Partnerships with some of the largest health care providers in the Midwest, as well as the 48 contiguous states, is enabling Omaha-based FBG Facility Services to rack up large growth numbers while expanding the depth of the services offered.
Andy Petersen, who joined FBG in 2015, was named the company’s third president earlier this year. He heads a 1,400-employee enterprise headquartered in a 109-year-old building at 407 S. 27th Ave. — formerly a Packard automotive dealership — that is being remodeled to accommodate growth needs.
While commercial buildings of various types account for about 55% of FBG Facility Services’ revenues, health care facilities at 15% of revenues will account for increased emphasis in future years.
“Specifically, it is in health care,” Petersen said. “We’re seeing it literally across the country from substantial growth on the west coast, the upper northwest and the southeastern states.”
He said many of the relationships being developed are via “partnerships” with larger health care providers, including those with facilities internationally, and their management companies.
“Some may call it non-traditional health care and we’re adopting many processes to meet their expectations,” Petersen said. “Our 500-plus [local] employees give us the flexibility to create what is needed.”
The nimble response sought by large health care providers is for physician offices and clinics, pharmaceutical outlets, and specialized patient-service delivery models that include treatment centers.
Petersen said a differentiating factor in FBG Facility Services’ 60-some years of longevity and growth has come from adhering to the late chairman Wayne Simmonds’ charge to employees at all levels to be on the cutting edge by emphasizing innovation and experimentation.
Tackling a Health Crisis
At an industry trade show in Las Vegas in 2016, Petersen remembers seeing a display of induction-charged electrostatic sprayers that could aid cleaning personnel with the then-pending issues regarding a forecast for a more severe cold and flu season.
The units sold for $3,000 each. Five were purchased.
“I thought they might differentiate us because their use by us would enable people to feel safer,” Petersen said.
The sprayers use U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered disinfectants that are approved to kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. FBG Facility Services employs trained disinfection specialists who patrol high traffic areas and can respond to any outbreaks with full EDS treatments. Emergency response teams are armed with several EDS systems offering three levels of disinfection.
The equipment has been used at call centers, commercial buildings, schools, customer care centers, fitness facilities and day cares.
About 55% of FBG Facility Services revenues are generated by work in commercial buildings. Educational institutions provide another 20% of billings.
In recent years, the number of national accounts has doubled. Strategic partner agreements are becoming more common in serving the needs of industrial customers such as utilities which need work done at several locations.
“We’re picking up additional customers on the east coast and in the upper Midwest,” Petersen said. “More utilities are outsourcing their facilities services but there’s a high level of security that is required.”
FBG Facility Services’ experience with utilities goes back to the ‘90s.
Petersen said over several years FBG Facility Services has been successful in competing for large national contracts, in part, because of its hefty investment in technology. A five-person information technology department has been important in addressing the specific needs of customers.
“Our largest client was attracted to us by our ability to take data driven from old school ways and to put into a new system of technology that now makes it measurable,” he said.
It’s in the Details
FBG Facility Services benefits from being an employee-owned firm and Petersen said one of his initiatives is to stress to employees to be the eyes and ears necessary to contribute additional value to clients.
“We have to be good eyes and ears to our customers on non-related business to ours,” he said, citing the importance of FBG Facility Services’ 15-member safety committee.
For example, when water is seen dripping from the ceiling in a client’s building, a strict protocol needs to be followed in taking a picture, notifying the appropriate employee, and then following up on the resolution of the situation.
Other situations could range from a security alarm not registering or the temperature of a freezer being out of its normal range.
“What I feel I brought to this company has resulted in tremendous growth,” Petersen said. “I believe in full transparency and speed-to-resolution and I remain confident that they work in sync.”
Petersen, who grew up in the Benson area, is a 1982 graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha. His career stops included stints at Carpenter Paper Co. and All Makes Office Equipment before joining FBG Facility Services in 2015.
Petersen replaced Terri Gogetap — daughter of founder Wayne Simmonds — as president. Gogetap remains as chairwoman of the board. Both of Petersen’s children are involved in the business. Son Drew is director of strategic relationship and runs the Omaha district. Daughter Ashley is a senior account manager for health care clients.
FBG Facility Services’ most long-serving employee is Jim Simmonds, brother of the late Wayne Simmonds, who has 48 years of service. He is a vice-president.
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