In researching this month’s cover story, “Don’t Mess with Texas!”, I spoke with Jim Alty, who recently took a job as the director of facilities services for the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. One of the first questions he asked his new colleagues was “Who do you compare yourselves to in order to find out whose cleaning program is better?” It turns out UNC-CH has never benchmarked its cleaning operations.

Jim says UNC-CH has a “great” cleaning program, but there is no way of knowing what’s best when there is no gauge. In a perfect world, we would have industry

standards as a guide. Instead, we have to rely on what we can learn from others, try to select the best processes and products and then piece them together to make an organized program.

Hopefully, you will find some useful information from this issue. In addition to our cover story about how the University of Texas at Austin revamped its custodial department, we have an article on choosing the best vacuum equipment for your facility. Also, there’s a feature about a new law that will require federal government agencies to purchase biobased cleaning products.