The following is an interview, recently conducted by Allen Rathey, Principal at the Healthy Facilities Institute, and Paul Manson, CEFM, Associate Director for Planning & Preventive Maintenance at Michigan State University. It discusses the use of different Kaivac cleaning systems and how they have helped the University cut costs, address a number of cleaning challenges, and clean more space with fewer cleaning workers
Since healthy spaces are essential to Michigan State University’s Division of Residential and Hospitality Services (RHS), how has Kaivac equipment helped meet hygienic goal
Kaivac equipment is crucial in helping us maintain a healthy environment for our students, staff, and employees. The machines, by design, allow us to clean and disinfect effectively. For employees, the ability to apply the cleaning agents and then extract the water up at the end of the process helps ensure safety. This has proven to be an effective and very sanitary method of cleaning. The employees using the Kaivac units also have minimal direct contact with cleaning surfaces, which reduces the chance of potential exposure [to harmful pathogens]
What types of Kaivac equipment−and how many machines−do you have, and where are they deployed
- 50 Model 1250 No-Touch Cleaning Systems
- 27 Model 1750 No-Touch Cleaning Systems
- 12 OmniFlex units (used for floor care and other cleaning purposes)
The 1250 and 1750 Units are used in all Residence Hall areas. The OmniFlex units are primarily used in the dining facilities.
How have these machines affected labor and supply costs
We have been able to increase the total square footage that a building service employee covers each day. This is major [cost] savings for us, allowing us to do more with existing or less staff.
The versatility of the units also has allowed us to reduce the need for additional specialty cleaning equipment. For example, the extraction feature of the Kaivac minimizes the number of wet/dry vacuums we need to store in our custodial equipment rooms.
During the summer renovation cleaning process, we use the Kaivac units in several different ways including deep-cleaning of stairwells and hard to clean areas. Again, this reduces the number of cleaning machines we must store in our facilities that are only used during the summer.
From a supply cost standpoint, we have excellent control of our cleaning products as they are dispensed via the Kaivac unit. We also have reduced the use of microfiber mop heads and scrub brushes over the past several years as the Kaivac has allowed us to reduce the need for these items.
As to the OmniFlex systems, we use those primarily in the dining room kitchen areas. We have had great success in cleaning floors effectively in those areas while also reducing slippery [floor] conditions.
How have Kaivac’s training videos helped your staff get the most of the cleaning equipment?
The online training videos provided by Kaivac are beneficial for all our cleaning team members. Our part-time student staff and new employees watch the videos, helping us train these workers. Overall, the videos are a good supplement to our hands-on training program.
The team also does quite a bit of self-maintenance on the Kaivac units which allows us to optimize the life cycle of the equipment. And we let Kaivac know how we are doing and what we think about the equipment. Members of our staff have provided feedback directly to Kaivac several times in the past, and we have built-up an excellent relationship with the company
Overall, what does your staff think of the Kaivac equipment and the cleaning outcomes using the machines?
They all get high marks; they really like the equipment. Even more, we get lots of praise from students, teachers, and staff about the cleanliness of the Residence Halls. I guess that says it all.