A Clean Break From The Status Quo
Consolidated Facility Services Inc. combines integrity, innovation to stand apart
Patrick (Pat) Walker founded Consolidated Facility Services Inc. (CFS) in 2004 after being laid off from his job of nearly two decades. Having spearheaded many successful processes for his former facilities management employer, he thought, “I can use those same processes in a business that I own and build a legacy here in Atlanta, Georgia.”
And, that is exactly what Pat has done. CFS provides commercial janitorial, maintenance and construction services for retail, medical, industrial, commercial and institutional clients. Pat’s goal is for the company to function as a single source for his clients’ facility needs, operating 24/7. As a Black-owned, minority business with certifications from the city of Atlanta and Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council, CFS represents its community with top-notch performance and a commitment to providing excellent customer service.
The company’s current clients include shopping center managers and colleges and universities like Georgia Piedmont Technical College in Covington and Georgia College in Milledgeville. The company also provides ongoing construction services to several high-profile clients, including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, FedEx and Grady Health System. No matter what or where the job, CFS works to build, maintain and restore facilities. “Our repeat clients are proof that we meet this promise,” Pat says.
Setting Disinfecting Precedents
More than half of the company’s services are janitorial—and that number is continuing to grow in 2020. Pat explains that the janitorial services his team provides aren’t the typical office cleaning. “We specialize in full- service cleaning, including stripping and waxing floors, carpet cleaning and pressure washing. We have also expanded our janitorial services in response to new and changing cleaning requirements due to COVID-19.
“We have developed a disinfecting system based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines,” Pat says. He explains that his new system involves a four-step process that tests, eliminates, protects and verifies. First, the team tests and evaluates a surface. Then employees eliminate the dangerous pathogenic microorganisms like COVID-19. Next, the company applies a 90-day solution to protect the surface. And finally, the team verifies cleanliness by re- testing surfaces using an Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) meter. Once testing is confirmed, the team places QR codes at the building’s main entry points. These codes, when accessed, pull up a database of information about prior treatment and current disinfectant ranking and/or status.
According to Pat, “This system will become a new normal for disinfecting public spaces. It’s a good thing, too, because we need to remind people that they weren’t cleaning things properly prior to COVID-19. This system allows for greater transparency and doesn’t just fight viruses; it fights every pathogenic microbial in the area. And, when used with a specific solution, the system will continually kill or prevent the spread of any microbes for 90 days.”
Another example of CFS’ commitment to bringing innovative products and technologies to clients is its partnership with Dura-A-Flex, a manufacturer of special, state-of-the-art flooring systems. Pat explains that the highly versatile flooring can be applied directly over existing surfaces. He cites one recent project at Grady Memorial Hospital in Midtown Atlanta, which experienced major flooding in December 2019. As part of the renovation process, CFS is currently replacing all 168 bathroom floors of this 1.2 million-square-foot hospital. “The new Dur-A-Flex floor we’re installing is a waterproof system designed to alleviate prior leaking issues and allow for ease of maintenance because it’s one complete surface throughout. It is also saving the client time and money. It’s really a win-win,” says Vince Willis, Director of Operations at CFS.
Constructing Long-Term Relationships
In addition to janitorial services and flooring replacements, the firm’s general contracting arm offers tenant new construction and renovation services. “We provide clients with the ease of using a single service provider who can build, repair and clean/maintain their facilities,” Pat says.
He notes that most clients come to the company through word-of-mouth. “I have a condo building I’ve been working in since 2007. I’ve probably remodeled 150 to 175 condos in that building alone. I have tried to refocus my efforts on more commercial work, but my company’s reputation precedes me. I’m constantly being contacted by the condo owners to provide the work they need. I guess putting the client first has set quite the precedent here.”
Another client, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, engaged CFS to do waterproofing and tile replacement in several of its restrooms. While one project was underway, the client discovered a leak and assumed it was tied to the company’s renovation work. “We investigated and discovered the leak was in the common area and the result of another contractor’s error, not our own,” Pat says. “We helped Hartsfield fix the leak regardless. Going above and beyond what was required of us is what sets us apart; and it speaks to why I started this company with a commitment to integrity and providing high-quality service to all clients.” Today, CFS has managed more than 100 construction projects for the airport over the course of four years—a testament that hard work and excellent customer service pays off.
Always striving to add value, Pat recently found himself in a position to help a long-term client. “He had a leak at his three-story condo property. When I visited him at the site, I was able to save him money on the repair just by asking the right questions,” he says. Company, Customer, Employee Connection One thing Pat was inspired by at his prior firm was a philosophy called the “fairness triangle.” “One side of the triangle represents the company, another side is the customer, and the remaining side is the employee. At any given time, neither one is more important than the other. For us, what that means is if we focus on employees and customers, it will lead to a successful company.” he says.
Pat is passionate about his managers and employees achieving success. “I not only promote my staff internally, but I also encourage them to find what works for them—even if it means they move beyond CFS to a larger company or even start their own business.”
Training is another way Pat encourages and promotes his employees. “It’s a big part of our culture. Because my focus this year is on project management, all our employees are undergoing project management training. And all staff recently went through OSHA 10-Hour and 30-Hour safety training for a construction project with the local Veterans Health Administration. These are skills that will continue to enhance how our staff performs and will advance their careers,” he says.
Leaving a Legacy
For Pat, leaving a legacy means he’s continuing work as usual and doing what has worked for him for the past 15 years. “Let’s say I give my word to provide services for $100, but it actually costs the company $120. I’ll still charge the client $100. Because I keep my word, the next time the client needs help, he or she is going to come back to us.” And, as demonstrated by CFS’ many repeat customers, this approach has been the key to continued success.