This months Powr-Flite Floor Care Troubleshooter looks at floor care from a financial standpoint. Specifically, cleaning professionals need to know how to analyze the expenses associated with floor care — including cleaning, maintenance and refinishing — in order to keep those costs in check.
"The first thing facility managers and cleaning professionals must answer is simply: How much is the floor worth?" says Mike Englund, product manager with Powr-Flite. "For example, as far as costs, appearance, and shine, a warehouse floor is usually not worth the same [floor care] investment as a lobby floor, which can become a reflection of the appearance of an entire facility."
What other steps must be taken when making financial decisions regarding floor care?
• First, inventory the various floor areas that need to be maintained in the facility, along with the square footage of each, and the frequency and types of maintenance that they will require.
• Next, calculate how much chemical (cleaners, finishes, strippers, etc.) will be necessary to maintain the floors.
• Specify which cleaning tools and equipment are needed to perform these tasks.
• Estimate the amount of time required to complete each floor-care task, as well as the number of workers needed to perform those tasks and their hourly wages.

"The big variable, and the way to measurably reduce floor-care costs, is choosing the right floor-care equipment for the job," notes Englund. "Managers and cleaning professionals should use what I call ‘The UAM formula': upgrade, automate, mechanize. The more advanced the floor-care equipment used, the faster the job gets done, and the more costs will be reduced; as an added benefit, you'll usually get better [cleaning] results as well."