News and Articles Archive - DENTCO
News and Articles Archive

DENTCO Archive

With over 40 years of experience in Exterior Service Management, we have learned how to properly care for and tend to everything from landscaping to snow and ice removal, and everything in between.  Need some tips on how to keep your service needs down? Explore nearly two decades worth of previously published news and articles from DENTCO.

  • DENTCO to Attend 54th Annual SPECS Conference

    DeWitt, Mich., – (March 13, 2018) – DENTCO announced they will be attending the 54th annual SPECS Show at the Gaylord Texan Resort, March 18-20 in Dallas, TX. SPECS is produced by retail news and industry analyst Chain Store Age to bring together the nations top retailers and suppliers to discuss what is shaping the future of retail. After a hiatus from this conference, DENTCO will once again be taking part as an exhibitor. “We are delighted to return to SPECS in 2018, and look forward to meeting new people and connecting with familiar faces” said National Sales Director, Teresa Phelps. Attendees are welcome to stop by and visit booth #528 to discuss how their retail facilities can benefit from DENTCO’s Exterior Services Management (ESM), including Landscaping, Snow Removal, Parking Lot and Dark Store Maintenance About DENTCO DENTCO is the 1st Exterior Services Management Company in the United States.  With over 41 years of experience with retail store and facility exteriors, DENTCO offers portfolio management for landscaping, snow and ice control, parking lot maintenance, irrigation, and various other ESM services.  Visit or call (800) 993-3689 for more information.  
  • Snow and Ice Management Plans Can Help Keep Stores Open for Business

    This article was published in the November 2015 issue of STORES Magazine  In many regions of the country, snow isn’t a surprise in winter. But a growing number of retailers are finding that companies hired to clear their sidewalks and parking lots are failing to meet expectations even during typical snow events, meaning some stores can’t open and others are opening late. All that leads to lost sales, lost profits and lost customer trust. This past winter, when Massachusetts was hit by three severe back-to-back snowstorms, Retailers Association of Massachusetts President Jon Hurst told the Boston Herald that “conservatively,” retailers in the state lost $10 million for each day they’d been closed or had almost no business thanks to the “relentless” snow. (more…)
  • Crain’s Detroit Names DENTCO One of the Coolest Places to Work in Michigan

    DEWITT, Mich. (November 25, 2014) DENTCO has recently been named one of Michigan’s coolest places to work by Crain’s Detroit Business. The Crain’s Detroit Business’ Cool Places to Work list serves as an annual spotlight, identifying Michigan’s best employers. (more…)
  • DENTCO Names New COO Amidst Growth

    DeWitt, MI – (July 23, 2013) – Scott Milnes, President of DENTCO, the nation’s leading Exterior Services Management® (ESM) Company announced today that Justin Dent was named DENTCO’s new Chief Operating Officer. (more…)
  • DENTCO Names Milnes as New President

    DeWitt, MI – (July 22, 2013) – Kevin Dent, CEO of DENTCO, the nation’s leading Exterior Services Management® Company announced today that Scott Milnes, DENTCO’s Chief Operating Officer will assume duties as the new President effective immediately.
  • Are You and Your Locations in the Dark?

    Issues affecting dark, idle real estate
    A common problem, especially during our current economic times, is the increasing occurrence of dark, idle commercial real estate. Furthermore, facility managers from time to time are not even informed by corporate management that a location is closing, resulting in an idle property that lacks any clear management. These locations are still valuable real estate investments that must be maintained, however, when the facilities’ operations no longer have clear ownership, maintenance falls by the wayside and locations are neglected.
  • DENTCO Helps Curb Unemployment

    Michigan-based, Exterior Services Management® company DENTCO, is taking huge strides toward aiding in the nation’s economic recovery by adding jobs for Quality Service Inspectors (QSIs) all around the United States. These QSIs act as the “eyes and ears” for DENTCO, managing locations around the country and providing on-site visual inspections and faster response times.
  • DENTCO Producing More Jobs for Baby Boomers and Seniors

    DeWitt, MI – (August 1, 2012) – Whether you were born in 1935 or 1965, and are simply bored during retirement, DENTCO, the leading national Exterior Services Management® (ESM) Company wants you! (more…)
  • Kevin Dent Featured in INC. Magazine

