Nancy Gump and Her Team at Andy Gump Temporary Site Services Build on a Family Legacy

The daughter of the late Barry Gump is intent on carrying on a family tradition — more than 60 years of customer service and innovation

Nancy Gump and Her Team at Andy Gump Temporary Site Services Build on a Family Legacy

From left, Tony Watson, John Torres, Nancy Gump, Hipolito Martinez and Leo Osornia Jr. are shown with one of Andy Gump Temporary Site Services’ many restroom trailers.

At Andy Gump Temporary Site Services in California, everything has changed, yet nothing has changed in the past year since the patriarch of the family-owned business, Barry Gump, passed away at age 74.

On one hand, things will never be the same; the absence of such a high-profile figure — a staunch proponent of professionalism and integrity who constantly strove to improve the industry’s image — leaves an unfillable void at the Santa Clarita-based company. Admired as an innovator who ceaselessly championed raising the bar for portable sanitation, Barry Gump was respected throughout the industry, as reflected by the Eagle Award he received in 2000 from the Portable Sanitation Association International.

In fact, the PSAI’s most prestigious award — the Andy Gump Award, given annually to an industry leader — is named after Massena “Andy” Gump, who founded the company in 1956.

But in terms of operations, it’s still full speed ahead at the company, which Barry Gump’s daughter, Nancy Gump, has been running since 2013. It still provides a wide array of site services for everything from commercial to residential construction sites, backyard weddings, and university graduations to high-profile events such as major golf tournaments, the Golden Globe, and the Academy Awards (as well as the glamorous Oscar after-parties, hosted by A-list celebrities).

The company continues to strive to provide superior customer service, seeks opportunities for expansion and maintains its philosophy of charging appropriately for services rendered. In short, Gump is intent on maintaining the impressive legacy left by her father and grandfather.

“For my father, it was about more than just Andy Gump — it was about raising the bar and making the industry better,” says Gump, 49, who’s been working at the company for 30 years. “He was very passionate about this industry … trying to educate not only the public, but operators, too.

“Plus, he was a very humble man,” she continues. “He was one of the kindest, most generous and hardest-working men I’ve ever known … an amazing man who touched so many people in so many ways. I’m very proud to be his daughter and carry on our legacy.”


How has the company thrived for more than 60 years in such a competitive industry? Gump cites several factors, starting with the company’s employees. “The Andy Gump-difference is our team, which works hard every day to get things done for our customers,” she says. “It all starts with how we hire people and the kind of people we look for — people with higher character. We want people who want to make a difference and help people.”

Then there’s what her father called “the owner’s shadow” — a hands-on approach by management in all aspects of the business.

“I like to be involved in everything,” she says. “That includes talking to our general manager, sales manager, controller and fleet manager on a daily basis. Even if I’m not actually in the office, I’m still talking to people on the phone. I’ve always had my hand in the details, from sales to operations, to help guide our team and take care of our customers. That’s always our top priority.”

An emphasis on innovation and a willingness to raise standards for customer service also has paid dividends. “We have a very strong company culture,” she says. “We look for ‘want-tos,’ not ‘have-tos’ — people who look at things around them and take the opportunity to make them better and who want to be part of a team environment.”

Gump also notes that the company’s success stems from a refusal to lower prices to attract customers. Maintaining decent profit margins in order to cover overhead costs is critical to any firm’s survival. Moreover, lowering prices only serves to diminish the value of the service provided — a concept that was unacceptable to her father and grandfather, she says.

“My dad always told people (who tried to negotiate lower prices), ‘I know what you think about what we do, but we’re not going to prove you right by doing it for nothing,’” Gump says. “He always advocated knowing our costs and getting prices up — raise the bar.

“Sometimes that’s the hardest part,” she says, observing that the company has about 20 competitors in the Southern California market it serves. “But we’re just not going to cut or match prices. Now, if customers have special requests, we don’t mind fulfilling them — but we’re going to figure out our costs and charge accordingly. We don’t want to be the cheapest. We want to be the best.”


Gump started working for the company in 1989. She was 19 years old and a college student. Between semesters during her junior year, her father asked her to help him out by taking a job at the company. She agreed, figuring she’d eventually return to school. Instead, she got an entirely different and more valuable kind of education.

“I got more schooling from my dad than I ever would have obtained from textbooks,” Gump notes. “I shared an office with him for many years. Special events were just emerging (as a business market) — so were VIP restrooms. There were barely any restroom trailers around; we didn’t have any when we first started. So I helped Dad build that special events side of the business for 20 years. It wasn’t the career I planned, but I firmly believe fate took its course.”

One of the best lessons she learned was the value of hard work. Gump says her grandparents (Andy and his wife, Irma) were kind, humble and hardworking people who always put others before themselves.

“I grew up around people who worked hard, had integrity and were not at all flamboyant,” she says. “It was always about working hard — doing things the best you can do. Initially I was afraid that I couldn’t work with my dad because he had such high standards that I wasn’t sure I would be good enough.”


“But that changed when I started working with him,” she adds. “He became my mentor and business coach. He taught me so much about company operations, teamwork and building relationships with customers. To this day, I still love those challenges. Every day is a different day with different demands from customers.”

Gump says she came aboard at an exciting juncture in the company’s history as innovations in special event offerings emerged, such as restrooms trailers and restrooms with flushing technology, for example. “You could see changes in the market, and we were right in middle of that changing market,” she says.

