In early 1985, Al and Helen Wells and Bob Clark launched ADVANCE Termite & Pest Control, which was incorporated in Kansas, and commenced operations in April, 1985. These original owners wanted the corporation's primary focus to be the offering of quality termite and pest control services for both residential and commercial customers in Hutchinson and the surrounding area. The business began in the basement of the Wells' home where it remained for 10 years.
For the first six years of the operation, each technician scheduled his own appointments and Helen took care of the "bookwork" in the evenings and on Saturdays while continuing her employment with a local law firm. In 1991, Helen became a "full-time" employee of the corporation.
In August, 1987, Advance hired its first employee, David Wolcott, who worked with the company until his death in 1997.
In 1987, Bob Clark left the company to become a flight attendant with United Airlines; Bob returned to the pest control industry in the late 1990s and currently manages a pest control company in the Wamego, Kansas area.
In 1991, Al and Helen's son, Jeff, joined the company. Today, he serves as Vice-President of the corporation and is responsible for much of the day-to-day operation of the lawn care, wildlife and insulation departments.
Terry Savoy first began working for the business in 1990, but left in 1996 to work in the food service industry. In 1998, Terry returned to pest control, and he currently serves as Supervisor of the general pest control division of the company.
In 1995, the company moved its office to the old Grace Hospital building at 500 W. 20th. In May of 1995, Sandra Hofmeier, who had been working for the Pizza Café in Hutchinson, joined the business as a part-time assistant. Also in May, 1995, the company became an authorized operator for the installation and monitoring of Sentricon* Termite Colony Elimination Systems, the most reliable method available to the termite control industry for the control of termite infestations. Sandra became the Supervisor of our Sentricon* division until her retirement in 2013.
In 1998, our offices were moved to the company's current location at 2515 E. 14th Avenue. During the past several years, as the company has grown, this building has been remodeled several times to include large conference room and several garage bays.
Over the years, many quality employees have worked and continue to work with Advance, including several family members, all of whom have had a positive impact on our business and helped us to continue to provide high quality services to our customers.
The owners of Advance have always considered the company to be a "customer-intimate" organization. All Advance employees are expected to be mindful of certain guidelines when providing services to the company's customers.
A customer-intimate organization molds itself to its customers' needs. The worst failure in a customer-intimate corporation is not the loss of money; it's the lost customer. The corporation's personnel have come to view excellent service as routine.
As a customer-intimate organization, Advance has a computer system that tells our employees a great deal about our customers, which is especially important when it's not one person, but a team of individuals who serve an account. Customer intimacy requires the efforts of the entire company.
In 2008, the company purchased a company located in Stafford, Kansas, which allowed Advance to add lawn care to the other services it currently offered and in 2012, Bornholdt Plantland offered its lawn care division for sale to our company, resulting in an increase to our lawn care customer base.
In late 2013, the installation of attic and sidewall insulation was added to the company's service offerings. One of the products used by our company, Fiberlite, recycles tons of waste paper daily, turning it into an array of cellulose insulation products to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of homes and commercial buildings. The other product, InCide® Pest Control Insulation, can only be installed by a licensed pest control operator. Because this insulation contains boric acid, it also provides continuous, nonstop pest control protection while lowering heating and cooling costs.
The owners of Advance take pride in the fact that the company has kept up with technology in being able to provide real estate inspections, including photographs, within 24 hours of an inspection. Many communications with customers, lenders and real estate agents occur via e-mail and Sentricon* Systems are monitored using a microchip in each station.
If you've tried all the rest, ADVANCE to the best! We sincerely appreciate our employees AND our customers!
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