Facility Cleaning & Maintenance

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James Lee Senter devoted to educating industry on importance of cleaning for health





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SPOTLIGHT 14 Making the Grade Queen’s University raises the bar on residence cleaning, hygiene with adoption of state-of-the-art disinfection technology by David L. Smith 18 For the Love of Sport Planning for the big game starts with the gym floor by James Flieler

SUSTAINABILITY 20 A Safer Melt Chloride-free de-ice, anti-ice products get the job done cleaner, faster by Nate Clemmer 22 Time to Spruce Up the Environment Five ways facilities can green their cleaning by Craig Vendramin

COVER STORY 8 A Healthy Outlook Lee Senter’s passion for sustainable living, not profits, drives him to succeed by Clare Tattersall

IN EVERY ISSUE 4 Editor’s Letter Higher Learning

23 The Great Restroom Debate Air trumps paper as ecofriendlier hand drying option by Paul McLuckie

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 24 Don’t Get Down in the Dumps Think out-of-the-box when it comes to add-on services by Mike Watt 26 Stand Out from the Crowd The value of professional designations as a company differentiator by Brant Insero 30 The Art of the Bid Ten RFP tips for selecting a supplier, distributor by Michael Wilson

Toxic chemicals in cleaning products are three times more likely to cause cancer than outdoor air, says a study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. www.REMInetwork.com / 3

/ editor’s letter /



t’s many parents’ most favourite time of the year: school is back in session. But with this comes a slew of colds and other viruses (I’m suffering from one as I type). While adults average two to four colds a year, school-age kids will catch twice as many because their immune systems are not as strong. There’s no doubt that the best way to prevent illness is to practice good hygiene; however, educational facilities, from elementary to post-secondary, have a role to play, too. Perhaps none know this better than Queen’s. The Kingston, Ont.-based university adopted electrostatic disinfection in its quest to more effectively and efficiently clean surfaces, which is critical to preventing the spread of germs and bacteria. You can read all about the technology in Making the Grade. But to begin, we look at the 40-year esteemed career of James Lee Senter. In our cover story, A Healthy Outlook, Senter delves into what led him down the path of sustainable green cleaning and his constant thirst for knowledge, which has served his companies and clientele well. Sustainability is also one of the key focuses of this issue. In Time to Spruce Up the Environment, author Craig Vendramin provides tips to help facilities green their cleaning; The Great Restroom Debate tackles which hand drying method is ecofriendlier, air or paper; and A Safer Melt delves into the dangers of rock salt and similar products, and discusses the advantages of using a more environmentally friendly ice melt option this winter season. Rounding out this issue, we address a number of business management-related issues, including the profitability and growth potential of niche add-on services, specifically dumpster cleaning; the value of professional certifications; and how building service contractors should structure and draft request for proposals to ensure the best outcome.

CLARE TATTERSALL claret@mediaedge.ca

Editor Clare Tattersall claret@mediaedge.ca Digital Editor Zandile Chiwanza zandilec@mediaedge.ca

Publisher Liam Kearney liamk@mediaedge.ca

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Production Manager

Annette Carlucci Rachel Selbie rachels@mediaedge.ca

Sales Maya Merchant mayam@mediaedge.ca

Kelly Nicholls


Contributing Writers

Nate Clemmer James Flieler Brant Insero Paul McLuckie David L. Smith Craig Vendramin Mike Watt Michael Wilson

Circulation Anthony Campbell ajc@mediaedge.ca Facility Cleaning & Maintenance is published five times a year by:

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ISSA NORTH AMERICA KEYNOTE SPEAKERS REVEALED Former U.S. president George W. Bush will be one of three keynote speakers at the ISSA Show North America 2018. “Because (the) show is in Dallas this year, we wanted our speaker roster to crescendo with a fascinating American figure and true Texan,” says ISSA vice-president of sales, trade shows and publications, Kim Althoff. On Nov. 1, at 9 a.m., Bush will engage in an insightful chat with ISSA executive director John Barrett. The two will discuss world events and politics, as well as a need for strong leadership in today’s business environment. Bush will also share life lessons, leadership secrets and thoughts on how the U.S. can move toward more unity. But to begin, inspirational spotlight speaker David Goggins will kick off the four-day ‘show week.’ A retired navy SEAL and Guinness World Record holder, Goggins will deliver a revitalizing talk, titled Complacency Kills, on Oct. 29 at 9:30 a.m., using his real-life experiences to reveal what it takes to ensure a successful mission. He will discuss how banishing negative thoughts about one’s self and cultivating the right mindset are the keys to maximizing your potential. Then, on Oct. 31 at 9 a.m., best-selling author and former publisher of Success magazine, Darren Hardy, will join attendees on the show floor with, Igniting the Compound Effect: How to Jump-start Your Income, Your Life and Your Success. Hardy will relate his own extraordinary journey to success

