American Cleaning Service Co.
Eli Schmoeger took over American Cleaning Service Co. (ACS) in 2010; however, the Boise-based family-owned business has been around for more than 60 years. “My grandfather founded this company by himself in 1949,” Eli explains. “He started with a bucket and a squeegee working door to door cleaning businesses. His philosophy was that first impressions make a difference.”
Eli’s father, Charlie Schmoeger, grew up in the business and operated the company until a few years ago when it changed hands once more. “My dad is still involved, although as more of an adviser,” Eli notes. “He helps with strategy, board of director activity and financing. He is more hands-off in the day-to-day operations and has moved out of the main operating role.”
As the business continues to grow, ACS offers a more diverse selection of services to customers in southwestern Idaho, eastern Oregon and northern Nevada. ACS now offers a full-service approach to cleaning and janitorial services, as well as disaster remediation.
With a growing team of 165 employees, the company has established a strong reputation in the industry. The crew operates from a single office location in Boise, Idaho, traveling to each site for a number of unique services. Continued success and long-term relationships have put ACS in a pattern of steady growth.
Clients have come to rely on ACS for a number of different cleaning-related services. The business has four specialized divisions, each of which is staffed by experienced professionals. “We have our janitorial group, which preforms nightly contract cleaning and other periodic cleaning projects,” Eli explains. “We do window cleaning from high-rises to residential buildings, which includes pressure washing and technical services. Our laundry division takes care of everything from entry mats to bar towels. Most recently, we have been building up our disaster response division.”
The ACS team works with customers from start to finish on fire and flood restoration projects. “Our team goes in, sucks all of the water out and systematically dries out the affected area. We remove damaged items, which are replaced through the insurance companies. We have strategic partners that take care of plumbing and electrical; however, we take care of a lot of the work in-house. We do drywall, carpentry and some cabinetry depending on the size and scope of the project.”
With the growing disaster response program, ACS has built relationships with subtrades and insurance companies to help mitigate services and rates. “We have some really great partners,” Eli notes. With broad capabilities and an experienced team, ACS is able to restore residential and commercial properties to a preexisting state, as if the flood or fire was never there.
“We are very focused on growth right now,” Eli says. “We are looking for bigger contracts with larger customers. We have seen some potential for acquisitions. As some of the baby-boomer generation is phasing out of the industry, we see opportunity for growing by merging or absorbing other companies. We continue to develop our disaster response division and have been looking at additional services.”
Eli goes on to note that ACS recently started a sanitation contract. “That’s a little different from what we are used to,” he elaborates. “Instead of cleaning an office building, we will be sanitizing the facilities and equipment for a food manufacturing line. Our job will be to have everything ready for the next day, and in line with Food and Drug Administration standards. Historically, this has not really been part of our market, but it may prove an opportunity to break into a new niche.”
Presently, the fastest growing component of ACS remains the disaster response team. “Last winter, it was really cold for an extended period of time early in the year,” Eli explains. “We had several weeks where the temperature outside was below zero. With that, our customers had problems with bursting pipes. In the spring time there is the melting that goes on and creates floods, but winter is probably the busiest season for our disaster response team.”
As the need increases, the market is opening up in other ways, too. Eli reports increased activity in the local market during summer 2013. “We have seen a lot of confidence in the public sector,” he notes. “The economy hasn’t been a big challenge for us. We didn’t lose a lot of customers, and we gained a lot of good employees. I feel lucky to come to work every day and collaborate with all the great people on our team that have bought in to the program and really own their roles.”
Together, ACS is prepared with the dedication and capabilities to tackle large and complex challenges. As time goes on, Eli and his team are open to different opportunities, but remain focused on providing the highest level of service to customers through innovation. “It’s a new puzzle every day,” Eli explains; a puzzle that American Cleaning Service Co. is prepared to solve.