On October 3, 2019 we launched our first-ever Keystone Innovative Vendor Open House (KIVOH). The day-long event was an opportunity showcase local area vendors who push the limits of innovation to make HOA living more efficient and effective.
During the event, we encouraged Keystone managers and staff to engage with the 40+ invited vendors. The goal was for each to learn more about how ground-breaking products and ideas could improve our own management services. According to Joe Winkler, Keystone’s Chief Marketing Officer, “KIVOH was designed to demonstrate our vision for service and professionalism. For that to become a reality, we need to collaborate with like-minded vendors to truly go beyond the expectations of our mutual clients.” The event’s tagline says it all: Innovation through collaboration.
Though each vendor presented cutting-edge ideas, one in particular caught our attention and went on to win our innovation prize: Peloton Sweeping.
Street Sweeping for Communities
Based in the City of Orange, Peloton Sweeping is the only Southern California street sweeping service that focuses primarily on serving HOAs and other residential communities. “Working with HOAs gives our staff a greater opportunity to work closely with clients,” explains Mark Carter, Founder, President, and CXO (Chief Experience Officer) of Peloton Sweeping. “Like the mail carrier and the trash collector, the street sweeper is someone who comes into a community regularly. Being a familiar face in the neighborhood and working alongside HOA management teams and boards who care about where their community is headed makes a great job even more rewarding.”
Mark grew up working in his family’s street sweeping company, and he continues to evolve the idea of “business as usual.” He says, “I describe Peloton Sweeping as a ‘start-up with 35 years of experience.’ Just like start-ups maintain a high level of energy toward solving problems, we, too, never allow our ideas or approach to get stale. We’re always on the lookout for a better or faster or smarter way.”
Friends in Tight Places
Though street sweeping is an integral part of every community, there has been limited innovation in the industry since the 1970s. Mark has taken a fresh approach to solving today’s street sweeping challenges, beginning with the equipment.
Part of the challenge of successful sweeping is in navigating tight corners and dead-end streets, like those in many mobile home parks or master planned communities. In addition to being loud and dusty, many of the trucks in use today simply can’t successfully cover areas where tight turnarounds are required.
“The twisting cobblestone streets of Europe present similar challenges, so we invested in a compact sweeper that can deliver the same level of service with a much less intrusive vehicle. By adding this truck to our fleet, we’re able to service communities that other sweeping services are unable to handle.” Mark explains.
Elevating the Industry
Innovation is nothing new to Mark – it’s built into his professional outlook. As past president and current Board Secretary of North American Power Sweeping Association (NAPSA), Mark has always kept an eye on the intersection of the demands between sweeping companies, their staff, and the communities they serve.
To Mark, quality training is an important part of what distinguishes great service. Recognizing the need for sweeping operators to have a detailed understanding of the many potential scenarios they will face during the course of their daily duties, Mark leads the NAPSA committee that created SweeperSchool.com, an online certification program for sweeper operators. Online and in-person tests require a 100%-correct rate to pass, which ensures that certified sweepers possess a thorough understanding of their equipment, the job’s demands, and their role on the job site.
The Right Stuff
In addition to a business degree, Mark’s background focused on labor issues, providing insights he carried forward while training Peloton Sweeping employees. Spending time with drivers and witnessing the day-to-day demands of the job, Mark was able to structure a stand-out screening and training program.
“Unlike sweeping at construction sites or late-night parking lot sweeping, operators assigned to private communities must safely work around families. That’s why it’s crucial that we identify the best talent and give them the training and support they need to do a great job,” Mark explains.
In addition to regular drug screenings, comprehensive background checks, and hours of online and in-person training, the Peloton fleet of trucks feature onboard GPS and speed-tracking systems. Operators at Peloton Sweeping are encouraged to perform the best service, not the fastest. This ensures that safety and quality remain a priority.
A Polished Vendor/HOA Relationship
For Mark, a critical part of a successful working relationship with HOAs is clear and open communication. “One mistake we hear about from our clients is a lack of timely response from their other vendors,” he explains. “To us, that’s unacceptable. If we can do a job, we’re eager to get the ball rolling. If we can’t, we make this clear to the client immediately and wish them luck on their search.”
Mark puts himself in HOA board members’ (busy) shoes by preparing detailed proposals that outline Peloton’s full scope of a work for a project and also include a quick sheet for fast reference. He explains, “Board members and managers have lots of items to check off their list during every meeting. I want to make it easy for them to see what we’re all about, why we’re different, and whether or not we’ll be the best fit for their community.”
Keystone’s Joe Winkler sums it up by saying, “With dozens of vendors all bringing their best ideas to KIVOH, Mark was able to get people’s attention quickly and conveyed the benefits of his new sweeper in a matter of seconds. It’s this level of expertise, innovation and enthusiasm that is exactly the type of vendor we’re looking to partner with.”
The entire team at Keystone was thoroughly impressed with the ideas and innovation from all the KIVOH participants. A heartfelt thanks to everyone who came and shared their services with us. Though 2019 was KIVOH’s inauguration, we look forward to repeating this event for many years into the future as we continue to focus on making sweeping advancements across the entire HOA management industry.
Want to learn more about Peloton Sweeping or any of the other innovative vendors featured at KIVOH? Contact Keystone today and we’ll fill you in.