Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

ProTeam Meets The Productivity Challenge

September 19, 2010

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So often in today''s marketplace, we hear the word "productivity" and find thousands of products touting ways to increase it. What does "increased productivity" really mean? In the cleaning industry, these words carry a lot of weight. Maintenance managers today face real hurdles as budget constraints intensify and cleaning standards increase. Cleaning crews must clean deeper and more effectively, but in ways that save the most time and money. They are forced to do more with less. This dichotomy presents a real challenge, but one that must be met. Increasing productivity has become critical in achieving building maintenance satisfaction and success.

Pressure is mounting from building owners and occupants, concerned parents, government agencies and environmental groups to change how we think about cleaning. EPA data shows that indoor air pollutants are up to five times higher than outdoor levels. With asthma and the threat of other infectious airborne diseases on the rise, maintaining high indoor air quality (IAQ) is crucial. One of the most efficient ways to achieve optimum standards of indoor cleanliness is by using a high quality, well-sealed vacuum with an effective filtration system.

Since inventing the backpack vacuum in 1987, ProTeam® has focused on making the cleaning process more productive, efficient and sustainable. The company continues to step up to the challenge of doing more with less by providing high performance ergonomic vacuum cleaners for every commercial cleaner''s need or preference. Through continued research and development, ProTeam now offers 19 different vacuums aimed towards dramatically improving IAQ and increasing productivity.

ProTeam takes cleaning to a new level by incorporating a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter into their Four Level® Filtration system that keeps these pollutants from leaving the machine. Vacuums of this quality effectively rid indoor air of 99.97% of contaminants on surfaces down to 0.3 micron in size. This deep level of cleaning goes beyond cleaning for appearance and helps create a certifiably healthy environment for building occupants and cleaning personnel. Not only are you getting the cleanest environment but lost time and costs associated with sick personnel are dramatically reduced.

Many factors go into getting the most for your money in choosing the right vacuum. Studies have shown that quality backpack vacuums, like those designed by ProTeam, clean up to 10,000 sq. ft. per hour, compared with upright vacuums, which time in at 2,850 sq. ft. per hour. The ease-of-use and ergonomic design of ProTeam backpacks allow workers to vacuum more than twice the area in half the time. This enormous increase in productivity takes less than half the energy and effort that it does to clean the same area with an upright. ProTeam backpacks also offer an easily accessible tool belt that allows crews to seamlessly clean all surfaces—even in those hard-to-reach areas.

The cost-saving benefits of choosing the right backpack vacuum don''t stop there. The proper ergonomic design of ProTeam backpacks allow for a more natural range of motion for the operator, reducing or eliminating repetitive stress that upright vacuums can cause. ProTeam''s lightweight backpack vacuums sit in the right place on the operator''s hips and do wonders to alleviate operator wear and tear, allowing more work to be done in less time without needing to add more staff.

Backpack vacuums are also becoming a popular choice for many maintenance programs as they move to day cleaning. Companies can save thousands of dollars a year on electricity by making cleaning part of workday hours. ProTeam''s QuietPro® BP HEPA enables the operator to easily switch to a quiet mode of 51 dBs—below the level of a normal conversation—and is an ideal solution for conquering dirt, noise and cost pollution in the workplace.

Cordless backpacks can help increase productivity in rooms larger than a cord can stretch and in places lacking power outlets, like stairwells and elevators. And having a cord stretched across a busy lobby for spot cleaning can not only be distracting, it can be dangerous. Cords easily get hung up or wrapped around cubicle wall panels, furniture, industrial machinery and retail store display racks. This can add time and tedium to a worker''s shift. The new GoVac™ BP by ProTeam is powered by Lithium Ion batteries and capable of 50 minutes of continuous runtime—double that of other cordless vacuums on the market today. And full battery recharge time is three hours, keeping downtime to a minimum.

Above all, your vacuum should adapt to the terrain it''s cleaning, and your facilities staff should find the vacuum comfortable and easy to use. Plus, the right vacuum will work wonders within an effective cleaning system. ProTeam''s Team Cleaning®—where four types of specialists concentrate on defined tasks—delivers superior cleaning and increases productivity without having to add on staff. ProTeam offers a series of Team Cleaning seminars each year to teach the concepts, training, work loading, and overall implementation of Team Cleaning.

ProTeam vacuums also meet the requirements of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)''s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System™. The USGBC is a non-profit organization composed of leaders from across the building industry working to advance buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. To receive a credit in the LEED Green Cleaning: Sustainable Cleaning Equipment category, a vacuum must be certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) "Green Label" Testing Program; be ergonomically designed to minimize vibration, noise and user fatigue; and operate with a sound level of less than 70 dB. ProTeam vacuums are CRI-approved, exceeding the Green Label requirements for soil removal, dust containment and carpet appearance retention. ProTeam has also partnered with the American Lung Association to educate the public on the importance of IAQ health issues.

Tightening budgets and intensifying cleaning standards can be overwhelming, but not debilitating. Choosing the right vacuum and incorporating it into a systematic Team Cleaning program can increase productivity by up to 70% without adding on staff. This can save tens of thousands of dollars for a company over the course of a year. ProTeam vacuums offer a combination of high-powered suction, an exceptional filtration system, superior ergonomics and a three-year complete warranty on parts, labor and motor. Your building occupants AND your bottom line will thank you. Learn more at pro-team.com.


Hollis Welsh is a Boise, Idaho-based freelance writer focused on the cleaning and facilities maintenance industry.