Executive Education

Peer Talk Profile: Jason Dinverno

As COO of Prestige Maintenance, Jason Dinverno takes a lot of pride in the company that he watched his parents found in 1976 and nurture from the ground up. Offering janitorial, cleaning, and total-facility maintenance services, Prestige has earned a stellar reputation for its customer service and high quality of work.

With the abundant success the company has with its client base, it came as a major shock when one of Prestige’s long-time major retail clients decreased its janitorial budget as a result of improved store segmentations.

“This had a more than $30-million impact to our annualized revenue,” Dinverno says. “It was an eye opener. We needed to figure out what we were doing as an organization, and why we were not correctly reading what the industry requires.”

Dinverno and his sister, Prestige CEO Rachel Sanchez, realized that they had been doing business and operating the same way since the company’s inception.

“Instead of changing with the times, I felt like we were becoming stagnant,” he says. “Doing things the same way that had previously been successful were no longer, because the competitive market continues to change.”

Dinverno turned to the Chicago Management Institute (CMI)—an offering in Chicago Booth’s Executive Education program. The course is 15 sessions over six months, and provides a general management curriculum covering finance, growth strategies, and marketing, among other topics.

“Even though a lot of the information was big think tank stuff, it’s simplified, and I was able to start implementing changes right away,” Dinverno says. “One of the key takeaways reiterated throughout the course was data—everything goes back to the data.”

Thanks to CMI, Dinverno has a better understanding of how to define and use metrics to determine the cost associated with getting the desired outcome for the customer.

“We’ve found that we’ve had to tweak the data we had and the way that we gather it, so we can do a better analysis of it. And that’s given us a better understanding of how we should work.”

For instance, Prestige has become more strategic in determining what industries to target its business, and has defined its segments as retail, logistics, distribution, transportation, and commercial office space. The segmentation has enabled the company to have more control of its costs, which means it is able to maximize its growth potential.

“We used to want to do business with anybody and everybody who was ready to accept a proposal,” he says. “Now, we’ve clearly defined our segments, and we can better manage indirect costs and overhead. When we operate outside of the segments in which we’re most competent, it has an indirect impact on our profitability.”

Not only has CMI been beneficial to Dinverno’s business, but it has also had a positive impact on his relationship with clients.

“Because we have a better understanding of our operations and costs as well as more insights into our competitors and the marketplace, we are able to be more reactive to our customers’ needs than ever before,” Dinverno says. “We can respond to their requests, questions, and concerns more quickly and more nimbly. And that takes us back to the one thing that has always been a constant—our dedication to outstanding work and service."