Providing Dependable Soft Services

GJK Facility Services

“We initially started with one service, which was cleaning,” says company Director George Stamas. “Over the last 15 years, we have evolved into what we term in our industry providing ‘soft services,’ which is waste disposal, gardening, toilet requisites, and some minor security requirements. So we provide everything that is non-engineering and non-mechanical.”

As one of the founders of the business back in 1985 and later a major shareholder, Me Stamas, with his management team, has spearheaded GJK Facility Services’ impressive growth over the years. With approximately 1,500 staff directly employed by the company – and another 1,500 through its subcontractor network – GJK remains one of the largest privately owned providers of cleaning and related property services in Australia. Focused on delivering superior, consistent and dependable service to a variety of sectors, the company has fostered numerous long-term relationships with clients in state and local government, and in the education, industrial, manufacturing, finance, construction, engineering, commercial real estate, hospitality, and entertainment services sectors.

Today, GJK has earned a reputation for quality of service, which has resulted in many long-standing relationships with customers and an annual turnover of about $50 million. Expanding its portfolio into various industry sectors, the company has multi-service contracts and industry specialist operations teams able to service the needs of clients in all sectors. GJK maintains its solid vision for growth while maintaining exceptional service delivery.

“I felt there was a need in the marketplace where customers were managing smaller services isolated on their own, and I felt that if one company could manage all those services together, it would be something that the market would readily accept,” says Mr Stamas. “That has been proven to be quite a successful approach in business.” Instead of hiring one company for cleaning, another for gardening and landscaping, and yet another to handle minor services, many customers turn to GJK to take care of all necessary soft services.

“It was always difficult to have a proper management of those services because of the small nature of them, but if you combine them under one, you can spread the management of those services under a bigger spread of services that you do provide, which is supported by major service,” Mr Stamas explains.

Adaptable to Customer Needs

With the vision of becoming Australia’s largest provider of facility support services, GJK Facility Services believes in maintaining and improving its business systems through a leadership/management program in which company employees are empowered, and from which customers benefit.

A large part of the company’s relentless commitment to Total Customer Satisfaction comes from realising that no two businesses are the same. Since the company is privately owned and not a multinational, Stamas and his management team are much more flexible in their decision-making process, and aren’t encumbered by the red tape and bureaucracy present in public companies who must answer to shareholders; in fact, a number of GJK’s corporate staff came from multinationals, and prefer the family-oriented atmosphere the company has to offer. To ensure professionalism and peace of mind for all clients and employees, all staff at GJK, along with project members, are thoroughly screened, reference checked, and wear staff identification and uniforms (site specific or those of GJK) at all times.

GJK can readily tailor its expansive range of specialised cleaning, value added and supporting facility service packages to meet every need. Businesses taking advantage of GJK’s extensive range of cleaning services benefit from the company’s Operations Team. Experienced in managing project sites, GJK ensures only skilled teams with a thorough understanding of systems and processes relevant to a particular industry, utilising suitable industry-specific cleaning practices, are engaged. In the rare instance that work does not go as planned, GJK has the necessary processes in place to remedy and support clients with remedial actions within agreed-upon timeframes.

At GJK, the company offers an impressive range of facility support services to meet the unique needs of clients in all sectors. Some of the company’s many services include waste management and recycling programs, sanitary hygiene and medical disposal services, and supplying toilet and bathroom consumables. Additionally, GJK offers carpet steam cleaning and flood restoration, security (static guards and patrol and electronic surveillance), document shredding and destruction, mail sorting and distribution, low and high-rise window cleaning, lighting and energy management, and grounds and gardens maintenance. The company also counts contract catering, car park management, stripping and resealing of hard floor surfaces and the provision of electrical, plumbing and engineering maintenance among its many service offerings.

Site Management and IMS

In order to understand and meet the needs of all customers, GJK ensures every client is assigned an Operations Team. Consisting of a Transition Manager, Service Manager, Customer Service Manager and Site Contract Manager/Team Leader, the Operations Team’s combined technical expertise and superior customer service skills ensure cleaning functions are carried out properly. To measure performance standards, GJK works in tandem with clients to identify Key Performance Factors that can be measured on an ongoing basis, and regularly dialogues with customers to monitor and review performance and prevent problems before they occur.

