From the outside looking in, a facility's cleaning and maintenance efforts sometimes tend to be unnoticed until something goes wrong. Any number of things can inhibit a maintenance program's productivity, from inefficient cleaning schedules to outdated products. Schools and universities can enrich their maintenance programs by experimenting with new products and cleaning techniques, and using those strategies that best match the needs of their programs.
The product vs. the process
Improving productivity can be as simple as taking a hard look at what products, chemicals and procedures are being used and whether they still are efficient.
It's easy for a school to start with a basic line of chemicals and add various products over the years, says Randy Mincke, director of housekeeping in the operations and maintenance division of the physical plant at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Duplicate chemicals can accumulate over time, resulting in a needless expense. Sometimes products are significantly outdated and no longer work with the cleaning strategies being used.
This was the case at the University of Arkansas, which has been using an outdated floor finish. The finish had been designed to be maintained using the older, slow-speed buffers that once were used for cleaning. The university now is working to find a new floor finish.
“We're going to be doing some testing with floor finishes that are compatible with what we're doing now and matching up how we maintain to make sure we have the products that support that,” Mincke says.