Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

An American Success

January 11, 2012

When going into business, it is not likely that the founders will entertain the thought that they might fail.

It is risky starting something from the ground up.

It's even more of a risk to decide to go into a market that can quickly become saturated with more of the same.

It is important to recognize that the company you are building must have a little extra something that will set you apart from the pack.

That is something that Triangle Services has succeeded in doing for the past 50 years.

Humble Beginnings

Back in 1960, Ralph Fine began what was then called Eastern Maintenance with less than 10 employees on his payroll.

Fine's goal in creating his business was to "provide big company capabilities with small company efficiency and nimbleness."

Fine wanted to build a family-owned and operated business that could handle the workload of a much bigger company but retained the small, intimate feel that often goes hand in hand with mom and pop companies.

Within four years of starting his company, Fine had grown Eastern Maintenance, renamed Triangle Services in 1963, into a company doing $2 million in sales.

While the company has grown and expanded and even undergone a name change, the most basic foundation that Ralph Fine first built his company on has remained essentially the same.

Triangle Services remains, to this day, a privately-held, family-run corporation with Ralph's sons, Lonnie and Perry, acing as chief executive officer (CEO) and president of the company, respectively, allowing the company to approach "business and relationships with a more personalized touch."

Triangle Services is a business more concerned with building lasting partnerships with their customers than seeking gains to appease shareholders.

Growing And Changing

While the company began within the confines of New York City, landing its first major contract in 1961 with Eastern Airlines at Idlewild Airport — now John F. Kennedy International Airport — the company quickly expanded, contracting with IBM for its facilities located in Endicott, New York, in 1963.

Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, Triangle experienced a dynamic growth rate, increasing revenues by as much as 425 percent, something the company attributes to its entrance in to the multi-tenant, Class-A high-rise business.

At the same time, Triangle Services made a key acquisition that allowed the company to broaden its base of service from five states, mainly on the East Coast, to 10 states, adding Southern and Midwest areas.

Over the years, Triangle has grown and expanded its services to include many major airlines in many major cities throughout the U.S.

They have also shown "entrepreneurial spirit and optimism," expanding their aviation support service offerings to include skycap services, cargo warehousing, ticketing and check-in services; in more recent years, they have also entered the security services industry with the advent of Viking Security Services.

Triangle has held the contract to provide janitorial services for some of the most prestigious buildings in New York City, including the former World Trade Center, a contract they were awarded in 1978.

Following the events of September 11, 2001, Triangle was at Ground Zero working to restore 1 Liberty Plaza in downtown Manhattan, making it the first building to reopen at Ground Zero in the red zone after just six weeks.

Personifying Values

Any company, though, is only as good as the people working for it.

And, Triangle is able to boast some pretty good people.

Over the years, Triangle has grown from a small startup of 10 to having over 2,500 employees in more than 43 states.

Triangle's employees, or "dedicated service professionals," are as diverse as the services that the company has come to provide over the years.

Triangle professionals range from janitorial service workers, ramp handlers, cabin cleaners, security guards and passenger service agents, to maintenance technicians, electricians, plumbers and engineers.

The key to being a successful Triangle employee is personifying the company's core values of integrity, innovation, execution and results.

Like so many successful companies, Triangle's operations depend on teamwork and on their employees constantly working toward finding new and better ways to serve their customers.

With a firm vision, dedicated employees and values that have been handed down over the years, Triangle Services' mission — to create the greatest value by delivering superior quality outsourced services as a result of deploying talented, passionate, trustworthy, empowered people supported with resources to attain the desired results — is always within reach.