    The renowned monthly publication INC. magazine recently interviewed Kevin Dent, CEO of Michigan-based, Exterior Services Management® company DENTCO, to exchange insights on the advantages of hiring older workers. (more…)
  • DENTCO Sheds Light on the “Snowball Effect” from a Mild Winter

    DEWITT, Mich. – (February 16, 2012) – When your company manages up to 50 million square feet of snow and ice removal per year for nationwide retailers and there has been little to no snow in most regional hubs; something is wrong. Especially when its mid-February and Punxsutawney Phil just predicted six more weeks of winter. (more…)
  • DENTCO Donates Desktops to Rhama Word House

    DEWITT, Mich. – (September 30, 2011) – Michigan-based, Exterior Services Management®(ESM) company DENTCO, recently donated four desktop systems to the Rhama Word House, a not-for-profit transition home that houses and helps women coming out of incarceration or treatment programs. The Rhama Word House, started by Mary Harris, is a faith-based program. In the agenda, the women learn how to balance finances, receive spiritual guidance and further their education through grants.
  • Start Every Season Stress Free

    Winter, spring, summer, fall…there is a way to be prepared for them all. No matter what Mother Nature sends – rain, wind, sun or snow – making exterior maintenance a top priority will keep your sites’ assets in peak condition for each season. Preparation is the key to maintaining an inviting atmosphere for your customers and employees. (more…)
  • Are You Prepared for a White Out? Get prepared for winter now

    Summer Snow Planning Before you say, “It doesn’t snow where I live” or “It’s the height of the summer season,” keep in mind that practically every location in the United States has seen snowfall and the date of the first snowfall varies. This extreme unpredictability of winter storms, coupled with the hazardous conditions caused by such weather, (more…)
  • Drought Tolerant Landscapes

    Strategies to maintain your curb appeal during water-absent periods

    No Showers, No Flowers In recent months, many regions across the United States have been relatively dry with the development of drought-like conditions, which can cause extreme stress to your exterior landscape. Numerous municipalities were affected last year as well by drought conditions and each city or county has become much (more…)

  • Is Your Landscaping as Fresh as Your Broccoli?

    Is your landscaping as fresh as your broccoli? In other words, has your restaurant’s plate appearance been undermined by a lack of curb appeal? Your restaurant’s exterior may be an inaccurate reflection of the food and service quality that’s been mastered inside. Studies have shown that a customer’s satisfaction with (more…)
  • New Year’s Resolution #1: New Exterior Maintenance Master Plan

    Help to make this resolution a reality.

    Holiday Hustle . . . or Hassle? It’s hard to believe it’s already that time of year again…The season when Jack Frost nips at your nose, the thrill of the holidays fills the air and, of course, your master plan sits on your desk, still far from perfection. As 2007 draws to a close, so does the amount of time you have left to prepare next year’s plan for your exterior maintenance, (more…)

  • Painting on a Fresh Facade

    A fresh coat of paint can rejuvenate and protect your exteriors A fresh coat of paint is the most inexpensive way to transform, revitalize and protect your building’s exterior. As a facility manager, you are responsible for one of the most important elements of your company’s image – the building and its surrounding assets. Painting can rejuvenate and protect your exteriors, providing (more…)
  • Wintry Weather Preparations

    Autumn has arrived; relieving summer’s sweltering heat and gracing us with brilliant landscape hues, but facility managers must ensure crucial winter preparations are complete before Old Man Winter returns. By now, your snow and ice control plans should be finalized and implementation of your winterization plans should (more…)
  • Graffiti: Writings on the Wall

    Professional tips for graffiti prevention, business recovery & graffiti removal Graffiti…Is it art, crime or vandalism that creates a bad image for your properties? Whether it’s concrete, brick, stone, pavement, glass, wood, signage, aluminum siding, street signs, bus shelters, utility boxes or poles, in this day and age almost any surface can be vandalized by graffiti. (more…)
  • The Power of Pressure

    Pressure Washing Keeps Your Exteriors Crisp & Clean Are layers of dirt, mold, grime, grease and other unsightly build-up accumulating on your building’s exterior walls, sidewalks or parking lots? Has your property been defaced by graffiti? Do your exterior walls need to be prepped for painting? (more…)
  • Cash in on Curb Appeal

