Total Facility Solutions, Inc. began organically within the M+W Group 11 years ago, providing turnkey contracting and electrical and mechanical services. The full service design and self-perform specialty construction firm underwent a business restructure five-and-a-half years ago however, to transition from an operating unit that was run by an operations officer to a company that revolves around a business plan and strategy. The shift has resulted in paramount success, turning the company into one with a complete management program that has both strategic and tactical direction.
Joe Cestari, President of Total Facility Solutions, was at the helm of the transitory period. He believes that the root of the company’s success begins internally and extends outward.
“Before we can be effective externally with our customers and the rest of our supply chain, we have to be effective with each other,” said Cestari. “Most of our marketing focus today still remains on perfecting communications within our internal team. Our business isn't one that’s going to be changed by magazine ads or billboards or even web ads, it’s about our people having the same core values and practicing those values everyday in front of our customers.”
“Now that we're a larger company, we really need to make sure that we have a strong internal culture, and a clear mindset and understanding of who we are and what we stand for,” added Cestari. “It’s not about technical competency, it’s not about metrics, it’s certainly about performance, but our primary focus and our drive as a company has been around care and concern for each other and really running our business as close to a family environment, a team environment, as we can.”
Personal Business Relations
When it comes to its work force, Total Facility Solutions approaches its management style in a direct, united approach. Whether it is a young apprentice who just started or a staff member who has been on board for over 10 years, Total Facility Solutions treats both equally, providing the same opportunities.
“Anybody that’s on our payroll gets treated like a member of the family and gets taken care of as if they were a member of the family for a long period of time,” said Cestari. “It’s our goal that we make the development of our people not only visible but measured and recognized in an effort to ensure we’re breeding a collaborative culture based on safety, quality, trust and overall care and concern for each other across the board.”
As a result of this philosophy, there have been zero management turnovers within the top two levels of management in the last five years, providing a competitive advantage over others. At the core of Total Facility Solutions’ Incident & Injury Free® (IIF) safety program is not just the belief but also the practice of demonstrating care and concern for every employee.
“We expect safety to be everybody’s responsibility, not just the responsibility of the safety department, and so that’s really what we’re doing culturally on the operational side,” said Cestari. “We spend a lot of time and effort to make sure that all of our staff and labor force go through training both in safe practices and the different functions that they might perform. Adopting IIF has transformed our company. Each TFS employee has openly embraced the IIF mentality and realizes their responsibility for making it a success.”
Throughout 2014, Total Facility Solutions’ primary focus was operational excellence and the convergence of technology and construction. The company embarked on an aggressive program to implement BIM, and lean construction practices to focus on advancing a true lean supply chain strategy and operation.
“Bringing BIM to life this year, we’ve given most of our supervision in the field products to allow them to look at design models in real time so they can review conflicts and design revisions while they’re in the field. This means having the ability to look at the area where something is going to be installed or look at add-build installation in the model and designing around it,” said Cestari. “We are also about 60 percent finished on the development and rollout of a complete workflow management platform. It should be ready by the first quarter of 2015, giving us access to a real-time dashboard.”
Total Facility Solutions is also one of the few, if not the only company in its industry, using PLEX as the engine behind its lean construction implementation. The PLEX manufacturing cloud delivers convenient, real-time information on the shop floor using iPads and iPhones to save time, improve productivity and support quality and inventory management. Even just the move from the classic logbooks and filing cabinets to tracking everything online reduces the margin for error significantly.
“Our philosophy is that if we don’t obsolete our business, somebody else will,” added Cestari. “So we’re trying to be proactive in the implementation of technology.”
Total Facility Solutions is focused on remaining a niche company grounded on emerging technology and manufacturing facilities.
Looking to be selective on upcoming projects, Total Facility Solutions has three priorities moving forward: invest in our people, invest in standard operational procedures, policies and improvements, and invest in technology and new capital equipment.
“We’re not looking to grow at the same rate that we’ve been growing. Really, we’re looking to become more profitable, more efficient and be able to provide more complete solutions to our customers,” concluded Cestari.