#1 Ranked Company for NC in Small Business
11/23/2010   Triad Executive Leads Global Innovation Initiative

GREENSBORO, N.C. – November 15, 2010 – It can be hard to pinpoint exactly when new innovations reach our shores. Life-changing advances in business can occur through months of planning, research and communications – or can happen through a sheer coincidental meeting of two former strangers.

When Shawn Poole, CEO of commercial facilities management firm Xpicor, recently hosted an executive from a Denmark company with a similar mission, both left the meeting with ideas that could eventually transform their businesses in their respective companies.

Poole and his Danish counterpart were brought together through an innovative program sponsored by the Piedmont Triad Council for International Visitors (PTCIV), a local arm of a U.S. State Department program which facilitates exchanges such as the one hosted by Poole. The PTCIV is one of more than 90 such councils throughout the country, and in February 2011, the national organization will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Poole was asked to host Mudassar Iqubal, the owner of Danish commercial cleaning company “Rent,” which means “clean” in Danish. In a meeting which ran more than double its expeccted 90-minute time frame, each executive shared business practices with the other that currently are not widely used in their respective countries.

Iqubal was impressed by the power and potential of Poole’s commercial carpet cleaning van, which is completely self contained – including the water. Poole was similarly taken with Iqubal’s equipment which uses carbonation – rather than water volume – to scrub carpets clean.

“I feel like we are just scratching the surface,” said Poole, who already is planning a trip to Denmark on his own initiative to see Iqubal’s business up-close. “Through this sort of global understanding, the world truly is becoming smaller.”

And that’s just the kind of discovery that is hoped for by the staff and volunteers of the Council of International Visitors, which has both hosted and visited with people from every continent across the globe. “We are delighted when our international visitors make a connection with their local counterpart, and they find that we are not all that different after all,” said Beth Robertson, executive director of the Piedmont Triad Council for International Visitors.

Xpicor has doubled in size – to 150 employees – in the past three years and was cited as the No. 1 small business in 2009 by Business Leader magazine. But Poole realizes his firm must innovate to grow in a competitive market segment – and such innovation can literally raise the stakes for the entire segment.

For example, Poole is considering being the first U.S. company to utilize the Puraqleen – a window cleaning system that uses a 40-foot boom to reach windows as high as five stories and a washing innovation that provides instant drying. It also recirculates the water through an on-board filtration system – making the entire system environmentally-friendly and labor-conserving.

Too, Iqubal was envious of Poole’s proprietary and comprehensive labor management system, which consists of GPS tracking and software which not only tracks employee hours and movements, but provides detailed metrics which can help workers do their jobs more efficiently.

The dialogue left Iqubal excited about possibilities – and impressed enough with Greensboro that he shared with his hosts that he gained more from the visit to the Gate City than in similar stops in Kansas City, Boston and Washington D.C.

“Our customers are globalizing as well, so we must innovate on a worldwide scale in order to keep up with their demands,” said Poole. “I feel like through this exchange, a firm like ours can become an international player, without having to be in a larger city. It is knowledge that can get us all a step ahead.”

# # #

205 S. Westgate Dr., Greensboro, NC 27407 | Ph: 336-510-0333 Fax: 336-458-9642 Toll Free: 877XPICOR1 (974-2671)