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CRI Spreads Maintenance Message to Facility Managers

May 2, 2001
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An ICS exclusive interview with Werner Braun, CRI president.

In an effort to dispel misconceptions and inaccuracies, the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) has launched an educational conference aimed at educators, facility maintenance administrators, and school officials.

What started as a pilot program in Orlando, Fla. last year, with approximately 36 facility managers in attendance, has developed into an educational vehicle that delivers the CRI’s message of regularly performed and properly executed carpet maintenance programs.

Educational facility decision-makers are the target audience. “It comes down to getting the right information into the right folks hands. We need to have good maintenance and appropriate funding so school carpets are properly maintained,” says CRI president Werner Braun.

To get the message of maintenance out to facility managers, the CRI’s conference focuses on a generic, yet effective, cleaning program presented in an objective format.

Conference participants have included Dr. Alan Hedge, Dr. Michael Berry, Lee Zimmerman, and educator Bill Smith. Although the presenters rotate, the program remains constant.

Recently, there have been many cases of schools removing carpet in classrooms because of Indoor Air Quality and mold concerns.

“If maintained correctly, running the HVAC properly and cleaning carpets regularly, you won’t have problems in schools,” Braun says.

According to Braun, the CRI wants to create practical opportunities for its members in the cleaning and maintenance industries. “We’ve had an incredible amount of cooperation. It’s an example of the paradigm CRI is trying to create. We want to raise all the boats higher, and create profitability for the cleaning and maintenance communities.”

As a result of this desire, Braun says the CRI is in the process of expanding the initiative of cleaning and maintenance with a five-prong project:

  • Expand the Seal of Approval board to include the cleaning, maintenance and installation communities.

  • Implement a 1-year advocacy program.

  • Implement a toll-free referral phone number system. When the CRI receives a call about cleaning and maintenance, it will direct calls to CRI members, such as the IICRC.

  • Retail Caucus. Promotions at Point of Sales (P.O.S.), getting the right information into the consumers’ hands, and provide resources for cleaning and maintenance services.

  • Organizing more conferences that focus on carpet care and maintenance in educational facilities.

To keep a school “healthy,” make sure you have enough money in the school’s budget to avoid disasters, says Braun. “The bottom line is proper and regular carpet cleaning and maintenance.”

Several venues for this conference have already been set, including: Austin, Texas; Minneapolis; Los Angeles; Baltimore, Md.; Miami; and Seattle. For more information and dates, call the CRI office at (706) 226-1477.

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