Flagship—Sweeping Across the Country

Flagship Sweeping Services is a giant in the industry competing for large accounts and backed by it’s umbrella company Flagship which also provides janitorial, facility services, facility management, engineering, and Flagship Green. Flagship has nine locations in California, Texas, Arizona, and Kansas with more than 1,900 employees to help meet their customer’s needs.

Wade Kasper joined the 25-year-old company in 1996. “When I started with them, I was pushing a broom on an airfield ramp,” says Kasper. “I moved up to operating a Tennant 6200. I slowly moved up to larger equipment and more responsibility and here I am today as the regional operations manager. I oversee and direct all operations with the airports and any outside type work. Basically, if it needs to be fixed, or is outside, I’m your guy.”

Based in Texas, Kasper directs their sweeping operations nationwide and reports to a vice president. “I have sweeping supervisors at each location. We do a lot of airport sweeping, and are known for it. We have the badged, custom-sealed personnel, as well as the large fleet of vehicles and equipment needed to properly service large airports. Flagship has worked for airports for many years and is one of the areas where we excel.”

Airport Sweeping

Kasper is in charge of the sweeping efforts for many airports in California, Arizona, Texas, and Oklahoma, including sweeping for San Diego, LAX, San Francisco, and American Airlines at their hub at DFW Airport. “It’s structured chaos,” says Kasper. “There are people, planes, and vehicles going everywhere at an airport. Our job is to make sure that it all gets swept so that the planes aren’t delayed.”

Flagship won the contract with American back in 1998. “We contract with American primarily because they want to make sure their gates are exceptionally clean,” says Kasper. “Even though it’s a large cost, it’s small compared to the cost of aircraft damage.”

When Flagship goes out for a bid, they typically encounter other large players in the industry such as Mr. Dirt of Texas, Mr. Sweeper, Sweeping Services of Arizona, Universal Sweeping, and others. But going after a major contract with a large airport is one of the areas that Flagship thrives in. “To maintain such a huge property takes quite a bit of financial backing,” says Kasper. “We have lots of equipment, including 15 pickup trucks, 12 scrubbers, and more than 350 employees here in Dallas. Our extreme diversity and ability to be a one-stop shop is a huge plus. We have facility tech guys on booms replacing lights, guys sweeping for the City of Dallas, and janitorial guys cleaning inside of DFW.”

One of the obstacles of this industry is its turnover but Flagship has put some processes in place to minimize that issue. “Flagship has a stringent hiring process—one of the best in the industry. We run detailed background checks and take the time to review each prospective employee to determine if they are a fit for our team. We also have training programs and take the time to help new employees get acclimated to the job. We do everything we can to assure our teams stay together for as long as possible,” says Kasper.

Other Sweeping

Flagship also provides highway sweeping for KDOT, and some parking lot sweeping, but only with major corporations. “If we are going after the contract, then it’s a substantial contract,” says Kasper. “We sweep for Prologis and Aeroterm which have properties all over the country.” Prologis is one of the largest providers of logistics and distribution facilities in the Americas with more than 2,000 buildings, and more than 7,500 acres available for development. Aeroterm is the leading provider of capital, expertise, and facility-related services to airports throughout North America. “We service about 15 of their properties.”

Municipal Sweeping

“Our biggest service after airport sweeping is municipal sweeping,” says Kasper. “We’ve expanded into that area since I came to work here and are doing well. Right now, we have about 80 percent of the DFW metroplex. We do spurs, county roads, and major thoroughfares—basically anything that the City of Dallas owns. We also sweep for the City of Fort Worth, Southlake, Grand Prairie, Mansfield, and many others. Some cities want us to just sweep the major streets and others want us to sweep every single street in the city twice a month.”

Kasper has about 15 Tymco and Elgin sweepers in the DFW area to do the job. “Two of our Elgin sweepers are air and the rest are brooms. We have several Elgin Eagles for off of the airfield. We also have an Elgin Crosswind that will sometimes go on the airfield and a Broombear that we’ll use for construction. Each truck is specific for the job. Tymco works great for airfields and residential. One of our Tymco sweepers is equipped with a 300 gallon water tank and power washer to do water main breaks. Another one is equipped with a towable magnet for the airport.”

Each sweeper is fitted with a GPS to show the date and time of sweeping. “We can run a report to show city officials if someone complains and it helps to limit those,” says Kasper.

With a well-oiled crew under Kasper, Flagship is poised to sweep the nation.

Story by Jennifer Taylor

For more information:
—Flagship: www.flagshipinc.com
—Elgin: www.elginsweeper.com
—Tymco: www.tymco.com