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Lauren Rakolta
President & CEO,
DFM Solutions

“Respect. Collaborate. Create. Serve.
Above all else, Be Safe.”

  • Founded: 1997
  • Year WBE took Ownership (if not founder): 2015
  • Headquartered: Detroit, Michigan
  • About: DFM Solutions offers a full range of integrated facilities management, facilities maintenance, and production maintenance services for industrial and commercial operations. 

As today’s market moves towards an integrated facilities management model that consolidates a complex scope of work under one contract, DFM Solutions has built the capabilities and expertise to be your single source provider.

Our comprehensive service offering covers your hard and soft facilities management needs, both inside and outside the yellow line.  We self-perform the vast majority of our services, with the ability to work in both union and non-union environments.

Additionally, we provide a consultative approach up-front to help your company define the services you need and build an integrated facilities management solution that meets your unique requirements, now and in the future.

Q: When and how was your business started? OR If you did not start your business, how and when did you come into ownership of your company?

In July of 2015, Lauren Rakolta acquired a majority interest in DFM Solutions, formerly Devon Facilities Management, from David Burnley, Sr. DFM Solutions began operations in 2007 as a partnership between Mr. Burnley and Walbridge and operated as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE).  As the majority owner of DFM Solutions, now operating as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), Ms. Rakolta manages the company in the role of President and CEO.

Q: How has your company grown and changed since becoming WBENC-Certified? What has been the greatest benefit of certification for you and your company?

Since acquiring DFM Solutions in 2015, the organization has been rapidly positioned for aggressive, long-term business growth. A strategic roadmap has been created and implemented placing the company on track for $160 M revenue achievement over the next 5 years through customer diversification, global expansion, and related service line development. In 2017 DFM Solutions was re-branded and is transitioning into a new company culture, introducing best practices, which improved safety, quality, financial acumen, sales, and client relationships.

DFM Solutions completed the WBENC certification process soon after acquisition; this has provided our leadership team the opportunity to network with many of our customers in a different environment and provided access to many qualified vendors and sub-contractors to collaborate with in serving our customers.

Q: What values have led to and continue to support your business acumen? Share your business philosophy and its influence on your success.

Under the DFM Solutions new leadership, we have established our core values and have threaded them through all aspects of our daily operations.  We believe these values are key to the success of serving our stakeholders (customer, community, employees and owners).

  • To Respect – every employee matters, every customer distinct
  • To Collaborate – our diversity empowers us, our teamwork propels us
  • To Create – creativity drives innovation, innovation drives success
  • To Serve – our customers’ needs, our employees’ futures
  • To Be Safe Above All Else!

Q: What do you do to prepare for the National Conference?

In preparation for the National Conference our Business Development, Purchasing and Marketing teams review the list of sponsors and exhibitors and take notes of who we must see. The conference provides an opportunity to get in front of many buyers with current and potential customers, where we can present how we can best serve them and add value to their organization.  We request one on one meetings with as many current and prospective customers as possible attempting to build new relationships and cultivate existing ones.

In addition, the conference allows us the opportunity to meet new vendors and sub-contractors and direct them as to how to get on our bid lists.  DFM Solutions is always looking for other WBEs to partner with.

Q: How do you approach the Business Fair Floor

We utilize the WBENC app to prioritize and map out the booths we want to visit and connect with as well as connect with contacts for those companies.  The WBENC mobile app is an extremely useful tool to help you before you step foot on the business fair floor.  Once on the floor, we are prepared to provide our capabilities including; safety stats, work experience, services offered, customer list and locations served.  Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the experience.

Q: What should a First Time Attendee know about the conference before they arrive?

Prepare to be inspired!  Visit as many booths as possible and meet the women who have brought their visions to life.  There is so much experience in the room and attendees are usually candid in sharing their stories - many of the highlights and bumps on their journey. 

This conference offers so much value with exposure to potential customers and partners, as well as a wealth of experience in building a business.