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Investment and innovation propel REMCO's success.

For REMCO, one of the Northeast's premier restoration and maintenance firms for seven decades, the challenge was not only to maintain its level of service, but to enhance its reputation for quality while bringing a new level of 21st century professionalism and technological services to its diverse clientele.

The answer was similar to the solutions REMCO has been creating for its clients for years - protect one's investment through reinvestment and continually innovate new products and services that enhance the appearance of their clients facilities.

A family-founded operation that prided itself on both in-house and on-site training, promotion from within and a large reservoir of highly skilled craftsman, REMCO had well-established traditions that guaranteed the continuing education and professionalism of its employees. But last April, with Jan P. Kaupas ascending to the helm as president, and the strength of Omni Facility Resources behind it, REMCO was ready to delve into equipment and technological investments.

And the company did so in less than a year, when it became part of the Omni family. A top priority, says Kaupas, was to upgrade the operational structure so that it is even more effective in its responsiveness. Staff was added to accomplish this in the area of scheduling customers' work. New practices in cost control, scheduling and competitive pricing, combined with an MIS department retooled with new hardware from "top to bottom," now allows the project managers to keep a virtual 24-hour accounting of all field work and has "elicited a very positive response from clients," adds Edward Wasilewski, executive vice president. Making the process enjoyable for the customer and delivering quality and personalized services to customers is the key to success in the service industry.

"To show that we valued their work and contributions, our teams all have new uniforms - from heavy parkas, hats and turtlenecks for winter to summer weight shirts and pants," Kaupas continued. "They look better, feel proud and do both REMCO and themselves a service through enhanced performance on the job."

Innovative management systems are just part of raising the bar, Wasilewski continues. "We are also looking to technologies from other industries to see how they fit within our roster of specialty facilities services.

Recently, while walking through midtown, Wasilewski was noting the excessive "scratchiti," a form of graffiti which one often sees on subway and train cars, where vandals scratch the glass. "It occurred to me that glass restoration and protection services were a natural fit with the work we do with wood, metal, marble, leather and stone."

This service has generated a tremendous amount of interest from various groups. REMCO completed its first restoration projects at W Hotel on East 39th Street and Silverstein Properties' 140 Broadway. The glass looks like new - and changes the alternatives dramatically. Until now you either had to live with the condition or replace it new. "Even more importantly," notes Wasilewski, "the cost of restoring the glass is a fraction of the cost of replacing the glass."

Officially launched in March as Glass and Protection Services, the service is exclusive to REMCO and a first in the building restoration industry. It restores and protects glass from damage caused by vandalism, normal wear and tear, and faulty maintenance. REMCO also offers a solution that prevents future vandal etching to complement the restoration service, which involves installing a clear plastic film as a protective barrier. The film has the added advantage of transforming the glass into safety glass and blocking 99 percent of UV rays.

It is this kind of investment of energy and imagination that Kaupas and Wasilewski see as the most productive way of keeping REMCO's reputation as a standard bearer for the industry.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 29, 2000
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