Hard Work Pays Off

Hard work pays off. In the case of Atlanta Sweeping Services, years of experience, ruthless focus on procedures, and lessons learned, have allowed them to become one of the most prestigious sweeping companies in the nation.

“We’ve learned over the past 20 years that above everything we do, we must remember that we are a service business,” says Jimmy Wettlaufer, President of Atlanta Sweeping Services. Jimmy has been in the parking lot sweeping business for over 23 years and with Atlanta since their beginning in 1995. “The service we provide is clean parking lots. We must exceed our customer’s expectations for quality service every day and every night.”

What separates Atlanta Sweeping Services from others in the industry is the rigorous attention to detail they have put into developing and maintaining their standard operating procedures. “Our goal is to perform error free every day. So to accomplish that goal, there are four things we must do: Number one is to take care of our customers. Number two, take care of our employees. Number three, take care of our trucks and equipment. And number four, watch our costs. If we stay focused on these areas every day then we know we will be successful.”
To illustrate, simple operating procedures are displayed on a board for drivers that can easily be seen as they enter and leave the shop. In addition, each nightly shift begins with a driver meeting to reiterate these procedures and set expectations for the work shift ahead. “We really value our employees. We value their longevity here. Supervisors and team leaders are always promoted from within. The crew that we have is excellent and we treat them with respect. But we have very strict guidelines of what is expected of them. They accept those terms and do a great job. We communicate very well and make sure that there is a mutual understanding.”

A significant difference that also separates Atlanta Sweeping is the tenure of their employees. The average team member has been with the company for over 10 years. This commitment to their employees is evident in their low turnover rate and a high level of job performance. Their long term approach to personnel has resulted in highly skilled employees, significantly less training expense, and a mutually beneficial relationship between employer and employees.

Also playing a key role to their success is the equipment they operate. Atlanta has been using NiteHawk Sweeper trucks since 1998 and in August 2013, decided to take the leap to alternative fuel. They currently operate a fleet of NiteHawk Osprey F250SD sweeper trucks that run on LPG (Liquid Propane Gas) to help further save on fuel and maintenance costs. These trucks are also bi-fuel giving them the flexibility to run on gasoline if needed.

“We have been really satisfied with our NiteHawk trucks because of our decrease in fuel cost, tire wear, and reduced maintenance costs. Our drivers are familiar and love the ease of operation. Also, a lot of our customers are looking to hire a “green” company so using alternative fuels satisfies their requirements. They’re good trucks and that’s why we bought them.”

This mentality of efficiency in all areas of business is what has allowed Atlanta Sweepers to stay prosperous during the bad times and excel in the good. When it comes to controlling costs, they use a strict budgeting method that is understood by all employees throughout the organization. This approach was developed by the owner after many years of experience in the corporate world.

Jimmy explains, “We have a strict budget and we need to meet it, no questions asked. We pass that budget along to the drivers as well and talk about things like fuel costs during our nightly meetings. We keep track of our budgeting daily and by doing so, we can afford to buy the things we need when we need them. If we need it we buy it, and if we don’t need it, we don’t buy it.”

Strict adherence to standard operating procedures, an eye toward innovation, and a dedication to employees and customers has earned Atlanta Sweeping Services the right to be known as one of the most successful companies in the industry. A title that won’t be going away anytime soon.

Story By Ryan Clark