CASE STUDY: How Michigan State University Does More With Less

The following is an interview recently conducted by Allen Rathey, Principal of 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 several cleaning challenges, and clean more space with a limited number of cleaning workers.

Q. Since healthy spaces are essential to Michigan State University’s Division of Residential and Hospitality Services (RHS), how has Kaivac equipment helped meet hygienic goals?

Kaivac equipment is crucial in helping us maintain a healthy environment for our students, staff, and employees. These machines, by design, allow us to clean and disinfect effectively. For employees, the ability to apply the cleaning agents to surfaces, then rinse clean these same surfaces, and finish up by extracting the moisture and cleaning solution, helps ensure safety. It has also proven to be an effective and very sanitary method of cleaning. Our staff has minimal direct contact with soiled surfaces using the Kaivac systems, which reduces the chance of potential exposure [to harmful pathogens].

Q. What types of Kaivac equipment−and how many machines−do you have, and where are they deployed?

We have:
• 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.

Q. How have these machines affected labor and supply costs?

We have been able to increase the total square footage that a building service employee cleans 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 now 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 for 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.

Q. 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.

Q. Have you ever contacted Kaivac about the machines you have selected?

Actually, we have. We let Kaivac know how we are doing and if we ever have any problems with the machines, which is rare. Members of our staff have also provided feedback directly to Kaivac several times in the past. We have built-up an excellent relationship with the company.

Q. 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. Those are the types of comments we like to hear.