It’s All in the Details
Detail Dynamics of Florida, Inc. delivers polished buildings
The last mile of a construction project is the on-time handover to the owner. Detail Dynamics of Florida, Inc. (Detail Dynamics) provides final cleaning services and post-construction cleanup for commercial and industrial projects.
“We help contractors hand over beautiful buildings,” says Pam Olson, CEO and Founder of Detail Dynamics, a certified woman-owned and minority-owned business based in Lake Monroe, Florida. “Contractors are focused on finishing their punch worklist, while we are required to protect and polish interior and exterior building finishes. We are focused on these details.”
The company’s services include high-rise exterior and interior window cleaning, full commercial construction cleaning and floor services. Floor perfection is the goal. Post-construction services range from pressure washing and street sweeping to industrial cleaning. Detail Dynamics also provides restorative cleaning to help contractors address issues that occur on the job site.
“Our goal is to get the building looking just right and ready for turnover to the project owners,” Pam says. “It’s critical for us to be a part of this process. Contractors know we aren’t simply showing up with mops and buckets: we do much more than that.”
A Little Train Trip to Big Commercial Projects
Pam went to work in the construction industry at age 19 as a heavy equipment operator for an underground infrastructure company in Longwood, Florida. She started a housecleaning business in 1987. It provided a more flexible schedule while her children were young.
Admiring her meticulous attention to detail, a client asked if she could clean a new museum being built at Walt Disney World by his employer, a contractor. The museum’s special displays included Walt Disney’s favorite model train sets and the furniture from his California studio.
Though she’d never tackled a job of that size and caliber, Pam was confident she could deliver. “I hired a team, and we finished the job with flying colors,” she says. “That was the start of our commercial cleaning services in 1997.”
Today, Detail Dynamics is known for completing large jobs such as hotels, theme parks, hospitals and office buildings, delivering a beautiful end product ready for hand-off to the owners.
“We’re part of the project management team that helps general contractors and other trades deliver a clean and detailed building,” Pam says.
The company’s largest contract award was for cleaning Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, an 1,800-room property in Orlando, Florida, for contractor, Balfour Beatty. “They told me that they selected us because our bid was the most thorough,” Pam says. Pam’s team also assisted the project manager by doing some of the punch-list work in areas inaccessible to other trades who had completed the work.
Other large projects include Northrop Grumman’s campus expansion at Orlando Melbourne International Airport; SunTrust Plaza, a mixed-use office tower in downtown Orlando; and Universal’s Volcano Bay and nearby Cabana Bay Resort Towers, also in Orlando. Next up is the new PGA Tour headquarters, currently under construction in Ponte Vedra Beach.
Getting the Details Right
Detail Dynamics spends a good amount of time on due diligence for projects. “If we need a change order, we’re very upfront and detailed. We do our job costing and put a schedule of values together,” Pam says. “Clients rely on us for assistance in scheduling, coordinating with the project team and performing our work at the right time. It’s critical that our services are completed in the correct order so that owners can review their buildings. Our skills and knowledge of products and procedures help the contractor. The company provides daily completion reports to contractors, creating accountability for each and every team member.
Pam’s understanding of the different types of finishes and the correct products and equipment required to perform a job properly—such as sealing floors, for example—has made her somewhat of a chemist.
Detail Dynamics takes the time to review the owners’ specs and ensure that the details are included in the quote and that the specified finishes are used. During the project, the crew pays close attention to specs to ensure nothing is missed. For example, if application of anti-static finish to a floor is required, the material and labor costs must be accounted for. “Sometimes, an estimator overlooks details on finishes and processes. We walk them through each requirement,” Pam says.
The company also has a strong commitment to safety, including maintaining a hazard management program and material safety data sheets for cleaning products.
When the Going Gets Tough: Plan
“We’ve created problem-solving methods and processes based on our deep experience. That minimizes the margin for error,” Pam says. “When contractors come to us with a problem, we help find a way to correct it to avoid replacement costs and to get the job done safely.”
For example, during one project, the subcontractor’s work had resulted in oxidization of unprotected aluminum window frames. “The building owner demanded they be replaced by the contractor. However, we figured out how to restore the finish, which was far less costly,” Pam recalls.
During construction of the 516-room JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa, a subcontractor left behind 16 floors of stucco-covered exterior windows and frames. The Detail Dynamics team created a detailed, multistep plan of action, including pressure washing to loosen the stucco and using special blades to remove it. They were meticulous and did not scratch the glass. “Our team removed the stucco, and the contractor avoided having to replace the exterior windows,” she says.
Water and power are essential to clean a building, yet sometimes the work has to be accomplished without those critical resources. Pam’s teams have managed this challenge—twice. “We created a plan of action, including transporting water to the job site and removing it after cleaning,” she says. “It was very difficult, but we did a great job,” she recalls.
“When tensions are running high, we stay in the game. It’s better to work through the issue and focus on a solution. Finger pointing and blame gaming are the enemies of teamwork,” Pam says.
A Foundation of Service Built for Longevity
“Our team members have hearts for service,” Pam says. “They are passionate about doing an excellent job, and they deliver an end result they can be proud of.” It is important to Pam to provide them with a positive and safe work environment, including health care benefits, paid vacation and even child care provided at the office when needed.
Pam trains her employees to think like contractors and do their work with pride. “We spend most of our time at work and need to enjoy what we do,” she explains. “When employees are encouraged and given responsibility to take ownership of their work, they’re committed. They share in the company’s planting and in its harvest. Otherwise, it’s just an hourly job.”
Team leaders are equipped with knowledge and skills to meet project deadlines. “They express ideas on how to improve performance. Everyone is a critical part of the wheel. It’s a team effort, and we all work together,” Pam adds.
Now that Pam has run the company for 33 years, her children, Vanessa Baker, Secretary of Administration, and Rory Olson, Project Manager, are working toward assuming ownership of Detail Dynamics. Their plans include expanding services to Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. “We look forward to many more years of perfecting our services and continuing to be an asset to our clients,” Pam says, adding that she hopes that one day her grandchildren will also want to lead the business and build on its foundations. “Then the American Dream will continue long after I’ve retired,” she says. Regardless of the scope or complexity, Pam and her team are committed to handing over a job well done on each and every project. “Our customers’ goals are our goals,” she says. “With this commitment instilled in the mind of every employee, we will continue to deliver more than just cleaning.”