Get to know Powerhouse in Retail & Restaurant Facility Business’s January Edition in an interview with one of our Principal/Owners, Robert Blake-Ward.
We spend a great deal of time on our core: people, process and technology
Retail&Restaurant: Where are you based and how long has Powerhouse been in business?
Robert Blake-Ward: Our headquarters is in Crowley, Texas, about 30 minutes south of Fort Worth. Powerhouse was founded in 2004.
R&R: What is your title and how long have you been with the company?
Blake-Ward: I am a principal/owner of Powerhouse and have been so since 2011.
R&R: What trades/services do you offer retailers and restaurants?
Blake-Ward: Powerhouse specializes in Construction Services (remodels and refresh projects), Facility Maintenance (scheduled and reactive services, integrated program management, interior and exterior) and customized Rollouts (high volume, high velocity, high impact projects across thousands of locations nationwide).
R&R: In what regions of the country do you conduct most of your business, or are you nationwide?
Blake-Ward: We work in all 50 U.S. states. Although based in Texas, our work takes us all over the map.
R&R: What makes your company’s “signature service” stand out in the industry?
Blake-Ward: We spend a great deal of time on our core: people, process and technology. Our Infinity platform allows for real-time update as work progresses in the field. Our people drive the results with great training and accountability for their project’s success – customer-centric teams who create a great project result.
R&R: What kind of feedback do you receive from clients?
When a client calls with an issue, our people react quickly and efficiently.
Blake-Ward: We aim to make every client a “Raving Fan of Powerhouse.” We often get complimented on our sense of urgency, which is a key ingredient in our customer service and success. When a client calls with an issue, our people react quickly and efficiently. When we get a work order, a Powerhouse employee answers the phone and is dedicated to getting someone out to location within the business hours.
R&R: Why should owner/operators choose your company to be their next vendor partner?
Blake-Ward: We have the people, process and technology, as mentioned earlier, but we also have the resources. We pride ourselves not only on our client relationships, but also on our Powerhouse Partner relationships – relationships with our key vendors across the country. These are partnerships that have allowed us to have constant, national coverage for all our clients’ needs.
R&R: How many retail/restaurant clients do you have, and is that sector growing for you? Would you like to name any of your clients?
Blake-Ward: We have more than 80 distinct customers of various types and sizes. Retail and restaurant are just two of the eight industries Powerhouse focuses on and where we perform the majority of our work. Retail clients are what started Powerhouse, and we’ve maintained many of those initial clients throughout Powerhouse’s lifetime. As the industry itself is constantly changing and growing, so does Powerhouse and the opportunities we are given.
R&R: Many traditional retailers, in particular, are downsizing their portfolios. Overall, restaurant/hospitality is growing. What other trends are you seeing in the industry?
Blake-Ward: We continue to see a hyper-competitive market where operators need to differentiate – they are innovating both their brand offerings and how they deliver it, blending the ordering/pickup expereince to serve different customer needs. Operators need to execute these programs faster than ever and with fewer resources to manage – they lean on partners to help manage more of the communication and planning of their projects.
R&R: What is your advice for FM vendors reacting to this shifting climate?
Blake-Ward: Partner with your suppliers; you’ll get more value in return. Don’t be afraid to try a new approach you haven’t done before.
In case you missed it, see how our Senior Director of Operations of FM answers this question in her article with Retail & Restaurant Facility Business.
R&R: What predictions do you have – for your company, your industry or both – in 2020?
Blake-Ward: Continued growth, continued opportunities and continued challenges, for everyone in our industry.