George W. Bush

with all he has collected from interviewing some of the most outstanding people, distilling it into the core principles every achiever needs to know, practice and master to obtain anything more than ordinary success. “We’ve chosen (these) two speakers, in part, because of their ability to overcome adversity,” says Althoff. “Both gentlemen overcame personal hardships to become more than successful — they became extraordinary. These individuals will help attendees learn to do the same.” An added attraction at this year’s event is the chance for attendees to experience ‘close encounters’ with two of the speakers: Hardy and Bush. Companies that donate $500 US or more to ISSA charities will receive two preferred seats as a ‘thank you.’ Access to the keynotes is available to all attendees with the trade show and seminar packages or the all-access pass. To make a donation and secure preferred seating, contact ISSA foundation manager Tracy Weber at 1-800-225-4772 or tracy@issa.com. The ISSA Show North America 2018 runs from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. It brings together all the best that the professional cleaning industry has to offer, from cuttingedge products and resources to proven strategies and solutions to the latest trends and professional development. To register, go to https://show.issa.com/attend/register-to-attend/.

Darren Hardy

David Goggins

ISSA NEWS CANADA NIGHT GETS NEW NAME ISSA Canada has partnered with the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI) and International Executive Housekeepers Association (IEHA) to host the brand-new Team ISSA Welcome Reception. Formerly Canada Night, the social event of the year will not only kickoff the ISSA Show North America 2018, but it will provide attendees an opportunity to meet, or get acquainted with, other industry professionals from all over the world, while enjoying complimentary snacks and beverages. This network-building night, to be held Oct. 29 at the Fairmont Dallas from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., is open to all ISSA Canada, ARCSI and IEHA members. If interested in attending or sponsoring a station at the Team ISSA Welcome Reception, contact ISSA Canada operations director Tracy MacDonald at 905-665-8001, 1-866-684-8273 or tracy@issa-canada.com.

TRANSITIONING TO WHMIS 2015 Building service contractors and in-house providers of cleaning services have until Dec. 1 to come into full compliance with the modified Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS), though specific dates may vary by jurisdiction. As of Sept. 1, all hazardous products sold or imported for use in a Canadian workplace must be compliant with WHMIS 2015, which is aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). For those that have not yet begun the transition process, here are some good practices to consider. Meet with workplace leadership to develop a transition plan with milestones and responsibilities. Establish and maintain an accurate list of all hazardous products in the workplace and whether they are WHMIS 1988 or WHMIS 2015 compliant. Understand how the hazard classification criteria of WHMIS 1988 and WHMIS 2015 differ. These disparities mean that some products may have different hazard classifications under WHMIS 2015 compared to WHMIS 1988. Review training processes and materials to make sure they are WHMIS 2015 ready. Remember that as long as both WHMIS 1988 and WHMIS 2015 products are in the workplace, employees will need to be educated and trained on both requirements. Communicate with suppliers to find out if upcoming shipments will contain safety data sheets and labels that are

ISSA Show North America 2018 will be held Oct. 29-Nov. 1, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.

WHMIS 2015 compliant, and request that they be provided as soon as they become available. Plan to use up or remove WHMIS 1988 stock, or relabel these products with WHMIS 2015-compliant labels, prior to the deadline date. Products with WHMIS 2015 labels must have a WHMIS 2015 safety data sheet, not a WHMIS 1988 material safety data sheet. If WHMIS 1988 products are still in the workplace as the transition deadline approaches, request WHMIS 2015 labels and safety data sheets from suppliers. Confirm the safety data sheets and labels provided apply to WHMIS 1988 products. Some suppliers are taking the opportunity to rename and/or reformulate their products. Finally, safely dispose of hazardous products that cannot be brought into compliance. For additional information on WHMIS 2015, visit www.whmis.gc.ca. A variety of e-courses are available to help prepare at www.ccohs.ca/education/. To check a jurisdiction’s deadline, go to http://whmis.org or contact a WHMIS regulator.