Back in 2004, GJK became one of the first service organisations in Australia to have an externally audited Integrated Management System (IMS). Used across GJK, the IMS comprises three standards – ISO 9001:2008, AS/NZS 4801:2001, and ISO 14001:2004 – which is the foundation of the company’s Quality Assurance, Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) and Risk Management, and Environmental Impact Minimisation. These three systems, for which GJK was granted two Golden Service Awards, enable the organisation to deliver processes which are documented, integrated, with managed quality control, customer service, risk management and environmental compliance. Additionally, the company’s use of licensed Synergistic Management Systems (SMS) software enables GJK to collect and disseminate information. By doing so, the company is able to audit all its work, which is then shared with clients to track contract performance in real time via the Web. It is, says Mr Stamas, one other way GJK Facility Services stands head and shoulders above the competition.

Green Initiatives

“We have never been a follower,” says GJK’s founder. “Many companies in our industry tend to follow our lead. We always try to find new and innovative ways, and it takes competitors a couple of years to catch up, and then we go and find something new and different and adopt it and develop it for our customers and the organisation.”

As a recognised industry leader when it comes to honest business practices and customer support, GJK is a pioneer in the field of environmental initiatives. Leading by example, the company demonstrated its own commitment to corporate social responsibility when it engaged the services of Sustainable Footprint Pty Ltd to perform an energy, water and transport audit of its Head Office. As a result, GJK monitors its own carbon footprint with the aim of becoming carbon neutral. Says the company’s Green Team, “We are committed in setting an example to all of our stakeholders in order to demonstrate how practical measures taken at corporate and personal levels can tackle the issues of climate change head on.”

Undertaking a number of environmentally friendly and sustainable initiatives, GJK is a signatory of City Switch Green Office, a national tenant energy efficiency program run in partnership between the cities of Sydney, North Sydney, Parramatta, Willoughby, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth along with state government agencies, the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water and Sustainability Victoria. Converting to 50 per cent renewable energy via government-accredited Original Energy – which sources power from mini hydro, wind and biomass sources which produce no net greenhouse gas emissions – is just one way GJK is kinder to the environment.

Along with an accredited environmental officer who performs audits on customer sites and identifies practices, the company will sit down with customers to educate them about recycling practices and to discuss methodology. Often, three or four waste streams are created to reduce the amount going to landfill. “Customers embrace the procedure,” says Mr Stamas. “The waste amount doesn’t change, but getting it into the appropriate streams so that it can be recycled is a process that we educate.” Additionally, GJK has green procurement guidelines governing the use of biodegradable chemicals, uses machinery that is power-efficient, and was recently recognised by the City of Yarra for its sustainable efforts.

Service, Leadership and Vision

As the winner of numerous awards over the years – the Australian Business Award for Community Contribution in 2011, Excellence in Customer Relations as well as receiving a Special Commendation Certificate for the high level of customer care in 2010 at the Australian Achiever Awards, and Employer of the Year at the Public Tenant Employment Program Awards in 2008, to name a few – the company is regularly recognised for its outstanding client service and contributions to the community, particularly in helping disadvantaged people find meaningful employment. Much of the company’s success comes from GJK’s dedicated employees across all levels of management, operations, sales, finance and marketing.

To remain current with the industry, George Stamas serves as Director of the Facilities Management Association of Australia (FMA), Victorian President of Building Services Contractors Association of Australia (BSCAA) responsible for Governance and Legal, Director & Licensor of the Service Alliance Group (SAG), and Fellow Australian Institute of Management. After over 30 years in the industry, Mr Stamas remains a key contributor GJK Facility Services’ ongoing growth and success. The child of hard-working immigrant parents, Mr Stamas was inspired to always do better, and to share opportunities with those around him.

“I have some fantastic people who are part of the team,” he says of the company, which maintains an open door policy with staff. “We have a friendship and a bond within the organisation. Even though we’re fairly large, we still operate on some personal principles of ensuring our people are happy and developing as professionals and as individuals at the same time.”

Making Sense of Management

Management is the art, or science, of getting things done through people. Sounds fairly straightforward – except for the fact that people are not robots waiting to do our bidding. People have their own minds, motivations, and goals. So how do managers keep operations – and the people behind them – running as planned?

December 19, 2018, 5:29 PM AEDT