This week we are spotlighting an exemplary privately held company, ServiceMaster. Each year, this Memphis, Tennessee based family of brands serves 10.5 million homes and businesses in the United States including residential and commercial lawn, tree and shrub care, termite and pest control, home warranty service contracts, furniture repair, home inspections, residential and commercial cleaning and disaster restoration. The company’s services are provided through a network of company-owned and franchised service centers and business units, operating under the following brands: Terminix®, American Home Shield®, ServiceMaster Clean®, ServiceMaster Restore®, Merry Maids®, AmeriSpec® and Furniture Medic®.
The Right Foundation
ServiceMaster takes its responsibility to service seriously. They pledge honesty, dependence, and a job well done in everything they do. Founder Marion E. Wade instilled these principles into his company from the beginning, and they remain the primary objectives today: to honor God in all they do, to excel with customers, to help people develop, and to grow profitably. They understand that profitability is the by-product of hard work and ethical business practices, and that shareholders are not the only ones to whom they are accountable. Mr. Wade is noted as saying, “If you don’t live it, you don’t believe it.” The inspiration for the name of his company reportedly comes from the example of servant leadership demonstrated by Christ washing his disciples’ feet – “Service Thy Master.”
Not only is ServiceMaster founded upon Christian values, those values continue to be instrumental in its guiding its operations today. While product excellence is important, ServiceMaster recognizes their duty to operate in a God-honoring, ethical fashion. The company’s website outlines their commitment to customers. They intend to “instill trust by being: dependable, accountable, and expert,” while also driving empowerment by being: “responsible, respectful, and accessible.”
People Over Profits
When contemplating Shining Light designation, it is important to survey the company’s heritage and commitment to ethical standards; however, a vital aspect of whether a business truly values people over profits is through the comments of their employees. One employee commented that ServiceMaster “strives to be an inclusive company and wants to make a positive impact, while taking care of its employees.” That succinctly summarizes what it means to be a Shining Light Company, committing to making an impact in the world while also valuing the people that work for the company. Other employees mentioned the opportunity given to advance in the company as a positive of employment. ServiceMaster places deliberate emphasis on taking care of employees, a quality integral to Shining Lights.
Employees at all levels are encouraged to live by the principles of honesty, fairness, and diligence. They also know that they are more than just a number to the corporation. They are provided with ongoing opportunities to learn new skills and advance within the company. Expectations are clearly expressed and merit is rewarded through both incentives and awards. In ServiceMaster’s own words: “By motivating our people to fulfill their own potential and by treating them with respect, we develop their confidence and their ability to contribute to the community, as well as enhancing the quality of their professional performance.”
Philanthropy & Service
Finally, ServiceMaster is committed to making a difference in the local community. As a recent example, this past June, thousands of home and business owners in Calgary, Alberta, Canada struggled to put their lives back in order following some of the most severe flooding the area had seen in years. ServiceMaster of Canada quickly mobilized resources from across North America to help with the disaster cleanup efforts and offer professional tips to reduce water damage and mold concerns.
Shining Light Companies can be something of a rarity in today’s business environment. However, businesses like ServiceMaster shine brightly in a market driven largely by fear and greed. Whether it be through community involvement, service to customers, or commitment to the highest of standards, ServiceMaster has proven to be a truly exemplary company we are honored to spotlight!
DISCLOSURE: Shining Light Companies are exemplary companies who live out the Golden Rule in their business practices, demonstrate strong servant leadership and create compelling value through the products and services they offer. This is intended for general information purposes concerning only the values, corporate culture and business practices of the companies being spotlighted. It DOES NOT incorporate any analysis of the companies’ investment merit based on intrinsic value, fundamental analysis, etc. This must not be construed as investment advice or a buy/sell recommendation. These companies may or may not be included in our LightPoint Portfolios at any given time.