Written By: Klaus Reichardt
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A few short and sweet reminders by Betco
Developing a comprehensive approach to facility maintenance is not always an easy task to accomplish. While there are many best practices for creating a facility maintenance program, the path to finding and implementing a plan that meets the specific needs of your facility can be challenging. With efficiency as a common end goal, facilities are searching for ways to optimize opportunities without increasing costs. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you develop a maintenance plan that fits your facility.
Schools see a lot of foot traffic throughout the year, which can negatively impact the look of floors if they are not properly maintained. Although foot traffic significantly subsides in the summer, students, teachers, key personnel and even community members may be utilizing various school spaces for summer courses, planning meetings, sports team practices, club gatherings and community events.
To keep flooring assets protected year round, it’s important for custodians and facility managers to consider the following best practices:
Written by: EnvirOx
Whether you’re choosing a cleaning product for your own facility, or you’re a cleaning professional deciding on what product to use with your clients, it’s one of the most critical decisions you can make. If your floors are sticky, dirty, or slippery, then it means your cleaning product is leaving behind too much residue. These issues are more than just cosmetic or minor annoyances, however. They can have a real, negative impact on a business. Here are four problems that can result from residue left behind by the wrong cleaning product:
Written by: Oleg Vishnepolsky
Office politics are defined by self-interests and agendas that run ahead of business goals. Management is ready sacrifice success in order to look good or to maintain control.
Sure signs of a highly political environment:
Recently, some of our customers had a chance to ask Staples Business Advantage expert Neal Duffy, Senior Manager, Facility Solutions, some of the trickier facilities and cleaning questions that arose in the office. Air freshener giving you a headache? Are you adequately protected against the flu? Neal has great advice and answers.
When it comes to keeping the office clean, preferences come into play a lot, from the cleaning crew to the building occupants, about everything from color to scent. How do you balance these preferences? Is there a way to be sustainable while doing it?
Neal: People have been conditioned that fragrance and color are needed to clean. Who wants to use a clear glass cleaner? It needs to be dark blue, right? And when people seek to mask or cover up odors in target areas like bathrooms and breakrooms, the air fresheners or fragrances can actually be more offensive. Here are a few things that might help:
Avoiding an Outbreak
Do you have any tips on how employees can clean or disinfect things themselves? We have a cleaning service, but they only come in once a week, and when one person gets sick, it always spreads through the office.
Neal: No matter how good your cleaning service is, there are daily use surfaces like breakroom appliances, faucets, doorknobs, etc. that are breeding grounds for germs and may require more frequent cleaning—daily or even multiple times a day. Here are some good places to start:
Green & Clean
I’m looking for recommendations to pass along to our cleaning crew for products that are mostly natural and have fewer chemicals. What would you recommend?
There are many environmentally friendly and people-friendly products on the market to choose from these days. It’s key to look for third party green certifications such as Green Seal, EPA Safer Choice and EcoLogo. These certifications can help to distinguish the more sustainable products from those with harsher chemicals and dyes.
Saying Thanks (one of our favorite questions!)
I’m not involved in facilities management at my office. What can I do to better show that I appreciate the staff that keeps our office healthy and clean?
Neal: Keeping an office clean is not only a big challenge, but it’s also extremely important to the health, safety and satisfaction of everyone in the office. Some things you might consider doing to help show your appreciation:
My name is Aaron Bailey. I’ve spent the past two years observing and asking questions to my company’s clients, prospective clients, independent service providers, and experts in the industry, (trade organizations, chemical company representatives, and other building service contractors). I’ve been looking for trends in technology, chemicals & distribution, service delivery and generally what makes customers happy overall. What I discovered (in addition to the fact that there are some great people in the facility maintenance industry) are a few commonalities that center around four main topics: Communication, transparency, value, and quality. In the first of a four-part series, I will explore the topic of quality.
Although quality is listed lastly above, it’s almost always the number one topic among facility managers and corporate facilities team members. Let’s face it – particularly in the retail segment, these are the most competitive times in history. It’s no secret that internet companies are experiencing explosive growth year over year while actual in-store purchases are flat or declining. The internet has many competitive advantages, especially when it comes to the physical characteristics of a store. The internet company does not have to worry about dirty floors or messy bathrooms, gum spots on sidewalks, dust on fixtures or unclean windows. No light bulbs to replace, no slip and fall accidents waiting to happen…you get the point. Not only are retailers facing internet competition, but also fierce competition between themselves all fighting for what remains of customers who physically visit their stores. Advertising costs are through the roof, labor costs are rising (minimum wage went up by varying degrees in nineteen different states on January 1, 2017) and customer experience has become more important than ever.
