Person's hand shown pointing electrostatic sprayer at dumbbells

As Cline hoped and expected, the switch to an electrostatic machine received a good reception from customers. 

One Florida-based facility manager client was so pleased with the way 4M cleaned and sanitized his building, he sent a testimonial noting he had been searching for a way to combat an increase in absenteeism due to illness. When 4M offered the electrostatic system, they took advantage of it and were “blown away” with the result, which was a “drastic reduction” in employee absenteeism.  

Similarly, a medical office client wrote: 

 “… wanted to give you a follow up on the new machine you have been utilizing in our waiting room and [other] miscellaneous areas. This has been a great assistance in fighting the flu bugs. We have noticed a cutback in employee sickness from dealing with patients all day. It does a fantastic job on our wheel chairs, lobby chairs and kids’ play area. From listening to the staff, they feel more comfortable and relaxed knowing this unit is being utilized nightly.”

To educate customers, 4M representatives talked about their previous cleaning procedure — the spray-and-wipe method — versus the electrostatic machine and the differences and benefits of the new system. 4M explained the new system would not interfere with their clients’ operations, and there would be no residue, no strong odor and that the application would be done in the evening. 

“We had to make sure that when we were speaking with them that they understood that we were not going to be spraying bleach all over their space; that we were going to be using a disinfectant or sanitizer,” says Cline. “So, there was just a little bit of discussion on the front end.” 

4M uses the system as a special service to their clients’ advantage. 

“What we’ll find is that one of our customers runs into a situation where they have a very strong influenza outbreak in an area. There are apparently three types of Influenza: A, B and C. We don’t know which strain is actually on a surface, but the machine has been able to take care of whatever strains we have found,” says Cline. “We go into that area, let’s say a call center, and spray that area down so their team members can come back and get back to work.” 

Looking Ahead

4M has only been using the electrostatic sprayers since about November of 2017, so it’s a little too soon to ascertain the financial effect on their business, but Cline estimates they’ll know results within the next 12 to 18 months. 

On the other hand, 4M has seen a solid benefit in terms of saving employee time and the cost of chemicals. The system currently runs about 18,000 square feet per hour per gallon where the spray-and-wipe method can take up to three times as long. The electrostatic system frees up time while allowing employees to deliver a higher value, overall increasing the production rate due to ease of use and the range of surfaces that can be reached with the system. Employees can take care of the application and then go on to other activities.  

Cline predicts that after the cold and flu season, 4M will start to analyze the benefits in earnest.  

“Obviously, labor and profitability will have an impact on it,” says Cline. “We’re looking at it as a large timesaver with an enormous potential impact on our business.” 

JoAnn Petaschnick is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee.

previous page of this article:
Electrostatic Cleaning Helps Improve Business