Fred Anderson has become a name known to many in our dust control industry. Since joining The Pilgrim Group (and Pilgrim Mat Services) in November 2002, Fred has worked diligently with respected industry leaders and groups bringing the value of safe floor matting to the forefront of our industry.
Joining National Linen Service in 1978, Fred’s forty years of industry experience has encompassed many positions. Starting as a territory route service representative in Naples, Fl. he has gained valuable experience in route management, production management and a general manager’s position in various areas across the southeastern United States before working in the printer towel industry extracting hazardous waste materials for recycling purposes. Joining Pilgrim Mat Services in 2002 as the General Manager of the Tucker, Georgia facility Fred worked with the operation retraining each person on their specific position duties emphasizing the need to meet (or exceed) their customers’ expectations each step of the way. As the associates of Pilgrim Mat Services learned their new responsibilities, customer satisfaction numbers increased from their already impressive levels to even higher numbers allowing them to introduce new product lines and grow their customers internally. New business (and new routes) followed and retention levels grew into the high 90% range.
During this period Pilgrim’s West Palm Beach, Florida location was challenged by two (2) back to back Hurricanes (Francis and Jeannie) leaving them without processing capabilities for three (3) weeks. Fred’s past multi-plant experience came in handy as John Davenport, President asked for plans to assist in the immediate needs of West Palm Beach and its customers. With Fred’s oversite, the Tucker team stepped up and arranged to shuttle merchandise back and forth between the facilities assuring all their customers’ needs were met. As power was restored to the area John and Fred met in the facility to assess damage and plan for repairs. It was only natural for John Davenport to task Fred with oversight in the rebuilding process leading Fred to accept the position of Vice President of Operations and the responsibilities of company-wide performance.
Fred went about implementing identical procedures and teams in the West Palm Beach facility as he had in Tucker achieving similar results while encountering a third Hurricane (Wilma). With repairs not even completed from the previous Hurricanes, Fred and the Pilgrim team never missed a beat in achieving the company’s main objective, assuring quality product and exceptional service to their customer base.
With business growing and weather-related challenges well in hand, the West Palm Beach facility was named as a third-party defendant in a trip and fall lawsuit involving their mat and a long-term customer. Under normal circumstances, lawsuits tend to be handed over to an insurance company and, for the most part, forgotten. Fred’s past experience in safety protocols demanded he and his team investigate such incidents to find the “root cause” and assure long-term solutions. This led him to note the “foot shuffling” of the older (retired) population most likely contributed to the lawsuit. As Fred likes to call it, this opened“Pandora’s Box” as he questioned the manufacturer of the mats. Learning that manufacturers had previously started to have their mats certified through the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) for “High Traction” only to pause for unknown reasons, Fred immediately challenged them to continue this certification process on all floor mats. Today, our industry can be assured that their mats meet NFSI testing which Fred readily touts is very much like the Underwriting Laboratory “Approved” (UL) labeling we see on many other items we use everyday of our lives.
As Manufactures of floor mats (at the customers’ request) placed “NFSI Certified” labels on mats, Fred felt the need to seek out training from the NFSI as a way to assure Pilgrim’s customers they are partnering with a company out for their best interest. Fred has gone on to secure the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) certification as an NFSI Walkway Auditor Certificate Holder (WACH), Authorized Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Outreach Trainer for General Industry Safety and Health, American College of Forensic Examiners Institute (ACFEI) and Certified Forensic Consultant (CFC). These credentials have proven beneficial to many in our industry as they have sought out Fred’s expertise in defending slip, trip and fall lawsuits.
Recently, Fred was asked to join the subcommittee on the ANSI/ NFSI B101.6 Standard Guide for Commercial Entrance Matting in Reducing Slips, Trips, and Falls. The revised Standard will be introduced in the near future.
Recently, John Davenport sold Pilgrim Mat Services after a very rewarding fifty (50) years of success in the uniform rental and dust control industry allowing Fred to pursue his industry training and expert witness career. Over his career, Fred has sold “safe, complete floor care systems” to prospects and built long lasting professional relationships with customers–skills that are much needed in our industry. Laundries can contact Fred to have a tailored program designed for their individual sales and training needs.
For more information, go to AndersonSafetyAssociates.com or call (678) 644-9658.