/ cover story /


OUTLOOK Lee Senter’s passion for sustainable living, not profits, drives him to succeed

by Clare Tattersall


ames Lee Senter, best known as Lee, is among the most recognizable figures in the professional cleaning industry. A well-known public speaker, inspector for all the major carpet manufacturers across Southern Ontario and an Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification-approved instructor who also presently serves as president of the Canadian Flooring, Cleaning and Restoration Association, Senter has made a name for himself as the go-to guy when something needs to be fixed. “I’m an education hog,” laughs the owner of both Fresh and Clean and DryIt. “Because of my never-ending thirst for knowledge and honest passion for the business, I get a lot of referrals from many of the large janitorial companies when they’re faced with troublesome tasks like stubborn stains. I’ve become a handy person to have on my competitors’ side.” Senter’s focus on offering premium or, what he calls, “problem-solving services” has really taken off in the last few years thanks to the reputation he’s garnered.


A fixture in the industry for four decades now, Senter is also known for being green before his time — a pathway he took out of necessity. In 1979, one year after he landed his first job as a carpet cleaning technician at Ottawa-based Dominion Carpet Cleaning, Senter was diagnosed with hepatitis C, which was then called non-A, non-B hepatitis. The news was unexpected — 95 per cent of people with the potentially lethal virus are unaware they have it, according to the World Health Organization, likely because it often doesn’t trigger any symptoms. “The doctors determined the cleaning chemicals I was using were attacking my internal organs and I was told I either had to get out of the business or change what I was doing,” he says matter-of-factly. Having found his calling, Senter chose to find a way to do his job using chemicals that were less hazardous to his liver, such as powdered enzymes as a cleaning pre-spray (though his sinuses have paid the price of daily use), and non-toxic household items like peanut butter to tackle chewing gum

/ cover story /


and other sticky residue in carpet, egg whites to get rid of coffee splotches, sour milk to eliminate ink and lemon juice as an all-purpose stain remover. With a new lease on life, Senter uprooted and moved to Toronto in the late ‘80s, where he was employed as an early morning newspaper delivery man while, at the same time, working in the marketing department of a local cleaning company. Looking to grow his savings, Senter squirrelled away his cleaning-related paycheques to avoid spending his hard-earned cash only to find out it was all for naught. “One day, an employee came in and told me his cheque didn’t clear and it soon dawned on me that I had a wallet full of cheques that were worthless,” Senter recalls. “I immediately went to the owner to air my grievances and quit but instead of giving me my money and sending me on my way, he offered me 50 per cent of the business.”

This second life-changing event marked the beginning of Fresh and Clean in 1988, the name purposefully chosen to signify a fresh start for Senter. But despite his optimistic outlook and best efforts to grow the business, his new partner failed to change his precarious ways and Senter sold his share after just two years. Shortly thereafter, the company went under. “My partner was no good with money, so I guess it was doomed for disaster from the get-go,” he says. But in 1993, Senter resurrected the company name as Fresh and Clean’s sole proprietor and moved it in the direction he originally intended. At first, carpet cleaning was the main source of business but as the textile floor covering lost market share to hard surface flooring in the ‘90s, Senter diversified — a strategy that has proven successful time and again. First, Fresh and Clean offered hardwood sanding and then gradually moved into laminate floor maintenance, but the payday


never fully materialized as he had hoped. That’s when Senter decided to adopt a green marketing strategy. “It made perfect sense,” he says. “Not only was I committed to using products that would reduce the risks of adverse health effects but I had become a carpet and upholstery cleaning instructor for Chemspec, a growing specialty chemical distribution company that was the leader in green cleaning products.” Fresh and Clean soon became known for using eco-friendly cleaning solutions and was the first building service contractor certified under the Canadian Sanitation Supply Association’s green sustainability program. Its primary cleaner is a 100 per cent food-based, scent-free product that has achieved the prestigious Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval. At the forefront of adopting the best products and practices, newer tools in the company’s green cleaning arsenal include a proprietary cleaning pre-treatment for

/ cover story /

“The doctors determined the cleaning chemicals I was using were attacking my internal organs and I was told I either had to get out of the business or change what I was doing.”

