DEA Meeting: Pilot’s Building Maintenance

Brian Eltis introduced Keith Horniman.  They have done business together since 2002!  They started out as customers, but he really calls Keith a friend.  Keith moved to Dallas in 1980 with Northern Telecom and purchased Pilot’s Building Maintenance in 1995.  He grew up in Detroit and Chicago.  He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he still has season football tickets!  He is a good friend and a pleasure to do business with!

Keith talked about how Pilot’s approaches the commercial janitorial service business.  Their tag line is “Providing Quality Janitorial Service since 1982″.  The 2 key words are service & quality.  Pilot’s trains their employees in the latest cleaning methods and how to use the latest equipment but they do not possess any proprietary methods or equipment.  Service is where they work to differentiate themselves from the competition.   Many “service companies” today really do not understand the meaning of service.   Anyone who has a customer is by default a “service” company.  Pilot’s strives to provide great service and added value to their customers.

Pilot’s goal is to provide quality service on a consistent basis.  Not once or twice a week, but every night.  Their reputation has been built on value, integrity, commitment and over 35 years of experience!

Pilot’s partners with their customers to help solve the problems of their facility by understanding the specific requirements of the facility.  This allows the facility manager to spend time on more critical issues, which they appreciate.  They work to be flexible to meet temporary needs like working around late meetings or special events.  Their goal is to never tell the customer that a request is “not in the contract” unless it is totally cost prohibitive.

Concerning integrity, Pilot’s instructs their employees to let their supervisor know immediately if they should break or damage something, so they can contact customer first.  They want to be out in front of the problem, not have to react to it.  They strive to exceed their customer’s expectations, being part of the solution and not the problem.

All of this results in customer retention.  We all know that it is easier to keep a customer than it is to find a new one.  Pilot’s customers stay with them year after year, which is unheard of in this business.  They have customers that have been with them well over 10 years!

Pilot’s human resources strategy involves hiring competent, trustworthy and productive staff.  They recruit primarily from acquaintances of their current employees who understand the corporate culture.  Pilot’s pays higher wages than industry standard, pays on time, and treats employees with respect, when other companies do not.  This results in low employee turnover, supervisors who have been with them for over 20 years and the same crew in the customer’s facility every night.  This helps achieve the goal of consistent quality.  The employees come to know the facility’s hot spots and provides an enhanced sense of security for their customers; they know who is in the building every night.

Pilot’s is a full service vendor, offering office cleaning, green cleaning, resilient & stone floor maintenance, day porter services, window cleaning, and special clean ups.  Pilot’s can be the one source for all these services, which helps the facility manager.

Pilot’s has 35 years of experience in corporate facilities, multi-tenant facilities, medical offices, schools, banks, golf courses, and warehouses.  They service 25,000 – 500,000 sq ft facilities which have adequate janitor closets!  Their target markets are corporate facilities, medical offices and banks because they are more willing to pay for the type of services Pilot’s provides.  They don’t do low bid projects, but sit down with the prospective customer to understand the requirements of their facility and make sure they understand what Pilot’s can do and offer choices on maintenance activities.  Pilot’s contract allows the customer to get out of the contract after the first 90 days if not satisfied, but they have never had anyone exercise that option!


  • A Leads – Any facility, property or maintenance managers you may know.
  • B Leads – Any of you who may own a building.
  • C Lead – Any one we sign a contract with.

Remember: Any Lead for Pilot’s is also a potential lead for Brian Eltis & Complete Supply

One Response to “DEA Meeting: Pilot’s Building Maintenance”

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