Category Archives: Rollout Projects

What is this all about?

In looking over the blog posts included on the Except the Exceptional site, I realized that some might wonder, “What is this blog all about?” The topics range from personal to professional, home-life to work-life, travel and even ethics.  The ultimate goal in all of them is to open the reader’s eyes to new ideas, and hopefully help make some aspect of their life easier/better.  And this “life-improvement” aspect stems from the reason this entire blog was started, and that is Royal Services.  What is Royal Services?  Royal is a lot of things – they are a project management, construction, facility maintenance, rollout champion of a company.  But for people who aren’t “in the biz,” it might be a little difficult to understand.  So please allow me to break it down!  Who knows, you may realize that there are ways Royal can help you that you weren’t even aware of!
1. Project Management and Rollouts – pretend you want to install new granite in your kitchen.  No big deal, right? (Unless you’re on Housegranite
Hunters – then the house BETTER already have that granite). But now pretend you have 100 houses, and they all need new granite and the look needs to be consistent across the board.  This is what Royal does for businesses.  If business X needs new display cases installed in all of their stores, Royal will send experienced people to complete the job in a consistent manner, ensuring that the businesses and their new cases look equally fabulous across the board.

2. Facility Maintenance – uh oh!  It’s the hottest day of the year, you walk into your business and the air conditioner has stopped working.  You can call around to every A/C repair place in the area (all of which are busy, of course) and eventually end up closing for the day, OR you could partner with Royal.  Because in this situation, you could simply make one phone call, and your A/C will be fixed lickety-split, allowing you to keep the store open and continue making the big bucks.

3. Construction – it came to you in a dream: a brand new look for your store.  Beautiful new tile floors, custom built shelving, and brand-new lighting to really highlight your new bigstock-CHICAGO-IL--MARCH-------128179376.jpgproduct line.  When you wake up, your excitement is immediately diminished when you remember that you have a life, and simply do not have the time NOR the money to accomplish such a huge task.  But what if you could do it?  What if you could call one person, who would then work with you to set up all of your projects, saving you the time it would take to call multiple places searching for the best deals, plus getting a great deal at the same time?  That’s what Royal does for their partners in need of construction services.

4. Government – government sites that require compressed or specialty gases at their sites can rely on Royal to provide the highest quality materials that are in compliance with government regulations.  And they don’t stop at gas!  Royal also provides a number of other provisions for government sites, including but not limited to safety products, CCTV equipment and water testing supplies.  Again, always staying up to date with changing regulations and ensuring their partners will be compliant with government standards.

5. RAZOR – this is the system that is used to do pretty much everything.  Nathan Shyver, CFO for Royal, created this CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) in
order to provide a streamlined way to communicate with clients in real time.  Clients can track spending, check work razor-screen-shotprogress, manage maintenance and more, simply by logging into this one place.  RAZOR was designed to work specifically with Royal’s scope of work, as a quick and easy way for clients to stay informed, but also as a place where they can find more in-depth information about their business in regards to their maintenance, construction and project management needs.

So there you have it folks.  While it may not have been clear with all of that fancy, technical jargon I used (like lickety-split), the heart and soul of Royal boils down to helping others succeed, which is why I aim to do the same with this blog in the best way I know how, using the written word.




Every April Fools Day as a child consisted of waking up to my mom and dad yelling, “There’s a firetruck outside!  Come look!  I wonder what’s going on??” And even after this had run its course, and my brothers and I knew that there was not in fact a state of emergency at the neighbor’s house, it was still fun to yell this each year and think back to the years when it actually worked. I’m looking forward to starting this same tradition with my family, although I think I’ll wait a few years as my son is very much into big trucks right now.  If I told him there was a fire truck outside and there wasn’t, I would be in for a rough day!  Traditions are an important part of my family, and as my husband will tell you, I love making new ones!  Even after we have only done something twice, it becomes a tradition in my mind and I begin to look forward to it each year.  However, getting hooked on traditions can have its downside.  For myself, once a tradition has been established in my mind, I feel almost guilty changing it in any way.  It worked so well every other year, so why try to do something different?  But this can obviously lead to boredom and possibly cause everyone involved to miss out on something new and amazing.

This problem can span across many aspects of life; maybe you have been to the same hair stylist for years, and although the rates keep going up and you aren’t loving what she is doing to your hair, you might feel it’s worth it to avoid the hassle of finding someone new.  I’m sure we all know someone who could use a new hairdresser!

trump hair

Or maybe your doctor isn’t giving you the care you need, however starting at square one and getting to know someone new just seems like too much work.  There are so many more examples I could give of the reasons we settle.  And these ruts are not limited to our personal lives either.