heavily soiled carpets — a plant-based micelle surfactant — which, again, is safe to use and has no significant odour, HEPA vacuums that filter the air and microfibre cloths that trap the dust particles, resulting in not only a cleaner environment but a healthier one, too. Around the time that Fresh and Clean began to gain more market share because of its green cleaning policy, the company branched out into water damage restoration as another road to growth. But in 2006, Senter suffered a setback, albeit a temporary one. “My insurance company told me I had to divest Fresh and Clean of its disaster restoration services or it would cease coverage,” he explains. “Instead of dwelling on this, I saw it as another opportunity to move ahead.” So, that same year, Senter established DryIt, whose mission is to dry flooded facilities “in place,” wherever practical, instead of removing building components,

remediating and rebuilding. This strategy minimizes downtime, is less costly for clients and leads to a more sustainable business, he says. Today, DryIt provides a variety of emergency services beyond water damage restoration, including mould remediation, asbestos testing and removal, fire and smoke damage cleanup, trauma scene cleanup and specialty drying. In addition to expanding its service offerings, Senter’s two companies have increased their geographic reach beyond Toronto to serve more than 5,000 residential and commercial spaces across the entire GTA, as well as in Hamilton and Barrie, Ont. He expects Fresh and Clean’s customer base will further grow because of its new partnership with the world’s second largest retailer, Costco, which Senter forged in June. “After Sears shuttered its doors in Canada earlier this year, the people behind the retail chain’s carpet cleaning launched Costco carpet cleaning in which we’ve been hired to do the jobs,” he explains excitedly. Though looking forward to what the future holds, Senter is still very much grounded in the present, which involves overseeing the rollout of an online review system. A significant investment, it will provide Fresh and Clean customers the opportunity to rate their service. Clients that score lower than a five will automatically receive a return visit to address outstanding issues. “We’re taking a very proactive approach to make sure the job is done to our cus-

tomers’ satisfaction,” says Senter, adding he intends to personally train one person with his skill set to remove stains at nocharge upon such follow-up calls. “We are in the people-pleasing business and this will set us apart from others in the marketplace.” As for DryIt, Senter is in the final stages of perfecting a second online system. Three years in the making, it will enable clients to track their insurance claims in real-time when it launches in November. “Unlike the cleaning industry, quality of work is not the top priority in the disaster restoration business,” he explains. “What’s important to these customers is that workers are on time and the project is finished promptly, followed by professionalism and then work quality.” When ranking what matters most to him, Senter says he hopes to leave a legacy for raising the bar of health and safety in the cleaning industry. “I want people to realize through my education efforts that there are great repercussions if we don’t respect what we do,” he says. “I’m a perfect example: I’m allergic to mould, I suffered liver disease as a result of the chemicals used in the cleaning industry and have full flown DDD (degenerative disc disease) from performing repetitive movements with incorrect posture, or poor ergonomics. Despite the sector’s progress, it’s important not to ignore that the cleaning industry still consists of a lot of chemistries and practices that can cause severe harm to human beings.” / www.REMInetwork.com / 11


Congratulations on the inaugural Canadian Cleaning Conference. Working toward a safer, healthier environment takes leadership and commitment from all sectors and industries. I am delighted to see the variety of leaders, exhibitors, speakers and attendees working to advance sustainability and innovation in the cleaning industry. We all have a role to play in reducing our impact on the planet and keeping our communities healthy. I wish all the attendees and participants this year a successful, engaging, and thought-provoking conference.

Catherine McKenna Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Order Your Tickets now for 2019 May13-15 featuring Craig Kielburger @ info@canadiancleaningconference.com

/ spotlight /

MAKING THE GRADE Queen’s University raises the bar on residence cleaning, hygiene with adoption of state-of-the-art disinfection technology by David L. Smith


hen responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of one of Canada’s largest and bestknown university’s residences, ensuring a healthy environment that enhances students’ living experience is top priority. Just ask the facility and housing team at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. “This is our students’ home away from home”, says Barbara Wowk, manager of facilities, housing and ancillary services at Queen’s. “In fact, for most of our students it’s their first time away from home, so creating a welcoming,

comfortable and healthy living environment is essential to their well-being and academic performance.” To maintain and continually improve the university’s high standards for facility cleaning and hygiene, Queen’s not only invests in the people who work on its environmental cleaning teams but gives them the best possible tools for each job. “We’re always looking for new ways to make labour more efficient so we can have more time to devote to attending to the details and achieving the highest quality results,” says Wowk. “That’s why


we regularly frequent cleaning and hygiene innovation showcases. (They allow us to) see the latest and greatest in cleaning equipment, products and tools.” One such showcase, presented by the university’s cleaning and hygiene product supplier, introduced the team to electrostatic disinfection, a method of applying a liquid disinfectant to a surface using an electrostatic applicator. The liquid is atomized into droplets, which are charged by an electrical current as they exit the applicator. When the charged droplets approach the target surface area, they induce an opposite charge