Moreover, her father recognized that there was value in having her talk to female customers about technology upgrades that were changing the industry. Those issue often seem to matter more to women than to men; women seemed to have a better understanding about the value of cleaner, nicer restrooms at an event.

“We educated special event customers so they understood that people will stay longer, spend more money and will more likely come back next year if they have a positive restroom experience,” she says. “It was a novel approach at the time to bring a woman’s perspective to the table … knowing that women wouldn’t be as embarrassed and would feel more comfortable talking to another woman about portable sanitation.”


As the company grew over the decades, so did its fleet of vehicles and equipment. Today Andy Gump owns about 8,000 restrooms, with construction units made by Satellite Industries and special event units from Satellite Industries and Armal. The special event inventory includes about 300 single flushable VIP restrooms made by NuConcepts, a company partially owned by the Gumps.

In addition, the company owns 22 NuConcepts VIP restroom trailers in two-, four- and six-unit configurations, plus a luxury Majestic VIP trailer; about 100 restroom trailers manufactured by Ameri-Can Engineering; and approximately 1,000 hand-wash stations made by Satellite Industries.

For service vehicles, the company relies on 45 Ford F-550s for cleaning restrooms. Most of the trucks were built out by TankTec. They feature either 1,000-gallon waste and 400-gallon freshwater, 800-gallon waste and 500-gallon freshwater, or 650-gallon waste and 300-gallon freshwater aluminum and steel tanks with Masport pumps. The company also has one Hino with a Masport pump built out by Amthor International.

The company also owns eight larger vacuum trucks, primarily built by Erickson Tank & Pump with steel tanks ranging in size from 2,000 to 3,800 gallons and pumps made by Masport. Five of the trucks (two Mitsubishis, two Freightliners and one International) are used for pumping septic tanks, and the remaining three (one Mitsubishi and two Internationals) do double-duty, used for cleaning restrooms and septic and holding tanks. For restroom deliveries, the company relies on 10 12-unit flatbed trailers made by Brock’s Trailers.

For complementary site services, the company also has invested in more than 1.5 million feet of portable fencing purchased from Builders Fence and Swan Fence; roughly 9,000 feet of portable barricades built in-house; and approximately 75 storage/office trailers, some of them fashioned from shipping containers by Andy Gump and some outfitted by Golden Office Trailers.


Gump is optimistic about the prospects for growth, as long as it doesn’t erode the company’s standards for quality control and customer service. That growth could come from expanding the company’s geographic reach, either with new facilities or by acquiring other portable sanitation companies.

“Sometimes we acquire companies, but that’s not necessarily how we want to expand geographically,” she explains, noting that the company entered the San Diego market about five years ago without acquiring another business. “We look at it from all different aspects and have a strategic plan in place, but quality always comes first before we start going after new business.”

As for another generation of Gumps leading the business, she observes that none of her three children currently work for the company, but a plan is in place for a fourth generation.

“My children know that the company is incredibly important to the family,” she says. “But we’re not pressuring them. My dad never pressured me.

“We have great team members and a strong management team to help run the company and guide the fourth generation, whenever that happens,” she continues. “Right now I feel like I’m in a really great place with a fantastic team, and I’m very excited about what’s happening. … We’ll be around for a long time to come.”

Finding good workers

Andy Gump Temporary Site Services is larger than many family-run portable restroom companies. Yet is has one thing in common with much smaller outfits: difficulty in finding qualified employees.

“It’s challenging,” says Nancy Gump, who owns the company. “Younger people don’t seem to want to work as hard. They want to rise to the top right away and make the kind of money they think they should be making.”

But the company has found a successful method that makes it easier to find good employees: an incentive program that rewards workers with cash bonuses for referring potential employees. “We get about 75 percent of our new hires this way,” Gump says. “It works because employees generally won’t refer anyone who won’t meet our employment standards.”

If a referred recruit is hired and stays on for 90 days, the referring employee receives $200.

The company also provides benefits such as health and dental insurance and pays a portion of the premiums on a sliding scale that’s dependent on employee longevity. For example, the company pays close to 70 percent of insurance premiums for employees who’ve been employed for 90 days, she says.

In addition, the company offers a 401(k) retirement program and will match employee contributions dollar for dollar up to $1,000 annually. And employees can earn periodic bonuses if the company hits certain revenue targets. In addition, the company also celebrates significant longevity milestones by paying $100 for every year of service at five-, 10-, 15-, 20- and 25-year anniversaries.

Furthermore, employees receive cross-training whenever possible, which makes them more valuable. That also enhances company loyalty because they feel the company cares about them, she says. “If we see someone with supervisory potential, we have them attend outside supervisor training and also provide a lot of internal coaching and training,” she adds. “We believe strongly in reinvesting in our people and promoting from within. … I think it’s one of the main reasons why we have very low turnover.”

Continual reinvestments in new and dependable equipment also helps reduce turnover, she says, noting that working with equipment that breaks down often is a morale-killer. Before the company invests in new equipment, employees such as fleet managers and route drivers get a chance to provide feedback and input.

“If we’re building a new truck, we’ll ask them about what kind of features they might want,” she explains. “That’s why we started buying restroom service trucks with 800-gallon waste and 500-gallon freshwater tanks. … The guys said that because of water restrictions (which limit their ability to refill their tanks on job sites), they needed trucks that could hold enough water to get through a typical work day.”


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