APS Facility Maintenance was founded by Lorenzo Myrick as a janitorial staffing company in 1998.
With 50 employees at the time, the vision was a simple one with the Memphis area as a customer base.
“We never thought of going national, but just staying local,” said company vice president Melissa Myrick.
Lorenzo and Melissa Myrick are president and vice president of APS Facility Maintenance, a company that has grown since being founded in 1998.
(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)
Begun as Amnesty Professional Services, it took a national tragedy – and the subsequent market interruptions and economic tremors – to cause APS to refocus its efforts and expand its scope and mission.
“When 9/11 hit, it almost put us out of business and that’s when we turned to facility maintenance,” Myrick said. “Staffing is not necessarily a need, but keeping your building clean is a need so we went into the mind-set of providing what people need rather than what they want.”
And that need appears to be rampant as the company has grown over the past 15 years to 180 employees working in Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Facility maintenance and janitorial providers must be certified in any state they work in, and APS has a wide range of certifications from the state-mandated to that of a minority-owned company with the Tennessee Minority Supplier Development Council, the Mid-South Minority Business Council Continuum and the Governor’s Office of Diversity Business Enterprise. In addition, they are an 8A certified company authorized to bid on federal projects.
To further fill that need, APS does more than “keeping your building clean” and handles commercial lawn and landscaping services, as well as light construction. “Companies like one-stop-shops,” says Myrick as she ticks off services such as pressure washing, lawn care, window washing, carpet cleaning and water damage restoration, and parking lot striping.
“So some of the things that we cannot provide, we do have relationships where we can get those items subbed out but still perform up under the APS managing that to make sure it goes the correct way and we’re still the main contact for our customer.”
Customer service is at the forefront of the mission of APS to, in part, “promise to deliver our service with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride and excellence.”
Some of those clients being serviced include Smith & Nephew, Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division, the Air National Guard, the Internal Revenue Service, Lichterman Nature Center and The Regional Medical Center at Memphis.
The 8A certification is part of a plan for growth and expanding into other states working with such entities as government hospitals and Air Force bases. Expansion into San Francisco is already in the planning stages as part of a government contract. There won’t be a home office in California; that will continue to be based in Memphis where a special facility is used to train employees on carpets, floors and other janitorial services.
“We’ll have an office at the location that the customer will give us and we will just communicate with the head management there that we have in charge and they’ll refer back to us,” Myrick said.
The services offered are varied and customizable as APS works with clients on their timing, special services and emergency needs as they arise. While it was janitorial and maintenance facility services that filled a need for customers, it is the APS mission and dedication to their clients and growth into new products and areas that have kept them on the cutting edge and competitive.