Case Studies

Woodard Cleaning and Restoration (WCR)

Seventy years of comprehensive cleaning and restoration services

For the past 70 years, Woodard Cleaning and Restoration (WCR) has built a successful business based on exceptional customer service. Located in St. Louis, WCR is a property and disaster restoration general contracting company, specializing in the residential market. With four facilities in the St. Louis metropolitan area, the company completes restoration projects within a 100-mile radius.

Founded by Earl and Nancy Woodard in 1946, WCR began shortly after Earl returned home from World War II. As an Army Air Corp navigator during the war, Earl was shot down over occupied France. After escaping on foot through the Pyrenees Mountains, he eventually found freedom in Spain. Soon after being reunited with the allied forces, Earl received his discharge papers and returned to St. Louis.

Woodard Cleaning and Restoration (WCR)

Expanding skills and services

Starting exclusively as a furniture, carpet, and rug cleaning firm, Earl and Nancy built their grassroots business by going from door to door and working out of a canvas-covered trailer, pulled by their lone family car. Woodard has since expanded its services to become the Midwest’s leader in fire, smoke, and water restoration. The company remains family-owned and -operated, with Earl and Nancy’s son, Charlie Woodard, serving as the company’s chairman of the board and CEO, and his son, Justin Woodard, as president of the company.

The quality and capability of its employees is what causes Woodard to stand out from the competition. With the amount of services the company provides, Woodard cross-trains a majority of its people in all aspects of the business. “What’s so important to me is the feedback I get around town about our employees,” says Justin. “Our customers often tell me about how they have worked with Woodard for years and they have always been impressed with the level of professionalism and customer service.”

In addition to its quality employees, Woodard has established relationships with other restoration contractors all over the country. This enables Woodard to handle any type of job, regardless of size or amount of restoration involved. “Due to our experience and longevity as a company, we are able to partner with some of the top restoration contractors in the United States,” explains Justin. “Depending on the size of the project, we’ll have companies send five or six crews into town. We’ll also venture outside our market sometimes to help them as well, without compromising anything we already have going on in St. Louis.”

A trusted leader

In June 2015, Woodard was called upon to mitigate homes in Maplewood, Missouri that had experienced sewage flooding. Due to a failed floodgate in the River Des Peres, dirty water and sewage infiltrated the basements and crawl spaces of more than 30 houses. Woodard worked with insurance adjusters to manage the massive loss on-site and develop a plan of action. The Woodard team went from door to door checking on residents and educating them on their choice to work with Woodard. Tasks performed by Woodard included extracting all sewer water, cleaning and sanitizing floors and salvageable structures, setting up temporary air conditioning for families, and providing ongoing support for all homeowners in the area by answering questions and concerns.

Woodard was able to resolve the flooding issue while still maintaining its normal day-to-day operations. “Within four days we had every home cleaned up and dried out,” recalls Justin. “We did all of this and still took care of all of our other customers.”

When it comes to measuring success of the company, Woodard gauges its progress on not only the financial stability of the company but also the amount of referrals it receives due to customer satisfaction. “Every customer is our most important customer,” says Justin. “Ultimately, our success is based on clients doing repeat business with Woodard.”

The achievements and progress of its employees is another metric Woodard uses to measure its success. Every employee at the company is presented with the opportunity of personal and professional growth. “We want everybody to not only learn new technical skills, but also management skills,” says Justin. “We have established an environment where our employees become leaders of the community.”

The teamwork that Woodard displays day in and day out is what gives Justin his biggest sense of pride with the company. The ability to work together, as well as collaborate with other contractors to help people return to their daily lives, has been the driving force behind Woodard’s success. In its 70th year, Woodard Cleaning and Restoration is positioned to remain a leading disaster restoration contractor of the Midwest.

Published on: August 3, 2016



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