With all this in mind, it is baffling to me that the first line-item to be cut or decreased from a corporate financial sheet is the janitorial budget. With so much riding on brand identity and awareness, why would anyone cut this spend? In a study performed by M/A/R/C Research and National In-Store, 14 percent of consumers polled said they would stop visiting a store that was not as clean as they liked. Obviously, this has a direct impact on the amount of spending a retailer can capture. This applies not only to retail, but to restaurants, early childhood education, higher education and office buildings. Basically, any entity competing for a customer of any kind!
Quality is defined as “the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something.” Is quality subjective, or can facility managers quantifiably measure the quality of cleanliness in their facilities? Sure, it’s easy to measure the shine of a floor with a gloss meter. It’s also easy to measure the cleanliness of a floor by measuring the number of bacteria with an ATP meter. However, there are many aspects of a “quality cleaning” that indeed are subjective. As an example, let’s pretend two different inspections take place at the same facility by two different representatives. Representative 1 – let’s call him Joe, walks the sales floor and observes a clear, consistent shine on the hard-floors and very little debris on the carpeted areas. He then runs his fingers along several shelves / displays and finds no dust. The windows are not streaky and look relatively clean, as do the walk-off mats in the vestibule. He gives a B+ grade to the store because hey, let’s face it there is always room for improvement! Representative 2 – Jane, performs the same inspection in the same area and finds mostly the same quality. However, Jane goes a step further and climbs a ladder to check the cleanliness of the intake vents and finds high-levels of built-up dust. She also goes around the interior perimeter of the facility and inspects the tops of the baseboards and all inside corners, thus she finds more dust! Jane gives the store a C grade due to these facts. Did anything change other than the expectation differences between inspectors?
Written by Aaron Bailey
VP of Sales
This post is provided by Betco
Green Cleaning means more than using “green” products. The success of a green cleaning program is dependent on numerous factors. While the selection of sustainable products is important, it will have little effect in the case of an inadequate cleaning regimen that leaves facilities dirty and the health of occupants, visitors and the environment at risk. A comprehensive green cleaning program should include sustainable options for chemicals, procedures, equipment, paper, liners, mops and matting.
The movement toward green cleaning does not imply that traditional methods are inadequate or have created unsafe conditions. Instead, it can be viewed as simply taking the next step beyond current approaches to further reduce impacts on the environment while continuing to maintain and improve the health, comfort and aesthetics of our surroundings.
Sustainable solutions minimize the impact of cleaning on people and the environment. More importantly, it is a process to protect natural resources for the future – not a single product alone. In articles and discussions about green cleaning, you will typically read or hear themes about the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit.
People – pertains to fair and beneficial business practices toward labor and the community and region in which a corporation conducts its business.
Planet – refers to sustainable environmental practices. This practice entails reducing the ecological footprint by carefully managing consumption of energy, non-renewables and reducing waste as well as rendering waste less toxic before disposing of it in a safe and legal manner.
Profit – is the economic value created by an organization after deducting the cost of all inputs, including the cost of capital.
The cleaners used by the custodial staff have an impact on the residents and staff at Long Term Care facilities. By switching to safer chemistries, without sacrificing performance, residents and staff can perform in a safer environment and will reduce the spread of Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI).
How do you know if a product is truly green? We know that green cleaning creates healthier environments. However, to make sure that you are green cleaning you need to look for some type of third party certification endorsements from Green Seal, EcoLogo, Design for the Environment or BioPreferred. These third party certifiers review a manufacturer’s product to make sure that it adheres to strict requirements based on the effects to the environment.
Note: The facility janitorial staffs contribute as much to the well-being of patients as the medical staff. Keeping linens clean and reducing clutter helps improve the indoor environment and is conducive to healthy residents and staff.
Take a deep breath. Notice anything? If you don’t, that could be a very good thing: indoor air quality, or IAQ, often only attracts notice when something’s wrong. But there are times when poor IAQ can go unnoticed, leading to headaches, congestion, nasal and throat irritation, and more—and it can even impact productivity. According to the World Green Building Council, IAQ can impact productivity by as much as 11%! So how can the average business protect itself and maintain good IAQ? Here are a few easy ways—and the best part is, most of the efforts you take to improve your IAQ will also bring added benefits to your building and its occupants!
“8 Ways to Improve Office Air Quality.” 8 Ways to Improve Office Air Quality. N.p., Staples Business Advantage, 28 Sept. 2016. Web. 5 Oct. 2016.
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