    To stand out from the competition, gain customer recognition, and increase business, your financial institution needs curb appeal. Designing and maintaining a functional and aesthetically pleasing exterior is a key component of curb appeal, which can be achieved by developing a comprehensive maintenance plan, (more…)
  • Pleasing the Eye: Enhancing Your Hotels’ Curb Appeal

    Do You Pass the Curb Appeal Test? Let’s take a short quiz together on the power of your current curb appeal. To begin, stand where your prospective guest will see your property for the first time. Look at it objectively, as if you’re considering entering your hotel. (more…)
  • Curb Charisma

    Refine your curb appeal and reap the rewards. How would you define curb appeal? A potential customer should observe an immaculate, clean, vibrant and organized exterior when visiting your property. First impressions are crucial and your curb appeal can make or break the success of your business. (more…)
  • Streamlined Exterior Services Management (ESM)

    Enhancing curb appeal through a cohesive seasonal maintenance program For a moment, consider the short amount of time it takes to make a first impression. In these few precious seconds, consumers have already created a very important initial judgment of your property; therefore, a primary focus should be on improving a store’s exterior appearance because this (more…)
  • Lodging Operator Consultant’s Corner

    Customer’s FAQ Concerning Landscape Maintenance What is the recommended frequency for landscape maintenance to take place? I recommend customers specify weekly landscape maintenance service. Landscape maintenance services may include, but are not limited to: (more…)
  • Snow & Ice Removal FAQs

    When should I begin planning snow removal services for the upcoming winter? If you were pleased with the service you received over the previous winter, then I recommend renewing your current agreement immediately. Unless you are located in the extreme South or Hawaii, a well-developed snow and ice control plan is essential for safety, efficiency and cost-effective exterior facility management. (more…)
  • Ask The Experts

    Question: How can I better budget my snow removal and ice control expenses? (more…)
  • RFP: The Magic of Quoting Unseen Properties

    Many companies are like magicians when quoting their Exterior Services Management® (ESM) costs. ZAP! BAM! BOOM! POOF! Magically a quote appears quicker than the eye can see! How do they do it? They make zero investment in your RFP process as they call a local vendor and ask for a quote! Should your RFP require (more…)
  • Growing Your Green Potential

    Facilities represent the second largest expense of most companies, making it vital to growth that facility managers efficiently control and understand each location in their company’s footprint. Accurate planning decisions and foresight can make for more effective loss prevention and grow your bottom line. (more…)
  • The Climate Quandary

    Change in the weather is inevitable in the 21st century. Here’s how you and your stores can be prepared for it. Throughout the 20th century there have been drastic climate variations and changes. These fluxes include considerable warming, rises in precipitation, decade-long droughts and decreases in snow cover. The next century promises an even more rapidly shifting climate, and adaptation is going to be vital in your property’s survival. (more…)
  • Signs of Spring: When spring finally rolls around, there is a lot to be done around your stores’ exteriors.

    RED LIGHT Winter gives you and your landscaping the red light and when spring rolls around there is much to do. Inspections are key. This is an ideal time to assess damage and invest in repairs. Especially in snowy regions, where there may be damage to asphalt and other hard surfaces, aesthetic issues or hazards to safety created. Spring is (more…)
  • Maintaining the safety and security of your exteriors

    PLAYING IT SAFE Since the events of September 11, 2001 and some of the more recent natural disasters, safety and security have become major considerations for facility managers. By maintaining the safety and security of your properties’ exteriors, you can not only avoid potential litigation from injuries on-site, but also build customer trust and loyalty (more…)
  • PRSM Buyer’s Guide 2005: An ESM Plan for All Seasons

    Tips for year-round exterior maintenance. It’s all about appearances — in terms of curb appeal, that is. The first impression that your stores’ exteriors make on your customers can significantly affect their shopping experience and, ultimately, their perception of your company. While brand recognition and advertising certainly play a large role, some of the smaller details can (more…)
  • Plan for the Unexpected

