Bill Luallen

Bill Luallen is the Director of Technical Services for XL North, a division of Textile Rubber and Chemical Company. He is the current IICRC CCMT TAC Chair and also the former Vice Chair of the RFMT. He participates on many panels and boards including the CRI 204/205 Carpet Maintenance and Cleaning Standards. When Bill is not traveling to work with customers or talking on the phone, he spends all his down time with his wife Cynthia of 30 years, outside enjoying this beautiful world.

business best practices

Pete McMaster, Owner/President of Facilitate LLC, provides insights into his unexpected journey through the flooring industry in my XLN interview. Pete’s roots in flooring began during college when he took a job at a flooring company in Norwalk, Ohio, where he started as a flooring installer.

Pete transitioned from manual labor to management through a combination of injury and opportunity, eventually moving through Ohio, Wyoming, Colorado, and North Carolina, deepening his commercial flooring expertise with each move. It’s clear that for Pete, the industry represents more than just work—it’s about the people and the community that have kept him engaged and motivated. “What’s kept me here, frankly is just a good group of people,” he reflects.

In December 2021, Pete ventured into entrepreneurship, not merely to establish another floor care company, but to create a business that truly reflects Facilitate’s commitment: “Your Floors. Your Facility. Our Focus.” This ethos has become the cornerstone of his operation, ensuring that every service provided is aligned with the clients’ best interests at heart. “When I left corporate, I told myself, ‘Get out of service, get into something else,’ yet I found myself naturally gravitating back towards it,” he shares, expressing the excitement and challenges of starting Facilitate. He’s pleased with his company’s trajectory, asserting that the success of Facilitate lies not just in financial metrics but in living up to its tagline by prioritizing the well-being of the facilities and the floors they service. “I’m very happy with where we’re at,” he declares, underscoring the importance of team dynamics and their role in the positive growth of the company.

Pete believes the key to Facilitate’s success lies in the synergy created by working closely with his field staff and listening to the seasoned advice of his peers. This collaborative approach, along with a trust in proven methods, underpins his philosophy.

Good work generates more opportunity.

“Good work generates more opportunity,” he says, affirming the value of quality work and its role in driving business growth. For Pete, the entrepreneurial journey is more than navigating the uncertainties of post-pandemic business—it’s about building a solid network, committing to excellence, and fostering a productive environment where both the team and the business can thrive.

Providing a clear exposition of Facilitate’s floor care services, Pete explains, “What services we offer outside of what I might call our baseline services, it’s usually a dictate of our customers.” He emphasizes a responsive approach to business, meeting customer needs with the right tools and expertise. He also proudly speaks of his team’s versatility, from cleaning corporate buildings  to  fuel stations, indicating a full breadth of services. “We’ve moved into a lot of specialty coatings, thin film urethane coatings,” he adds, showing his company’s commitment to being “solution-oriented.”

When asked about Facilitate’s choice in carpet care equipment, Pete elaborates, “We use box extractors. We’re generally in commercial environments where it’s difficult to run hoses through doors.” Despite his experience with truck mount systems, he states, “It’s just not a path that we’ve chosen,” acknowledging the influence of equipment investments on service direction.

Discussing Facilitate’s restorative carpet cleaning methods, Pete says, “We’re huge proponents of the Fast Foamer technology. We’ve had remarkable success using that system” He clarifies their approach, “I tell my customers it’s not that foam cleaning is B and extraction is A, it’s that they coincide with each other.”

Delving into the specifics of the industry, Pete discusses the evolution of practices, such as the transition from traditional strip and wax methods to more sophisticated techniques like using SPP pads and orbital machines for greater efficiency. “We’ve had to get smarter,” he states, indicating a proactive stance on adapting to changing materials and customer expectations.

His method of customer interaction is heavily rooted in education and understanding. He asserts the importance of helping customers grasp the realities of flooring maintenance and cost.

I believe in taking the time to listen your customers, comprehend their challenges, and offer them tailored solutions.

“I believe in taking the time to listen your customers, comprehend their challenges, and offer them tailored solutions.” Such transparency is critical in setting realistic expectations and fostering trust.

Moreover, Pete’s dedication to his craft is mirrored in his commitment to his workforce. He emphasizes the significance of supporting field technicians, both in terms of their welfare and the respect for their profession. “It starts with what happens in the field,” he reflects, recognizing that the success of any service-oriented business is contingent upon the satisfaction and motivation of those who perform the actual labor.

In an era where cost-cutting can often lead to compromised service quality, Pete’s philosophy stands out. “There’s somebody that will do it for you a certain price, but there’s fewer people that do it right.” This principle not only defines his business ethos but also seems to be a guiding light in his pursuit of lasting client relationships, built on the bedrock of quality workmanship and ethical business practices.

Despite a self-confessed less-than-focused marketing strategy, Pete attributes his success to the strength of his relationships with technicians and a commitment to doing right by customers, which has naturally led to repeat business. He prioritizes a collaborative industry network and the cultivation of mutual support over aggressive sales tactics, espousing the belief that there’s ample work available and choosing not to target competitors’ customers directly. “We provide a fundamental service—people need things cleaned,” Pete remarks, emphasizing the significance of quality work. He believes that when you focus on doing good work, there’s no need to covet the ‘other guy’s lunch.’ This philosophy extends to his approach to business, where he values relationships, quality service, and a positive work ethic, coupled with a network of peers with whom best practices are shared for the benefit of the entire industry. “I’ve always aimed to be teachable and objective about my own methods,” he says. “When something doesn’t work, listening to those who have succeeded is a surefire way to improve.” Embodying a core value that underpins his professional approach—humility in leadership, Pete admits being recognized as a “great leader” is something that makes him uncomfortable. His philosophy is telling.

Don’t call me the boss. My boss days are over. I work WITH the service technicians. They don’t work FOR me.

“Don’t call me the boss. My boss days are over. I work WITH the service technicians. They don’t work FOR me.” This egalitarian approach is not just refreshing; it’s indicative of a broader trend observed in effective leadership styles.

Pete’s perspective on leadership transcends mere experience or professional standing, inculcating  a philosophy that prizes collaboration and partnership over titles. With a refreshing modesty, he asserts, “I’m just the guy that does the talking; the technicians are the ones that really get out there and make it happen,” epitomizing his appreciation for his team’s efforts. His ability to distill complex leadership principles into accessible wisdom serves as invaluable guidance for both novices and veterans in the industry. Embodying the core of professional service in a competitive market, Pete’s parting words, “If that didn’t cover it, nothing will,” not only conclude our dialogue but also underscore his modest yet seasoned approach to guiding the hands that steward the floors and facilities under his watch.

About Facilitate LLC

At Facilitate, we’ve devoted over three decades to mastering commercial floor care and facility maintenance. Based in Central Ohio, we are your trusted partner in the facilitation of clean, functional, and attractive work environments.

With a suite of services that includes top-tier carpet maintenance, full-scale flooring restoration, specialty cleaning services, and high-performance floor coatings, we can help you maintain a clean, safe, and comfortable work environment. Through consultation, we help our clients better comprehend and adopt efficient maintenance strategies.

We’re not just service providers; we’re your allies in maintaining your facility.