IAQ Still High Priority for BOMA
Indoor air quality was one of the regulatory priorities at the Building Owners and Managers Association International’s (BOMA) Winter Business Meeting and Leadership Conference (WBM) in January.

BOMA’s concern on this topic was in reference to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) Standard 62.1, which attempts to strengthen the connection between ventilation rates and pollutant sources, such as building materials, cooking and smoking.

BOMA is in general agreement with this approach, but has concerns that existing buildings cannot be expected to meet the same requirements as new construction.

The current edition of the standard ties ventilation rates to the occupancy level for a given space; it also influences the design of new buildings, and it could effect operations and maintenance on existing structures as well as renovation and remodeling.

Another aspect of this issue is currently developing, as the insurance industry learns how good IAQ and construction practices can reduce the risk of claim payouts and litigation. Policy coverage and rate options will develop that will motivate the use of those practices and make ignoring those practices very expensive for facilities managers, according to George Benda, chairman and CEO of the Chelsea Group, a Chicago based consulting firm specializing in indoor air quality. The Chelsea Group, in conjunction with the insurance industry, is currently developing standards for these practices.

Chelsea Group’s market research found that more than 95 percent of those surveyed think that air quality in both the home and workplace is somewhat or very important.

ISSA Training Manual Makes Training E.Z.er
The International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) now offers its new E.Z. Trainer Custodial Training Program manual to BSCs. The new training guide includes information on the latest in cleaning equipment and materials not covered by the old edition, which was designed in the mid-1980s.

“The manual was created as a training tool for distributors and users,” says Anthony Trombetta, training coordinator for ISSA. “It’s also meant to be a daily reference guide for custodians.”

The new 15-chapter guide is designed to help train workers to use various types of cleaning equipment and finishes. The manual features easy to follow illustrations and step-by-step instructions for each of the featured procedures.

“This is one of the nicest manuals in the industry. Its appearance is meant to convey a sense of professionalism to the people being trained,” says John Walker, founder of Janitor University and the author of the manual.

The manual also will be used as a training aid in two “Train the Trainer” courses that ISSA and the Janitor University will jointly host this year.

Copies of E.Z. Trainer are available from ISSA for $60.00.

Are You Paying for Your Supplier’s Problems?
A study by the Industrial Performance Group (IPG), Northfield, Ill., that surveyed more than 300 manufacturers and distributors, reveals that the costs associated with manufacturer/distributor working relationships has a much greater impact on product costs than most customers realize.

The study, Costs Tied to Problems in Manufacturer/Distributor Working Relationships, is the fourth in a series designed to identify opportunities for improved manufacturer and distributor sales performance and profitability.

In the study, participants were asked to identify and rate — by dollar amount — the drivers of unnecessary costs in their working relationships. Cited most frequently as problem areas were fixing mistakes, expediting orders, holding excess inventory and waiting.

“And this is only the tip of the iceberg,” says Robert Nadeau, managing principal of IPG. “There is no way for manufacturers and distributors to calculate the costs associated with the customer migration caused by these problems.”

In the long run, these extra costs get passed onto BSCs, according to Nadeau. “In our survey 87 percent of distributors said they would have better delivery to their customers and better prices if not for these problems,” he says.

While manufacturers and distributors are aware of this problem, IPG’s research shows that only about 3 percent of them take action to eliminate them. Nadeau goes on to state that most companies treat the symptoms of these problems, rather than eliminating their root causes. And unfortunately, this problem is not likely to change any time soon.

The best thing a BSC can do is learn how to identify distributors that are having problems with manufacturer relations.

“Is the paper work wrong, do they fix problems quickly or have problems fixing mistakes or expediting shipments?” says Nadeau. These are sure signs that such problems exist.

Complaining, believe it or not, is probably the best long-term solution for this problem. “Customers don’t squawk loud enough about these problems,” says Nadeau. “If they complained more, then there would be more of an incentive for distributors to correct these problems.”

Mergers&Other Moves

  • The JanAccount Network, Inc., a privately held corporation, has announced its rollout of franchises across the U.S. under its JanitorWorld trade name. The company has some 58 independent commercial cleaning companies in its cur- rent network, and offers a range of services designed to help independent commercial cleaning companies maximize their marketing power at low prices.
  • Athea Laboratories, Inc., a specialty chemical manufacturer based in Milwaukee, Wis., welcomes aboard RTF Group, Inc., as a new sales representative. RTF will assume control of sales for Athea in Wisconsin and Illinois. Athea Laboratories has been developing and producing a variety of specialty chemical products since 1960. Athea offers compa- nies more than 300 products within 26 product categories.
  • Tornado Industries, Chicago, has announced the appointment of William P. Cody and Associates as independent representatives in upstate New York for Tornado cleaning systems and equipment. Based in Dewitt, N.Y., the firm will represent Tornado in Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton and other nearby markets.
  • UNICCO® Service Company, one of the largest facility services companies in North America, announced the sale of its Quebec province customer portfolio to Empire Maintenance Industries Inc. of Montreal. The sale does not include UNICCO’s lighting business, a specialized service the company offers throughout Canada. As part of the purchase, UNICCO has agreed to not compete in the Quebec market for general facilities services for a limited time.
  • Coverall Cleaning Concepts has once again been named the fastest growing commercial cleaning franchise company by Entrepreneur magazine, as part of the magazine’s "Entrepreneur 200" report. Coverall Cleaning Concepts 5,491 franchises, servicing more than 35,000 customers in more than 85 metropolitan cities worldwide. Coverall services small and large office buildings, industrial complexes, medical facilities, banks, department stores and corporate headquarters, among other types of accounts.
  • The National Service Alliance (NSA), a nationwide building service provider consisting of an alliance of 26 quality and service oriented regional service companies located through out the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, has announced that DnS Corporation of Madison, Wis. and First Maintenance Company of Oklahoma City, Okla., have joined the alliance.

    DnS Corporation, established in 1961, specializes in building services for office buildings, corporate headquarters, medical and educational facilities as well as financial institutions in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.

    First Maintenance Company specializes in building services for office, educational, research, medical and government facilities.

Electric Pressure Washers Recalled
Approximately 50,000 Black Cat Electric pressure washers have been recalled by the company because they contain counterfeit ground fault circuit interrupter plugs, which are believed to be unable to protect against shock or electrocution.

The recalled washers contain a sticker with a picture of a cat and the words "Black Cat" on each side of the unit. The model numbers that are being recalled are BC-2000 and TW-1750.

Consumers who believe they may have one of these models can call MCM International at (800) 304-1316 to arrange for a free unit inspection.