Companies

Father/son company profits from cleaning up the energy industry




Whether it’s in the field or in the office, energy companies gather a lot of dirt, and those who make a living cleaning are cleaning up.

The energy industry is Anago of Western Pennsylvania’s fastest growing business segment, said owner David Ross, and has helped his Bridgeville cleaning company’s profits increase by 20 percent yearly over the past five years.

Anago works with 350 clients, including health care providers, colleges, offices, child care centers and about a dozen energy companies, such as Rockwater Energy Solutions in Hickory.

“You have the construction sites and the construction towers, then you also have the corporate headquarters to work with,” Mr. Ross said. “It kind of started in its infancy and it’s just been growing ever since.”

Anago’s largest business segment is health care — which is almost the complete opposite of energy in terms of cleanliness.

“That was the first eye-opening thing. Wow, these places can really get dirty fast,“ said Mr. Ross’s son, Bill, who handles marketing, sales and client relations. ”A lot of the field offices for these energy companies are dirty and we have to make them clean.“

Anago is a national franchise company with locations across the country. Mr. Ross’ company, one of two in Pennsylvania, serves as this region’s master franchise.

The 10 employees at the master franchise do not clean but provide training and administrative services to 95 unit franchises located around Allegheny, Beaver, Lawrence, Butler, Greene, Westmoreland and Washington counties. About 300 people are employed with the unit franchises, Mr. Ross said.

"They all have training before they can start,“ he said. ”We have classes that are required and we go through every aspect of cleaning.“ Employees are also trained on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements for the industries they are working with.

Energy companies have certain regulations and safety procedures, especially out on job sites where they might have smaller offices and trailers.

”They have a lot of things that are very specific to their industry that have to be followed. They have specific things like evacuation plans, safety procedures, hard hats ... you don’t wear a hard hat in a dialysis clinic,“ Mr. Ross said. 

”There’s a place that we service that does a lot of [gas] storage … Everyone has to back into the parking spots so in the event of an evacuation, everyone is pulling out in the same direction,“ Bill Ross added. ”It’s just something you don’t think about.“

Anago’s employees are not just at job sites. An energy company’s corporate headquarters can get pretty dirty, too.

"Guys come out of the field with muddy boots into these offices to meet with their supervisors or whomever and then that’s left for us to take care of at the end of the day,” Bill Ross said.

Anago relies on word-of-mouth recommendations, referrals, business-to-business telemarketing and online marketing to advertise its business.

"We always encourage our franchise owners to do their absolute best because business owners talk to other business owners,“ Bill Ross said. ”If you’re cleaning something in a business park and the next business over is looking for someone to do cleaning, then they’re going to ask their neighbors, ‘Who do you use?’ and that’s a large source of business for us.“

Madasyn Czebiniak: mczebiniak@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1269. Twitter: @PG_Czebiniak

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