On the business side of things, there are clients, service providers, contractors, customers, etc. that keep things moving along the way they should. Depending on the business you are in, you might have dozens of different people to keep up with and when one is slacking, there is a good chance you will not have time to deal with it right away.  This often leads to poor output and loss of revenue.  For example, in one month, a retail store might require their locks changed, their air conditioner serviced, a toilet fixed, a glass door replaced, an LED light repaired and a new display case installed.  That is at least six different people that they will have to contact and arrange their schedule around.  And with that many people in the mix, chances are someone will cancel, or make a mistake and have to schedule a new time to come out and get the job done.  The time spent on all of this scheduling eats into the time the owner could be spending on growing their business!  So what if you could just have one point of contact?  It would mean only one person to handle the scheduling, and one person to get to know you and your business in order to ensure maximum quality is provided.  That is what Royal Services can do for you.  So next time your air conditioner serviceman shows up late, but you don’t want to spend the time finding a new one, check out what Royal Services can do to lighten your workload.

And next time you are looking for a new family tradition, check out this list of ideas for a great new tradition.  And even if they don’t all work out for your family, it will certainly be fun trying them out!  If your family has any great traditions, post them in the comments below!

Unwritten Rules

In business dealings, there are often unwritten rules that legally do not have to be followed, but ethically absolutely should be followed.  Whether you work for a Fortune 500 company, a small retail location or even are just selling items online, following a code of conduct helps to build a loyal client base and ensure your customers are satisfied.


Recently, I was shopping for a train table for my son’s second birthday.  I did months of research and now know far more about toy trains than I care to admit.  I decided that rather than pay full price for a new table, I would prefer to find one on Craigslist in like-new condition.  Every day, I diligently got online and checked new listings, until I was sure I would have to bite the bullet and purchase new.  Just before I did this, I checked one last time and lo and behold!  A brand new, in the box table and train set for a low price and it was even the exact brand I was looking for!  I immediately sent a text to the seller and lucky me, it was still available!  I made plans for my husband to pick the table up the next day on his way home from his first job, before leaving for his second job.  Obviously, he had to make special arrangements, but it was worth it – he will do anything to put a smile on that little guy’s face!  I was feeling so accomplished and thrifty that evening when I received a text from the seller: “Someone just came by and got the table-sorry.”  Pure devastation.  And immediately after, pure anger.  Usually, I would have just wallowed in sorrow without saying a word, but this time I felt the need to speak up.  I responded that I thought it was horrible she would do that after promising it to me.  She responded with, “Those are the rules, first come first served.”  I don’t make many purchases on Craigslist, but I was fairly certain that by responding to the ad first, I was in fact first.  But I did not respond and ended up finding a much better deal, much to my delight.

This whole situation made me think about unwritten rules.  Could I sue that lady for selling my table to someone else?  Absolutely not.  It’s her table, and she can do with it what she wants.  But I left that situation feeling cheated and sad, and I don’t think any business would want their customers to leave feeling that way.  Therefore, following unwritten rules like keeping promises, honoring coupons and sale prices, sticking to the original quoted price, and finishing jobs in the time frame that was initially given are so important in business today.  At Royal Services, the unwritten rules are followed.  Businesses need not worry about a job taking twice as long as planned or paying twice as much as they were quoted.  Companies get away with this every day, and technically, they have the right to do this.  But good companies, like Royal, would never dream of it. We believe in the importance of following unwritten rules in order to create long-lasting relationships with our valued partners.

Neon vs. LED – which is best?

This is an argument which is becoming increasingly popular in all industries. The main reason for signage in the first place is to draw someone’s attention to your store and to get your brand out there to increase sales. The issue with neon lights then becomes the high failure rate (approximately every 12-18 months), and the expensive cost of repair, not to mention the damage to your brand when the following happens:



Whereas neon once had an almost complete monopoly on illuminating channel letters, LED’s are now dominating the lighting source market. Their overall features of high brightness, lower cost in terms of energy efficiency and a long operation life of at least 100,000 hours per unit make them very attractive as lighting fixtures.

In one study the objects involved were 10 character 24 inch Channel Letters, and installation. The total savings was approximately $1,000 for the completed job, of LED over Neon. This savings of costs, with no reduction of sales price, is the true beauty and
profit of an LED system for channel letters.

The image below showcase further benefits of LED over Neon and this is expected to increase as LED technologies become even more sophisticated.