    Preparation for exterior damage and recovery in unpredictable situations. Facility managers bear the responsibility of successfully navigating any situation that may arise in any given store in their portfolio. Unfortunately, this responsibility does not waver — even in the face of unpredictable emergency situations. Take, for example, the string of hurricanes that ravaged Florida in 2004 or the severe snowstorms (more…)
  • Monitoring Quality Assurance

    Evaluating the quality of exterior service across a national portfolio For companies with numerous locations in a regional or national footprint, monitoring consistency and quality assurance across sites can be a daunting task. In some circumstances, exterior maintenance is left up to the district or regional facility manager who then typically places service responsibility in the hands of an in-house team (more…)
  • Once Snow Ridden, Twice Shy

    It’s official. The winter weather is upon us and is bound to intensify throughout the season. Already this year, Mother Nature has showered us with hurricanes, flooding, volcanic eruptions and various other extraordinary events – who knows what tricks she may have up her sleeve for the snow season! While there is little we can do to avoid severe (more…)
  • When Good Installations Go Bad

    The Costs of Maintaining Poor Landscape Installations What is the value of a well-manicured lawn, a properly functioning irrigation system or even a crack-free parking lot? What about the sense of accountability and responsibility necessary to establish and maintain these aspects of your retail property? Perhaps more valuable than you think, especially when considering new store (more…)
  • Falling Into Winter

    Preventative fall maintenance saves spring spend As autumn graces us with dropping temperatures and brilliant landscape hues, it is important to remember that there is still much preparation and planning for the facility manager for the onset of winter. By now, you should have completed the planning phase of your snow and ice control plans and be moving ahead to the (more…)
  • The Changing Landscape of Exterior Maintenance

    Efficient Management of Exterior Services through Technological Innovation The last few decades have marked significant change for the entire landscaping industry. Exterior facility management began to see a drastic shift in the early 1990s as corporations began to centralize operations and services, attempting to consolidate in an industry of fragmentation. Changes in the economy, (more…)
  • Functional Landscape Design

    Using curb appeal to benefit your bottom line You only get one chance to make a first impression on your customers, and the state of your retail operation’s curb appeal can weigh heavily on that impression! From the initial planning of your landscape design, to the installation and maintenance of your exterior assets, there are numerous factors that affect your curb appeal. (more…)
  • Summer Planning for Winter Plowing

    Early snow and ice control preparation eliminates winter retail operations chaos The sun is shining, the flowers are in bloom and all the chills of wintry weather are long behind us. Despite the heat and humidity of these summer months, it’s time to start thinking snow and ice removal. Summer is unquestionably the best time for facility, regional and grounds care managers to commence discussions, (more…)
  • I.P.M.Integrated Pest Management

    Pest Management The exteriors of your facilities contain a number of pests that can be injurious to your property, landscape and customers. From termites to beetles to even mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus, today’s facility manager is charged with ensuring not only an attractive exterior, but also a safe one, free from annoying and possibly harmful pests. (more…)
  • Administrative & Cost Benefits of Exterior Services Management®

    The Cost of Exteriors Management Do you have a complete understanding of the costs associated with exterior services? Have you ever analyzed how much time and effort is spent managing your exteriors? I have spoken with countless facility managers at the regional and corporate level and each has given an estimate of anywhere between 10 and 20 percent of their resources are spent managing their exterior services. However, management is a time factor. What about the direct costs of managing your exteriors? (more…)
  • New Season Preparation

    A Guide to Landscape Rejuvenation and Functional Appeal The winter’s snowfall is slowly melting away and your commercial exterior is beginning to expose the effects that Old Man Winter can have on your exterior assets. The trees may be damaged, plant material may be dead and your hard surfaces are no doubt in need of inspection and likely repair. (more…)
  • Dreams of Green

    Inspecting Your Irrigation System The charm of winter is wearing off, yet the snow continues to fall in many areas and it seems that spring is a hopeless anticipation. While the green season may seem distant to some of us, it truly is just around the corner. As the snow begins to melt, the damage caused by winter weather will become apparent in your landscaping. (more…)
  • Planning for Success

    Holiday Hustle . . . or Hassle? It’s that time of year again. The season when Jack Frost nips at your nose, the thrill of the holidays fills the air and, of course, your master plan sits on your desk, still far from perfection. As 2003 draws to a close, so does the amount of time you have left to prepare next year’s plan for your exterior maintenance. (more…)
  • Exterior Asset Inventories