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/ spotlight / on it, which in turn attracts the charged droplets to the surface. The charged droplets also repel each other, preventing them from forming larger droplets and allowing them to uniformly cover a surface. The charged droplets are even attracted to the backs of surfaces, regardless of the direction of spray, enabling them to ‘wrap around’ a wide range of surface types, from tables, desks and washroom fixtures to intricate surfaces such as keyboards. In a traditional spray application, the coverage of a surface is determined by the direction of spray and where the droplets fall based on gravity, which can result in uneven surface coverage. In contrast, the fine, electrostatically charged droplets produced by an electrostatic applicator provide consistent coverage of a surface and do not linger in the air, resulting in the use of less disinfectant in the process. The Queen’s team observed the effect of electrostatic disinfection during a simulated demonstration. A solution formulated to appear under black light was deposited on a chair using an electrostatic applicator. A black light was then used to

show how the solution had been attracted to evenly coat the top, sides, back and underside of the chair. “The solution got to areas where we thought it couldn’t,” says Queen’s facilities supervisor Rob Dusharm. “That was very impressive because no matter how well you train your cleaning teams, there are only so many areas that wiping can physically reach. We saw this system as a game changer.” Queen’s implemented electrostatic disinfection four years ago, as an addon to its already rigorous cleaning program for the 4,800 bed spaces, common areas and washrooms throughout the university’s residences. Predictably, the response from cleaning personnel was mixed; many were excited to be given the latest cleaning and hygiene technology, while some were skeptical. Dusharm says it’s natural for people to be reluctant to change, “(but) once they saw how well the system worked and understood its value, they loved it.” The university’s cleaning program had previously included a documented man-

ual cleaning process with ongoing evaluation to ensure consistency and quality. This new technology took the program many steps further. “Though we already had an excellent cleaning program in place, adding electrostatic disinfection has allowed us to achieve a vastly improved result in very little time,” says Wowk. “We can now disinfect an entire medium-sized building in half a day, which would have been impossible before, and a washroom can be completed in less than a minute.” The technology has also proven to be highly effective in helping to reduce the spread of illnesses. “Germs can spread so quickly in small, compact areas,” says Dusharm. “We can now use a proactive approach during cold and flu season to help avoid possible outbreaks. Where we see trends on the rise, we increase the frequency of our cleaning and follow with electrostatic disinfection. The extent to which colds and flu spread through our residences has been dramatically reduced.” Queen’s focus on constantly improving its cleaning program means its processes constantly evolve. Since adopting electrostatic disinfection technology in 2014 — the first post-secondary institution in Canada to do so — the university has moved on to the system’s next generation. The units have received rave reviews from staff on their ease of use, lighter weight and manoeuvrability. “By working to continually achieve better results, we give students that ‘welcome home’ and create a happy, healthy environment that supports a transformative learning experience,” says Wowk. /

David L. Smith is director of cleaning, hygiene and sanitation at Bunzl Canada, which provides cleaning and hygiene supplies, equipment, food and retail packaging, safety and industrial supplies to more than 45,000 Canadian businesses. With more than 25 years’ experience in cleaning and hygiene, David is a recognized expert in infection prevention and control, with special expertise in electrostatic disinfection technology. He can be reached at 613-449-2146.


2018 CONFERENCE & TRADE SHOW Thanks to everyone who attended on September 9th, 10th, & 11th, 2018

The Canadian Association of Environmental Management was pleased to offer the leading edge and engaging conference and trade show that featured many inspiring and informative guest speakers; including the *CSA Standards Committee to present Canada’s NEW CSA Standards: ‘Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection for Healthcare Facilities’. The conference included a ‘Town Hall’ workshop Monday morning with an introductory presentation by Richard Dixon, CSA Chair, that was followed by a workshop facilitated by the CSA standard committee members. In addition to innovative presentations and content there were endless vendors and networking opportunities to explore. Thank you to all the exhibitors and attendees for being a CAEM partner in revolutionizing the cleaning and disinfection industry and Towering To New Heights!

Did you meet Angus! CAEM’s most dog-gone adorable guest! Angus is a C-diff Sniffing Dog who attended the 2018 Conference to teach us:

‘What the Nose Knows’!

