ServiceMaster merrily mows, scrubs, sprays, and trims. A giant in its industry, the company serves millions of commercial and residential customers in the US and around the world with housecleaning, termite and pest control, and landscape maintenance services. Its best-known brands include Terminix, TruGreen, and Merry Maids. ServiceMaster Clean cleans carpets and flooring for residential and commercial clients. Its AmeriSpec division inspects homes, American Home Shield provides home warranty plans, and Furniture Medic repairs and restores furniture. ServiceMaster is owned by investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
Under its new owners, ServiceMaster has been working to improve the results of its business. Most of the company's businesses, including Terminix, operate through company-owned branches. However, Merry Maids primarily franchises its units, and American Home Shield operates through a network of independent real estate brokers, who sell the service, and subcontractors, who perform the work.
ServiceMaster hopes to improve performance in its company-owned service centers by centralizing some administrative functions (payroll and accounts receivable, for instance) and freeing the branch locations to focus on customer service and employee care. At the same time, ServiceMaster has focused its efforts on restructuring to cut down costs and optimize its organizational structure. This process has involved reducing its workforce, shutting down several centers or offices, and outsourcing certain business functions to third parties.
ServiceMaster has also divested some of its operations. In 2011 it sold the commercial landscaping business of TruGreen to Aurora Capital Partners in order to focus on its residential landscaping operations. A few years earlier, the company sold its InStar Services Group, a contractor that specializes in disaster recovery services, to private equity firm BlackEagle Partners in 2008. Two years earlier ServiceMaster sold its American Mechanical Services and American Residential Services units, the latter of which included ARS Service Express and Rescue Rooter brands.
Firmly rooted in religion, the company's name reflects both its business focus and its Christian credo of "Service to the Master." – less