Scandinavian Building Services

Quality-assured commercial janitorial services based in Edmonton, Alberta
Written by: 
Jeanee Dudley
Produced by: 
Victor Martins

Scandinavian Building Services began in 1982 as a small company providing janitorial services to commercial clients in Edmonton, Alberta. More than 30 years later, the business is one of the larger companies in the country, employing owner-operators from coast to coast. Terry and Wilda Hay purchased Scandinavian in 1982 and have since leveraged technology and hard work to provide innovative and integrated janitorial and building maintenance services to a growing national market.

Before buying the company, Terry worked in property management. “My biggest headache was the janitorial issue and I really wanted to bring professionalism to the industry,” he explains. “We’ve been able to do that and we are now in every province in Canada.”

Terry and Wilda established the owner-operator program as a growth strategy, taking on partners throughout the country and encouraging them to take full ownership of their projects. In-house performance and safety training have allowed the company to develop consistency and commitment, even with a nationwide employee base of around 2,500 people.

Employee development is a major component of the business’ success. Scandinavian recognizes new hires, accomplishments and work anniversaries. “We have developed an employee rewards program to thank our team for their hard work,” Terry explains. “It ranges from something small like coffee and doughnuts all the way up to trips and spa packages. We call our employees the ‘Scandi family’ and many of them have been with us for 25 years or more.”

Scandi family values

Scandinavian calibrates all activities and resources to meet four core values: service, motivate, respect and connect. The leadership team recognizes that the people on the ground — pushing brooms, repairing tiles, replacing lightbulbs — are the face of the organization. Support for employees on all levels results in higher worker satisfaction and in turn better service.

The company also has a rapid response policy — the 10-1-24 Guarantee System. “For every call, we promise to respond in 10 minutes, deliver a solution in one hour and rectify the issue within 24 hours,” says Terry. “Every situation is important and we typically beat our goals — the average response time is four minutes.” Due in part to adhering to these core values, Scandinavian has been named Canada’s Best Managed Company two years in a row.

Connecting with customers goes beyond the 10-1-24 response system. Scandinavian employs a high-tech monitoring and management system, using iPads to track and relay project information to clients. The company was an early adopter of tablet-based customer service solutions, launching its ScandiTRAC program in 2011, just over a year after the technology came out.

With ScandiTRAC, customers are able to view historical inspection records and easy-to-read summary charts that represent inspection history and satisfaction ratings of job sites. This system also provides customers with real-time status updates on work orders along with the ability to review completed work order requests. The program works via online portal; customers can log in, check the status of a project, track spending and equipment and even communicate with the company with the same 10-1-24 expectations as a phone call.

Service and efficiency at work

Clients from a wide range of sectors rely on Scandinavian for integrated building services. The team includes retail stores, office buildings, sports and event venues, municipal buildings and others on its collective resume. Projects range from small shops up to massive, 55,000-seat stadiums and everything in between.

On-site, Scandinavian crews take on typical janitorial tasks such as floor care, window washing, litter pickup and pressure washing as well. The business also has a specialty services division, going above and beyond typical cleanup for customers. These services include minor repair work, parking lot maintenance, steam cleaning, snow removal and even disaster recovery among others.

“We are the kind of company that will take on a project and find a solution — big or small,” Terry explains. “That’s the basis of our organization. If we don’t have a solution, we will find one. When a request comes in, our company will take ownership and bring a solution to the table and have that project complete in a timely manner.”

Over the coming years, Terry and his colleagues plan to implement even more specialty services, continuously integrating them into the existing ScandiTRAC communication platform and quality control efforts. For building repairs, problem areas will appear in inspections and Scandinavian will notify project owners of broken tiles, chipped paint or other minor repair items. Customers can then decide whether and when to have the company tackle the repairs.

As the business innovates, Scandinavian Building Services maintains a strong dedication to customer satisfaction and continues to add programs and services that better meet the needs of building owners and managers across Canada.

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