Vision for growth Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2009
Finalist
Services

Laura Huthwaite started Giant Janitorial Services Inc. with her husband in 1968 as a way to earn extra money while she worked another job and he went to school.

But as the company’s name implies, Giant Janitorial grew, and soon, she decided to focus on running it full time as CEO, quickly learning the janitorial industry through research, training and on-the-job experience and becoming an expert and zeroing in on best practices.

Giant Janitorial provides wall, window and floor cleaning, general maintenance, painting, construction cleanup, housekeeping and maid services. The company primarily services commercial buildings, government agencies and special event venues throughout the state.

Today, more than 40 years after its founding, Huthwaite remains involved in the day-to-day business. She spends a significant portion of her time visiting clients’ properties, using these visits to measure customer satisfaction. And while her employees are well-trained, she doesn’t hesitate to offer constructive criticism from the observations she makes on these visits.

Huthwaite is also involved in renewing contracts and seeking out new business. She conducts walk-throughs of properties to better understand the services that they need and to offer accurate quotes.

And amid an increasing field of competitors, Huthwaite keeps prices low by buying supplies in bulk and monitoring their use by carefully planning her employees’ activities.

To expand, Huthwaite is looking at new markets in Atlanta and Florida, and she’s seeking opportunities to bid on projects in Florida.

As part of her devotion to the community, Huthwaite works with Detroit Rescue Mission to provide employment for individuals needing assistance. And she takes a personal interest in her employees, even fronting money for a repair when one employee’s car broke down so the employee could make it to work.

How to reach: Giant Janitorial Services Inc., (313) 886-7797 or www.giantjanitorial.com