    Be Prepared With winter just around the corner, it’s time to begin making preparations for snow and ice removal. While winter precipitation removal may seem straightforward, a significant amount of logistical consideration and preparation must be exercised. A key method of preparation is conducting an exterior asset inventory (more…)
  • Fall Landscaping

    As Temperatures Fall

    Lack of rain and the hot temperatures that accompany the summer months can reap havoc on your once lush facilities landscape. As we approach the fall season, lower temperatures are always a welcomed relief from the summer’s scorching heat. Warm season grasses will tolerate hot, dry conditions for a longer period of time than cool season grasses. (more…)

  • Achieving Turn-Key Landscape Construction

    Know your property, achieve your needs.

    Successful turn key landscape construction is often the last step prior to your grand opening but the first step toward curb appeal, attracting customers, and establishing a long-term and cost effective exterior. The key to success lies in your familiarity with your property and the plan that has been approved for your exteriors. (more…)

  • Plowing Thru Summer Snow Planning

    Early snow preparation can save you from a retail operation nightmare in the winter.

    Summer Snow Planning? Each year I sit down to write the snow preparation article and everyone chuckles because with the heat and humidity, snow is the last thing on their minds. Inevitably, the day the article hits distribution, it’s always the hottest day of the summer. We are even several months ahead of the seasonal retail inventory decisions that determine (more…)

  • Dealing with Drought

    No Showers, No Flowers

    Drought conditions can cause extreme stress to your exterior landscape. Numerous municipalities were affected last year by drought conditions and each city or county has become much more vigilant in enforcing watering codes and restrictions. Even properties with irrigation systems can suffer the effects of drought via (more…)

  • Garbage, Weeds, and Oversized Trees: A Guide to Planting Bed Maintenance

    The Importance of Planting Bed Maintenance Did you ever visit a really nice resort where the grounds were immaculate? Do you remember the lush scenery and the way the flowers smelled? Now picture a dingy stand-alone store down the street. There is garbage all over the curb, the parking lot is torn up, and the shrubs look dated back to the “Open Since 1977” sign. (more…)

  • Parking Lot Maintenance

    It’s black and you drive on it…need to know more?

    Even the simplest luxuries we use on a daily basis can demand the most complicated maintenance. To many of us, parking lots are practically invisible, but to the facility manager with multiple or hundreds of locations, this can become an overwhelming budgetary concern when dealing with maintenance. No matter what your geographic location, (more…)

  • It’s Watertime!

    Spring into Irrigation Most store and facility managers are blaming a brutal, early winter for their 2003 spring clean up needs. The aftermath from excessive snow and heavy plowing, combined with leftover fall debris, create more work for all exterior maintenance staff. After the debris is cleared and the snow has melted, the ground will warm up, and plants and grass will begin (more…)

  • Preparation for the New Season

    A New Beginning Can you believe it’s already a new year? The hectic holiday rush is over and now you must focus on those New Year resolutions you have set, as well as implementing your Master Plan. In addition to store displays and marketing plans, you have a myriad of other concerns to be fully prepared for the spring season. Amongst the most important is to (more…)
  • Need a little help getting the plan ready for next year?


    Its Not Too Late It’s hard to believe it’s December already and you only have a few weeks left to have your master plan ready for next year. Regardless of your particular position or title; if your responsibilities include Exterior Facilities Management, this article will help you get ready for 2003 by outlining the tools and assistance an ESM can provide. (more…)

  • Are you considering the responsibilities and liabilities of snow and ice control?


