want in our place.  Hopefully our dream home will hit the market this week, and we'll be able to settle into a permanent home soon!

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~Your City Wide Team