How Facility Management Is Becoming More Innovative: Interview With Anthony Serdula

A reviewable and automated facility management process not only improves properties, but also creates a compliant environment for work and pleasure.

Today, facility management gradually witnesses more innovation and control thanks to the people who lead and transform this industry. Our client Anthony Sedula - Founder and Principle of Anthony Corp. is one of them.

Anthony contacted us to develop a platform for facilities industry, that provides custom solutions for companies, suppliers, and technicians. In this interview, we talk about how facility management systems change the way organizations run buildings.

Thanks, Anthony, for your great thoughts!

Anthony, please tell us about your company. What have you started from and what do you specialize in now?

A.Anthony Corp. is a facility management company that focuses on business process and data optimization for large enterprise clients with lots of building locations.

We work with clients to simplify complex process with the goal of creating an environment where the work is reviewable, repeatable and automated. We do this by providing a consultative approach to understanding a client's current situation, collaborate with them on solutions, and then execute on the plan.

What has prompted you to create your own facility management system? Do you remember that day when this idea started to simmer in your head?

I had been in the property management, architecture and real estate business for many years.  I noticed this strange thing that you could get 50 people who wanted to build you a new building, but if you had a broken door knob it was one of the most annoying things to get done. So I decided to focus on small jobs.  

Prior to starting the company, I had a friend that was in the operational excellence consulting business. So I asked him: “Before I start my company, I’d like to hire you so that I approach our service from an operational excellence point of view. I want to be able to fix 2000 door knobs a week with the same quality and level of service that keeps people coming back for more”.  

What I meant was, I knew I would be in a forever cycle of continuous improvement if I wanted to have a long term company. And I needed process, systems and a quality control approach. So that’s what we started to build 20 years ago. We fixed 1 broken door knob to start! And to scale the business, there had to be a technology solution to organize things.

How does your product solve the problems of modern companies?

One of the biggest problems in our industry is the lack of highly skilled personnel.  So quality control is a big issue that is hiding behind many doors. So this is how we approach that problem.  First, we are a product with service.  The reality is in our field, you need people with expert level skills in charge to do this job well. Then it’s a matter of solving for Reviewable | Repeatable | Automated.  

We focus a great deal on creating an environment where we help people do their jobs, regardless of their skills and knowledge. And a key ingredient is a technology platform built by industry experts solving for real world problems. This allows us to create simple process and task driven workflow.

How do you see the future of the facility management?

Our industry is probably the largest most archaic on the planet.  The future will be more transparency, more process, marketplace platforms, data governance, AI, machine learning. I suspect those with superior technology will dominate and those that don’t have it will be niche players. We need some serious innovation in our field, and we’re hoping in a small way to lead that trend.

Anthony, what in your opinion is the right approach to check if there is a need for your product on the market and create something your users will really appreciate?

Everything we do is based on what client’s need.  We look for pain, dysfunction, inefficiency, paper process, silos of information, poor communication and broken process.  And every client is different, yet many have the same issues.  When you help a client fix these things, you deliver value and value is what clients appreciate.

Your platform connects organizations with facility management companies and service providers. How do you think entrepreneurs can bring value to all user segments and attract them to their platform simultaneously?

Creating value for all user segments is about creating a platform effect whereby the participants have access to robust business, can conduct business in a very efficient way including communication, information transfer, contract terms, payments and all the usual business arrangements. Again, the goal would be Reviewable | Repeatable | Automated.  Oh, and don’t forget about curation. Someone has to be there to make sure everyone is being fair and not breaking the rules.

One of the challenges B2B entrepreneurs face today is building a strong business model. What strategies do you use for creating a valuable business model for each of your customer segments?

One of my personal weaknesses is I’m not a big strategy guy.  I tend to lean towards problem solving and looking for things that need to be fixed.  In our field, I do believe we have the expertise to help almost any client.  But, we also have a limited number of experts.  So I strive to help a field with personnel and quality control issues.  Indirectly, I suppose that is the strategy.  Fix stuff.  People like people who can fix stuff.