CASE STUDY: U.S. Cleaning Processes Adopted Overseas

Contributed by Kaivac Inc.

Romania, located in southeastern Europe and a former communist country, used to be known as the “poor man” of Europe. In terms of gross national product, it was invariably one of the last countries on the list.

But since it joined the European Union in 2007, and because of a new tax structure, that poor man’s image is long gone. In fact, economically, Romania is now one of the fastest growing countries in the world.

For instance, the U.S. company Fitbit, which builds products to help amateur and professional athletes meet their health and fitness goals, is rapidly expanding its office operations in Romania. The company’s founder says Romania has “amazing talent, great universities, and a super strong work ethic.”

But, this company is not alone. Other global companies, such as Siemens, Ford, Renault, and Bosch, now have offices—and are expanding those offices—in different parts of the country for the very same reasons.

As you can imagine, this is leading to many different types of opportunities for entrepreneurs within the country. For instance, these leading brands, which are currently looking to rent office space in Romania and rent at some of the premier addresses in the world, expect a top-notch facility.

And that’s where Building Support Services (BSS) comes into the picture. Since its founding in 2003, BSS has gained a reputation for management excellence among Romanian building owners and property developers. The company now manages more than 2.3 million square feet of office, retail, and industrial space in the country.

Along with managing these properties, BSS is also responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of these facilities, which is where some challenges surfaced.

What BSS noticed was that the decades old ways of cleaning — using mops, buckets, rags, and sprayers — that were sufficient when the country was the “poor man” of Europe simply are not practical or effective when maintaining a world-class office facility today.

Working with its janitorial distribution partner, Tenrom Cleaning Systems, BSS set out in search of a better solution. The first task was to identify the cleaning challenges, which they narrowed down to the following:
• Restrooms that were not consistently, thoroughly, or effectively cleaned
• Ongoing restroom odor problems
• Ineffective floor mopping and mopping procedures that caused dark areas and streaks after mopping
• Poor worker morale and low worker productivity.

While BSS was working with Tenrom Cleaning Systems to address these issues, it was also working with one of the largest private marketers of household furniture and furnishings in the world, encouraging the company to rent space in one of BSS’s properties. Adding this company to its portfolio of customers would be a significant accomplishment, helping to also expand BSS’s business operations considerably.

Serving as a crucial industry partner, Tenrom Cleaning Systems suggested the following to help BSS in both efforts.

 • Instead of the traditional way to mop floors, Kaivac’s battery-powered OmniFlex floor cleaning system was recommended. Similar to a walk-behind automatic scrubber, but at a fraction of the cost, the OmniFlex applies cleaning solution directly to floors; a pad behind the machine agitates the solution to loosen soils and remove grit; finally, the machine vacuums up moisture and contaminants.

 • As to the ongoing restroom problems, Tenrom Cleaning Systems suggested using the Kaivac No-Touch Cleaning System, which revolutionized restroom cleaning in the U.S. more than 20 years ago. The No-Touch Cleaning System releases a metered amount of cleaning solution to all surfaces and fixtures to be cleaned. These same areas are then pressure cleaned using the machine and the built-in vacuum removes all moisture, along with contaminants.

The results

“One of the things I liked most about the OmniFlex [floor cleaning] machine was that my cleaning workers liked using the system,” says Irina Dobroiu, service manager with BSS. “They learned how to use the machine fast, found it easy to maneuver, and it was far faster and more effective than the old way of mopping floors.”

As to the problematic restrooms, she says the No-Touch Cleaning System provided much “deeper and more thorough cleaning. We noticed a difference the first time we walked in the restrooms. They smelled so clean and fresh.”

Did the furniture company move in?

Yes, and the improved cleaning helped make it happen. BSS’s management company decided to show the furniture manufacturer a video on how BSS facilities, especially the floors and restrooms, are cleaned.

“The Kaivac systems are a differentiator,” said Cristian Isaincu, with Tenrom Cleaning Systems. “It was super smart marketing, and it paid off. The furniture retailer felt comfortable that it had found the clean, healthy, and premier office address it was looking for in Romania.”