Located in Greenville, South Carolina, KPCS Inc. is a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) that provides cleaning services to industrial and commercial facilities throughout North and South Carolina as well as Georgia and Tennessee. KPCS Inc. was founded by Kelly Gilreath and Judith Hudson in 1987 with the intent to restore a certain level of integrity and professionalism in the industry. “We always maintain a strong line of communication with our customers,” says Gilreath. “We also always thoroughly inspect our work.” Vice president Mike Hiles believes, “What sets KPCS Inc. apart from some of the larger janitorial services is the company’s focus on individualized customer service.”
In order to maintain strong communication with its clients, KPCS Inc. keeps managers on location for each account. With 117 full-time employees, KPCS Inc. offers a wide range of janitorial and cleaning services including — but not limited to — general office cleaning, plant floor sweeping and scrubbing, pressure washing, utility labor and machine cleaning.
Through its commitment to provide quality services, KPCS Inc. conducts ongoing training and development of its associates, supervisors and management. All company associates complete a certification program as well as on-the-job training specifically related to the unique needs of each facility. This training covers standard cleaning methods and procedures, equipment use, product application and use, safety practices and security measures.
In order to provide its clients with the best value possible, KPCS Inc. conducts an overall survey of each facility. Upon completion, a service program is tailor-designed to fit the specific needs of each customer. “We want our clients to be able to focus on their business,” says Gilreath. “We manage these services so they don’t have to.”
As a small business in the United States, KPCS Inc. has been faced with many of the same challenges that all small companies deal with. Government legislation, health insurance and taxation continue to be some of the biggest obstacles small companies are forced to overcome. “We just strive to be the best in our field,” says Gilreath. “Sometimes that’s all you can do. We may not be the lowest cost but our quality of work and professionalism pays off for all parties involved. Our leadership, our managers and our employees are some of the most dedicated in the industry.”
Remaining current with the latest industry trends and products is important to the success of the business. In an industry where technology is constantly evolving, KPCS Inc. ensures that its employees are educated and trained in the latest applications of products. “With any contract we obtain, responsibilities can vary greatly,” explains Gilreath. “When you’re a janitorial service you don’t just perform janitorial work in the type of facilities that we serve. For instance, we may perform some utility cleaning or recycle products. There are a number of things that we may end up doing, so what might be a new service to one customer may not be new to another.”
KPCS Inc. is a company that self-performs all of its own contracts which helps the company maintain control of the timeframe on each job as well as cost. When the company does turn to subcontractors, it’ is primarily for high-rise window cleaning, in which case KPCS Inc. utilizes its strong network of strategic business partners. “It’s very important to us to maintain strong, long-term relationships,” Gilreath explains. “On occasion we take competitive quotes for the supplies and equipment that we purchase.” This industry is highly competitive so profit margins are very low when you go into a bidding situation compared to other industries so you have to stay on top of the costs in order to compete.”
As KPCS Inc. moves forward, Gilreath plans to expand the company’s geographical footprint. “We currently service several large distribution centers and manufacturing plants such as Walmart Distribution, 1st Quality Tissue, Tupperware, and Jarden Applied Materials to name a few,” Gilreath says. “I would like to see us contracting with more facilities of this type and also expand into more states.”
With cautious optimism for the economic future of the country, Gilreath hopes to see the market become less strenuous for small businesses. “I believe things will get better,” she says. “Overall we have been very blessed with this business. It’s still a tough environment out there right now but when other businesses have been down we’ve been up and I feel very blessed and fortunate because of that.”
While KPCS Inc. continues to grow and expand the reach of its services, the company is thriving in a competitive market. The company continues to receive contracts from major retail industries, manufacturers and distributors due to its quality and professionalism. KPCS Inc. continues to set the bar for multiservice janitorial work in the industrial and commercial sectors.
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