Innovative Service to 1984 Olympics Moves Andy Gump Inc. Forward

Andy Gump Inc. talks about landing a contract for the Los Angeles Olympic Games and how it helped shape the company

Innovative Service to 1984 Olympics Moves Andy Gump Inc. Forward

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Rising to meet customers’ needs has been a priority of Andy Gump Inc. in Santa Clarita, California, since Massena “Andy” Gump bought a cesspool and sewer-cleaning company in the 1940s for $300.

A good case in point: When Andy Gump decided to expand into portable restroom rentals and service to fulfill demand driven by the post-World War II construction boom, he and his two sons, Barry and Bill, built restrooms out of scrap plywood.

In the 1970s, the company — by then named Andy Gump Inc. — diversified even further into site services by supplying temporary electrical power on construction sites. “That kind of work offered higher profit margins than restroom rentals, which in turn gave us the capital we needed to expand further into the special events market,” says Nancy Gump, the owner of the company (as well as Andy Gump’s granddaughter and Barry Gump’s daughter).

The company still provides this service. To do so, it relies on three bucket trucks, built by Altec Industries on Ford F-550 chassis, and seven Ford F-550 auger trucks with augers made by McMillen Hydraulic Augers.

The 1984 Olympic Games held in Los Angeles provided yet another opportunity for innovation. First, Barry Gump worked with other local operators in order to supply the games with enough portable restrooms. “We were a small kid on the block at the time, and Dad said we needed to come at this with a logistical and operational approach … figure out how the portable sanitation companies throughout Los Angeles could handle this,” Nancy Gump recalls.

Barry Gump urged the Olympics committee to break the job into different geographic segments. When two bigger companies said they wouldn’t participate if they didn’t get all the business, Gump gamely partnered with two smaller companies to get the job done, she says.

“We took 300 units to the (Los Angeles Memorial) Coliseum and serviced them every night,” Nancy Gump explains. “Satellite Industries sponsored and supplied the units because we didn’t own that many at the time.

“The Olympics was a real game-changer for us,” she says. “I still remember the first night. I was with my dad restocking restrooms with toilet paper and deodorants. I realized the pressure we were under when he said, ‘Nancy, if we’re off by one minute, we’re off by 10 man-hours.’”

The major event again gave the company a chance to innovate when the Olympics committee requested hand-wash stations. “No one in the industry made them at the time, so Dad took 55-gallon drums and installed a sink with a little pump,” Nancy Gump says. “He called it the AG-150.

“Someone from the committee called and asked for 100 more,” she says. “My grandpa, who had answered the phone, said we don’t have any. Just then Dad came in and said, ‘We do now!’ My grandpa and dad always worked to find opportunities. It’s just part of our company culture — always looking for opportunities.”


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