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Productivity helps facility managers get the most out of tight budgets

September 10, 2009
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With the path to economic recovery still uncertain, all types of facilities are feeling the budget squeeze for maintenance staffing and cleaning-equipment purchases.

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Plymouth, MN – With the path to economic recovery still uncertain, all types of facilities-from healthcare and schools to hospitality and commercial office buildings-are feeling the budget squeeze for maintenance staffing and cleaning-equipment purchases. Floor cleaning is one area where productivity gains can help facilities deal with staff reductions and economic pressures.

It is an inescapable fact that labor accounts for 90 percent of the cost to clean a facility. Even in times of reduced cleaning staff, there is never a choice to do less cleaning. There are, however, several strategies that can reduce the labor required for floor cleaning while maintaining or actually improving cleanliness standards.

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Daily Cleaning is Critical

Now, more than ever, daily floor cleaning is critical as a cost-saving measure. Keeping hard floors and carpeted areas clean on a “maintenance” basis delays the need for more extreme restorative cleaning methods and, in turn, extends the life of floor surfaces. 

Daily floor cleaning removes the dirt and grit that is constantly tracked in on the soles of shoes. Left to accumulate, this dirt acts as an abrasive that wears away floor finishes and permanently damages carpet fibers. This is an issue of particular concern in high-traffic entrance areas where the dirt is being brought in from outside. 

A strategy for preventing dirt and grit from being spread through the facility is to increase the frequency of cleaning in the areas with the most traffic. If entrance areas are currently being cleaned twice a day, increasing cleaning of these areas to three or four times a day can actually reduce floor-cleaning needs in other building areas. This is especially true during winter months in the northern parts of the United States, where foot traffic brings in sand, salt, dirt and water.

Concentrating cleaning efforts on high-traffic areas will do two things:
  1. help reduce wear and tear on all floor surfaces throughout the facility; and
  2. increase the quality of appearance throughout the facility. Paying special attention to entrance-area cleaning provides an opportunity to create a positive first impression.
A multi-surface floor machine reduces equipment inventory and makes workers more productive. Burnishers that feature dust control boost productivity and cut labor costs by eliminating hand dusting.

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