LED JT02 spec

A great scientific article that looks into the Neon vs. LED argument in great detail is Is Your Neon Lit Sign as Inexpensive as an LED Lit Sign? by Greg Honegger. In this research paper, Mr. Honegger does a complete breakdown of the two systems to get the overall value of each. He looks at production costs (labor and materials), energy savings (financial and environmental benefits), failure rates, reliability, frequency and cost of repair and appearance. The data is extremely interesting and clearly points in the favor of LED lighting, and this trend is expected to continue. The cost of raw materials is dropping, people are becoming more environmentally aware, and businesses are having to tighten their purse strings even further. Expect to see Neon signs slowly disappear, to be replaced by their LED rivals.

LED vs. Neon Price Comparison

A huge piece of the decision making process for sign selection is obviously the cost. The following chart shows the energy and financial savings associated with LED lighting over neon. Energy savings of 80.3% (per 100 feet of lighting being run for an average of 12 hours per day), a significant reduction in your firm’s Carbon Footprint, as well as adding $240.46 to your bottom line to keep the CFO happy, are all great reasons that support the switch to LED systems.

Energy Comparison Neon typical to LED-VLPlusWhite 150feet (2)

How much could you save by converting from neon to LED signage? Complete your own price comparison here: Power Savings Estimator. Start multiplying this through your network and the savings will be astronomical. For example, a company with 1000 locations, at this rate will save $240,460 per year, that’s almost $1,000,000 every 4 years! This is also a savings of 2,0004,000 kWh, which is a carbon emissions reduction of 1,382 Metric Tons, the equivalent of 3,290,143 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle!

carbon footprint

Perform your very own carbon footprint calculator right here: Emissions calculator

Chris Salva, Director of Networking and Government Services at Royal Services, recently completed a neon to LED sign retrofit project for a national telecommunications company. Here are some photos showing the before and after images of these recent retrofits in a target test market, where a variety of climatic conditions will be experienced to truly compare the reliability of these technologies. I will let you guess which photo was taken after the retrofit!

sprint aftersprint after retrofit

To find out about how your company could benefit from this technology, please reach out to Chris at or 913-387-2823.

Royal Services – Service That Solves – Expect The Exceptional

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Taking Retail Facility Management to the Next Level

Royal Services in NYC – A Commitment to Continuing Education

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the NRF Big Show in NYC. I had been to a couple of conventions at the Javit’s center, but nothing as large as this. The place was packed from sun up to sun down, with individuals from all over the world, who were keen to learn from their peers, discover the latest trends in the retail industry, and find solutions for long lasting problems that they have experienced in their stores.


After a slight delay at the Kansas City airport (Royal Services are headquartered in Overland Park, KS)  and connecting through Midway instead of Nashville, I finally touched down on the tarmac at La Guardia at around 11pm. I hadn’t checked any bags so immediately headed outside to find a taxi to transport me to the Hotel Wolcott, which would be my residence for the next three days.

The ride to the hotel was, shall we say, interesting. Not sure if my driver was trying to get someone off of his tail, or just get home quicker, but the ride was far from smooth. However, we made it, and after settling in to my room, it was time to lie my head down and get a good night’s sleep in preparation for the first day of the convention.

The NRF have really strived to attract more small business owners to the show, and one piece of bait was the excellent workshops and seminars that were offered on Sunday. A variety of topics were covered, and I left the center that night feeling good about how Royal Services operate, and our strategic plan, which was put together at the back end of 2015, seemed to be on point given the current state of retail. I walked the exhibit floor multiple times taking in the many different retails solutions that were being presented. By the time I returned to my Hotel, I had covered over 22,000 steps for the day! My favorite booth was without a doubt the one that featured Pepper the Robot. Absolutely fascinating how technology is taking the retail industry by storm and I can’t even imagine how stores will be run when my kids are my current age.


The best part of the convention for me was being able to discuss how Royal can help these companies to solve their facilities maintenance issues through the use of RAZOR, our Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). All of these new technologies are great but the installation and the provision of data and power are key factors, and this is where Royal Services excel.

There were several industry experts who gave incredible presentations. My favorites included:

(1) Dr. Bill Hardgrave:

(2) Uri Minkoff, Co-founder of Rebecca Minkoff

(3) Nir Eyal – Author of “Hooked” – phenomenal presentation and blog – Nir and Far. Very engaging presentation about drawing customers in, engaging with them, and getting them to keep returning.

(4) Rhonda Abrams – her free book, which was given away at end of her presentation has been my bedtime reading for the past few weeks!

It was a great experience but it was definitely nice to get back to Kansas City, where the way of life is a little more relaxed, Fedex Drivers can stop immediately in-front of their destination, and a Turkey sandwich doesn’t cost you $11.50!


As is often the case with events such as this, you leave and the feeling of the more I know, the less I know, hits you like a sledge hammer. However, I am already looking forward to next year’s event. Only 50 weeks to go 🙂

Take care until next year New York!