A Winning Hand
A Royal Flush is all-in and all about long-term growth
There are times when even a thriving business has to play the hand it’s dealt.
In 2017, the odds were stacked against A Royal Flush, one of the largest portable restroom and toilet trailer rental leaders in the Northeast. The sudden passing of its principal owner, majority shareholder and driving force of the organization, Bill Malone, left its workforce with questions about the company’s direction. For a highly successful business with a portfolio including some of the largest construction companies in the area, as well as some impressive event clients such as New York Road Runners and the PGA, to suddenly pause and reflect on its strategy was so significant, it became cause for speculation.
What would be the company’s next move? All eyes were on A Royal Flush to see if it would fold, cash out and be sold off to a large-scale competitor, or if the owners would go all-in and put the company in a position to win.
Two Leaders Double Down
The origins of a company form its foundation. About 27 years ago, A Royal Flush was established in Connecticut by a small group of friends, and it grew on the trust and guidance of its silent partners, as well as the talent and tenure of its employees.
When Bill passed away, however, there was a sudden shift in leadership, and two of the partners moved to the fore. Tim Butler stepped up as the primary owner, and Mauro DaSilva transitioned to COO. Then they doubled down on the long-term growth of the company, investing in its people and cutting-edge technology, as well as new innovations—all with a renewed focus on the construction and municipality markets. The changes were immediate and put rumors to rest about the legacy of the company and the future of its services and employees.
“Tim stepping up is the best thing that ever happened to A Royal Flush,” Mauro says. “He cares about everything—the employees, the customers. He’s a good man. We have great employees who have worked for the company for 20 to 25 years. They all work together to do a great job for the clients. We have a team with knowledge and real experience that separates us from other companies out there.”
When Tim started as a silent partner with A Royal Flush, he was a young attorney and he watched the business from Bridgeport, Connecticut, expand into New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. And, while he wasn’t initially involved in the day to day of the company, he had a keen interest in the business and got to know the employees over time.
“People who had worked for the company and whom I had worked with over the years came to me and asked me to keep the company going,” Tim says, reflecting on his decision to stay and support the future of a company he helped build. “Over 100 families depend on the company for their livelihood and many of them reached out to me and asked me not to close down the company or sell it.”
Tim says that he made a commitment to the heart and soul of the company. He brought three of his brothers on board to help him solidify the leadership and remain customer-focused. Serving the client and reinforcing strong relationships have been consistent core responsibilities of this team. A customer-centric philosophy is one of the reasons A Royal Flush has been so integral to premier events (including the New York City Marathon, the 2015 papal visit, major music festivals and PGA tournaments) and large-scale building projects in the Northeast.
“The truth about this business is that anyone can go out and buy a plastic portable toilet,” Tim says. “The difference is customer service—you’re there when the customer needs you and you deal with unforeseen problems. You’re flexible and able to accommodate their needs. The difference with this company is that we always put the customer first. We’re always professional and we have excellent customer service.”
A Good Bet
Tim and Mauro took a chance to not play it safe and to not simply maintain the status quo of the business, but to invest in technology, in people and to ignite a large-scale sales restructure to develop a stronger outbound and inbound sales team. And the gamble paid off.
“We’ve invested heavily in new technology, new truck and computer systems, tracking systems, and [we’ve] completely updated wherever we could to provide a safer environment for our customers and our employees,” Tim says.
“We have a new system that we rolled out that has a barcode in each unit that the driver has to scan every time he cleans it,” Mauro adds. “We have GPS on all our trucks so we can see when they arrive at a construction site and how long they are there. There’s no cutting corners. We make sure our clients are taken care of.”
The company also invested in new toilets, restroom trailers and its service fleet. The leaders bought a new line of trucks and stayed current with the industry by providing new construction units and lighter-weight equipment that’s easier to move, as well as green technology, including solar panels. They also have a 20-point Precision Service Plan that all service technicians follow to ensure consistent unit cleanliness.
“And, we made an investment in people,” Tim says. “There are emotional investments in providing better health care, better training and educational opportunities, as well as safer working environments and new opportunities for our employees and sales force to grow. We’re very happy with the employee initiative, because our people are our biggest investment.”
As Luck Would Have It
If you have a superior product, talent and a great team, you’re doing something right. All you need is a little luck finding the right leadership to help you lead the way. As luck would have it, a mutual friend introduced Tim to Chris Callaghan, a sales professional with more than 30 years’ of experience in media, advertising and sales. In June 2018, Chris was brought on board to help grow the construction business to the next level and provide a strategy and vision for the future.
“I developed a road map that includes strategic growth of the sales team, hiring sales professionals with experience in customer management, and new client initiatives with an eye on the continuing aspirations of A Royal Flush to be the premier provider in the construction world,” Chris says. “We are excited about the growth potential that exists in the construction business. We want to be looked at as a Tier A provider from a service and product perspective on job sites. We see a lot happening in every region that we work in and we’re excited to be part of it. [Also, we] want to earn the right to continue to grow with our existing client base and alert those who may not be familiar with us about our prowess within the construction space.”
“The construction segment of our business has always been our top priority,” Mauro says. “We recently bought over 500 toilets just for construction and we have 15 new trucks that are dedicated solely to construction use.”
A Royal Flush looks to keep pace with the new construction growth in Connecticut and New York and has the expertise, products and customer relationships to provide top-quality service to customers in these markets. Now seeking to expand its services, A Royal Flush is prepared to move ahead.
“We’ve increased the number of our construction products, including high-rise toilet units, S-hook construction units, construction equipment, electric flush systems and new heating devices to keep water tanks flowing during frigid northeastern winters,” Tim says. “Construction is a year-round business and we have to make sure that we have equipment that is safe and usable and productive during the winter, capable of withstanding freezing temperatures.”
A Winning Hand
For a company that was started by friends, the care and close-knit approach still defines its culture. It’s clear that A Royal Flush has a winning hand and is here to stay. People determine the trajectory of the company and people will build its future, under the right leadership. Tim and Mauro are working together to solidify their presence in the construction and event industries, while reinforcing their commitment to their team and growing their relationships in the field for the long term.