Five Qs: Scott Rice of Powerlink Facilities Management Services


Scott Rice, COO of Powerlink Facilities Management Services, a facilities management and maintenance services company in Detroit’s New Center One building, spoke with DBusiness Daily News about its launch of a construction division.

1. DDN: How does your company’s services benefit clients? 

SC: Most recently, we’ve helped the (Barbara Ann) Karmanos Cancer Institute significantly raise their patients’ satisfaction scores in the area of housekeeping. Since we’ve started working with them, they’ve seen their highest levels of satisfaction in that area in the history of the institute. We’re really proud of that.

2. DDN: Why did Powerlink recently add a construction division?

SC: We wanted to provide our clients with a comprehensive solution: to be able to build, manage, and staff — to be able to take them from cradle to grave with their facilities’ needs. In many cases, when people put things together in the construction industry, they’re not thinking about the ongoing maintenance of things or how things fit together. They just want to build it and get it out of the way. We come at it with the understanding of how the building is going to be operated, so we take a facilities operation perspective whether we’re building or remodeling. 

3. DDN: Why is that important?

SC: We had a client who had a renovation done (by a different company), which installed an access door to a filter in an inaccessible area. So literally, they put in this piece of equipment and then built around it, so the client couldn’t do the ongoing maintenance. So that spurred us to say, “There’s a better way.” Because do people really need to put (an access door) 12 feet up in the air where we can’t maintain it, or is there a better location?  And how can we work with our partners who are engineers and architects to make sure that our clients don’t have higher operational costs?

4. DDN: Any plans to expand in other directions?

SC: No. For us, this was about creating a full lifecycle for a facilities business. We’re not a company who tries to be everything to everyone. We’re very focused with the things we do really well. And for us, (the construction division) was just a natural move. 

5. DDN: Where do you see the most growth opportunity?

SC: We see health care continuing to be robust because there is cost pressure there and they’re looking for ways that they can increase efficiency. So we continue to look at health care as a positive area, but with Detroit being on an uptick in general, there are many new opportunities for us. There are so many new businesses coming to Detroit — we feel very positive about where the growth is within the general framework of the city.