    Winter is upon us In the June issue we discussed the logistics involved with “Gearing Up for Snow and Ice Removal”. However, that article dealt predominantly with preparation and planning. In many parts of the country, retailers are currently well under way in developing their snow and ice plans. In fact, many have completed their preparation and solidified their contracts. (more…)

  • Surviving the Battle of Outsourcing

    Unlike many of my colleagues, I didn’t surrender to the so-called enemy of outsourcing. As many of you know, I’ve been working in the exterior services management (ESM) industry for more than 25 years. Even though outsourcing or one-sourcing was born in the early 1990s, the concept is still in its infancy stage and has just recently been embraced by retail America. In this month’s article, we will discuss the current situation analysis for retail facility managers and ways to make the transition of outsourcing as smooth as possible. There are tactics to prepare your exterior maintenance for victory and, even better, ways to ensure the future of your position with corporate management. ESM and outsourcing are no longer viewed as the enemy; senior management is constantly seeking savings per site and easier, faster and better ways of maintaining their ESM with built-in value. (more…)
  • Evaluating exterior maintenance services through an ESM company can reduce your bottom line

    The Evaluation Process Exterior services management (ESM) is just like any other integral part of your bottom line. In other words, for your company to become more efficient and increase quality, you must have an evaluation process in place that corrects and justifies the overall budget. Most aspects of retail and corporate business are managed “by the numbers”; why should your exterior maintenance be any different? (more…)
  • Retail management systems are now providing support from central headquarters

    It has become a necessity for most businesses to create an environment driven by real-time operations and an increased sensitivity to activities in the global marketplace. Companies are reaching beyond their former geographic limitations to explore new challenges and opportunities. After many years of revising a 1980s regional operations formula, large retail stores and facilities have made the leap to centralized operations. This decision allows enterprise-wide management systems to provide support to divisional field levels from central headquarters. (more…)
  • It’s not too early to begin planning for your retail operations’ winter

    The Weather Outside Is Delightful Before you say, “It doesn’t snow where I live,” keep in mind that practically every location in the United States has seen snowfall. Even most portions of Southern Florida have seen a few snow flurries. Of course, growing up in Lansing, Michigan, I soon came to realize that snow was not only a dependable scapegoat for a day out of school, but it was also an integral part of retail operations and the economy. So, being in the retail business, I am sure you are not surprised that we will be discussing snow and ice removal planning in the month of June. (more…)
  • New advances in landscaping have made this essential part of retail maintenance easier to manage

    The Grass Is Always Greener Everyone wants the greenest grass, meticulous planting beds, extravagant water features and a landscape maintenance program that addresses the needs of every season. However, the dilemma of budget constraints, day-to-day tasks and general job duties do not afford the national or regional store/facility manager the time to deal with all the demands of various vertical market contractors. In this article, we will discuss a brief history of retail landscaping, the milestones that prepared us for drastic changes and the cutting edge landscape management tools that allow fluid and seamless service without diverting valuable resources from your core focus. (more…)
  • Getting online and real-time with portfolio management

    Automation Is King Whether you are managing 10 locations or 2,000 locations, automated portfolio management software is a necessary and viable tool. There are a number of reputable software programs that provide automation technologies and consulting services for corporate commercial and retail portfolio administration. (more…)
  • Exterior services management can help your store pass the customer approval test.

    Looks Are Everything You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Whether it’s an icy parking lot or gum on a shoe, never underestimate the power that exterior services has on the patronage of your retail store location. We know brand recognition and advertising play a large role in selling to the public, but there are many other factors that influence the shopping experience. The look and feel of a store holds the most power in enticing us through the doors. Many people tend to judge an initial store experience in visual terms – a store is vibrant, clean, well organized or, at the other end of the spectrum, dull, trashy and uninviting. (more…)
  • Time to Consider an ESM Provider?

    One-sourcing ESM focuses on strategic solutions, not cost.. With the economy continuing to slow in late 2001, the future of retail has become a much-discussed issue. Smaller companies are folding and larger corporations are cutting back on new store growth, focusing instead on increasing sales within the existing inventory of locations. According to census data, non-residential building construction the fourth quarter of 2001 was about 5% lower than the previous quarter. This pattern will likely continue until the economy recovers. The events of September 11 simply accelerated the trend. It will be difficult to tell how this recession will affect retail until the turn-around is complete. While the market will definitely return, the big question becomes “What steps do we take to survive the short term?” (more…)
  • Consolidating exterior services provides cost containment and service standardization.

    Managing a portfolio of hundreds or thousands of facilities is a time-consuming and rigorous responsibility for property management and purchasing directors. But, the use of new technology and consolidation can save maintenance budget dollars and provide value for the maintenance spend. (more…)