Q&A With New BSCAI President Tom Kruse
BSCAI President Tom Kruse of Marsden Holding LLC Photo by Jeff Giencke and Mark Uy

As Tom Kruse, senior vice president of mergers and acquisitions and strategic support for Marsden Holding, LLC, St. Paul, Minnesota, enters 2017 as the Building Service Contractors Association International’s (BSCAI) new president, he’s looking to build on the successful year of immediate past president Janelle Bruland. So we posed 10 questions to the organization’s new leader in an effort to get to know him and his immediate and long-term plans.

1.  What trends do you see coming in the contract cleaning industry?

First, I see the industry continuing to be represented by increasingly professional, talented leaders due to second- and third-generation, well-educated family members growing in or joining the family business; professional management being hired by forward-thinking leadership; companies growing by acquisition and requiring more sophisticated management; and clients demanding it.

Second, I see smaller and midsize companies continue to do well. I see more of these companies forming and growing. Contrary to some beliefs, I think there is always room for success here — regardless of consolidation.

Third, consolidation will continue to take place due to an aging first-generation ownership and client-buying decisions being centralized, requiring a larger geographic footprint to service them.

Fourth, data-driven management continues to become more important for managing costs, establishing value to clients and growing markets.

2.  Where do you see BSCAI going in the next five years?

BSCAI will continue to grow membership. Additionally, members will expand their engagement with the organization as education, events and programs continue to improve. The last couple of years, we have seen a major uptick in these areas. I also believe our relationships with our vendor partners will continue to expand. Our vendor partners have been magnificent in supporting BSCAI, because I think they see a real value in being able to connect with the end user in a personal way. Our membership sees BSCAI as an important way to connect with them as well.

3.  Why should someone join BSCAI?

If a leader is looking to grow his or her business and as a professional, then this is the place. BSCAI is the only organization in the cleaning industry that is run by contractors for contractors. Our membership consists of people who understand first-hand the day-to-day challenges and opportunities a BSC experiences. Through peer-to-peer education, networking opportunities, professional certification, and purchasing and affinity programs, we help grow the top and bottom line for our engaged member companies.

4.  Do you have an example of how BSCAI has helped your business?

An early example was when I attended a peer-to-peer session at the Annual Convention. A speaker was explaining the value of making small adjustments in direct costs and how, if you took a very methodical approach, several small changes could lead to meaningful increases in profit. It was presented by another BSC, so he really understood the unique challenges associated with the industry. He spoke my language.

5.  Why did you decide to join the BSCAI board and run for president?

The continued success of BSCAI is very important to me. I have seen it help grow so many companies, big and small — including my own. Equally important are the many sincere relationships I have built here. I wanted to be more active to ensure that a similar (and expanded) experience continues to be available to any contractor.

6. What are BSCAI’s future goals and how as president do you plan to reach those goals?

A lot of what I plan to do is to build upon the foundation laid by past presidents. We can go deeper and move quicker, since we have really built momentum. A big part of my job will be to put a finer point on things and to show meaningful progress quickly. On my agenda specifically:

• Continuing to ensure that the relationship between BSCAI, the members and our vendor partners is a true win-win-win.
• Continuing the upward trajectory of quality education, certification, events and programming.
• Making sure BSCAI doubles down on the personal and inclusive culture.

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