Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Floor care: The big picture

September 19, 2010
As a building service contractor (BSC) or in-house cleaning professional, it is your challenge to maintain buildings with a high level of quality and control costs to a satisfactory level.

Last year, CM/Cleaning & Maintenance Management’s October issue featured the cover story, “Facility number crunching: Conveying the total cost of ownership,” written by current APPA President Alan Bigger and his wife Linda.

In the article, the Biggers describe how a facility’s total cost of ownership (TCO) is often minimized by facility managers and owners.

According to the article, “TCO is a combination of all costs associated with a building from cradle to grave and that cleaning and maintenance operations significantly contribute to the bottom line costs of any facility.”

For example, the construction of a complex library project cost just over $203 million.

However, report the Biggers, the total cost of ownership, over 50 years, is estimated to be over $573 million.

The article states: “As key team players in the total cost of building ownership, (in-house cleaners) and BSCs play a vital role that directly impacts the life-cycle cost of a building.”

Satisfying demand
Many variables can reduce or add to a facility’s estimated total cost of ownership.

And, therefore, the cleaning professional is forced to make short-term and long-term decisions every day.

Added staff, additional cleaning frequencies, and more effective products may equal healthier buildings, satisfied employees and customers, and pleasing appearances.

But most cleaning professionals live in the real world.

Often, cleaning services is a facility’s first target for budget cuts.

Fortunately, the industry is headed in a more positive direction, which emphasizes the need for ongoing cleaning.

And, eventually, customer demand is expected to follow.

The basics of floor care
We hear a lot about today’s hot industry trends, such as green cleaning, science-based cleaning, cleaning strategies, innovative training techniques, etc.

However, the basic goal of cleaning, as it has been for thousands of years, is to minimize soil and contaminants that enter the indoor environment.

Floor care is one of the variables that add to a facility’s total cost of ownership, and floor care is one of the variables that cleaning professionals make decisions about every day.

In many experts’ opinions, floor care chemicals and equipment are some of the most dangerous products a cleaning professional can improperly use.

In this issue, you will learn more about effective techniques to maintain floors.

Remember to look at the big picture, especially with a floor care program.

By doing so, such as through the use of effective, inexpensive matting, which can significantly reduce the amount of soil that enters a building, additional short-term and long-term costs can be avoided.

Implement simple strategies every day.

Send comments or thoughts on this topic or any other article that appears in CM/Cleaning & Maintenance Management® magazine, to