FOR THE LOVE OF SPORT Planning for the big game starts with the gym floor by James Flieler


or those that have not been in a school for quite some time, it may come as a surprise that one of the most essential rooms has changed quite a bit. Once used by students just a few hours a day, the gymnasium is now a multi-purpose space, utilized by other education facilities and athletic teams as well as for public programs, community meetings, plays and performances, among other non-sports related activities. “School gymnasiums are being used up to six days per week, often exceeding 15 to 16 hours per day,” says David Shauers, a former marketing director for a gym floor installation company. “This makes it much harder on the floor.” As schools often pride themselves on their gym floor — many, particularly secondary

schools, brand the floor with their logo or mascot to show school spirit — they invariably want it to look its best at all times. To achieve this, a cleaning and maintenance program is required. The program will depend on the type of gym flooring: vinyl, synthetic or wood, with the latter being the most common. It’s also the costliest but has the greatest life expectancy and tends to have more ‘bounce,’ making it less stressful on athletes’ feet and legs. The first step in maintaining wood flooring involves the ‘smart’ placement of mats, carpet and runners at all gym entries and crisscrossing the gym floor. This provides a direct walking path from one side of the gym to the other to protect the floor. With all the functions this space now serves, asking people with


rubber bottom shoes or heels — both of which can damage the floor — to remove them prior to walking on the gym surface is an impossible task. From here, an effective wood gym floor maintenance program includes mopping, stripping and refinishing. MOP IT UP

Regularly wet or dry mopping the floor is probably the most effective way to extend its life because it removes dust, grit and soils. These contaminants can be pounded into the floor with gym use and foot traffic, damaging the floor finish and surface itself. Using a microfibre or flat mop for this task is recommended, or an automatic scrubber for a deeper clean. The more frequently the floor is cleaned, the longer intervals

/ spotlight / between refinishing cycles, saving considerable time and money. It’s important to select a good quality pH neutral cleaning solution that will clean the floor without impacting the shine. Also, because gym floors are most often used during winter months, a cleaning solution that breaks down and removes ice melt residue is ideal as it can damage the floor finish. BARE ESSENTIALS

Stripping a gym floor can be disruptive, time-consuming and the costliest part of a maintenance program. The process requires a high-quality wood floor cleaning solution formulated to remove the floor’s finish and a low-speed floor machine. The cleaning solution should be applied to a small area of the floor at a time, ensuring it does not dry. Then, a lowspeed floor machine is used to strip the area. Make sure the correct grit sanding screens or floor pads are employed. If too aggressive, they can cause problems that require extensive remediation. Typically, the darker the pad, the tougher it will be

on removing soils, shoe marks and other unsightly floor marks. If unsure of which pads to use, check with the school’s janitorial distributor to prevent damaging a very valuable asset. Once the floor has been stripped, rinse two or more times to remove chemical residue and soils. THE FINISH LINE

When selecting a gym floor coating, the British saying, “penny-wise, pound foolish” rings true. Always select the highest quality coating possible. A water-based, urethane acrylic coating is made to leave a high-gloss shine on the floor. Many times, it is recommended that a sealant be applied first but only when it is a brand-new f looring installation.

This provides added protection for the f loor and serves as a foundation for the f loor coating. When selecting a floor coating, inquire about the drying and curing times. Drying occurs before curing and is essentially when the solvent has evaporated from the coating and it’s safe to touch. Curing is when the coat has reached proper hardness. This is required before a second coat can be applied. The latest water-based gym f loor coatings have a much faster cure time; a second coat can be applied in approximately two hours, depending on the air temperature, air circulation and humidity levels. Typically, two coats should be applied to the f loor using a weighted bar/applicator. /

James Flieler is vice-president of sales and marketing, Canada, for Charlotte Products Ltd., a producer of innovative cleaning solutions that help make work and living environments healthier and eco-friendlier while supporting business sustainability. James is a frequent trainer for organizations across North America, educating employees on cleaning-related and sanitation issues. He can be reached at experts@charlotteproducts.com.

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A SAFER MELT Chloride-free de-ice, anti-ice products get the job done cleaner, faster by Nate Clemmer


ith the winter season’s approach, DIY and environmentally-oriented magazines are advising consumers about the green alternatives to snow/ice melters. Who knew natural ingredients like pickle brine, alfalfa meal (commonly used as an organic fertilizer), sugar beet juice, coffee grounds, fireplace ashes or a mixture of white vinegar and warm water could melt ice? For facility managers with much larger areas to treat, using these homemade solutions is not feasible. Yet, managers, like consumers, are concerned about the environmental impact of the products they use and are searching for alternatives. Sodium chloride-based products, also known as rock salt, have long been known to commonly leach into lakes, rivers and streams, increasing the salinity of these fresh water sources. One report estimates that af-

ter a spring thaw, the concentration of salt in fresh water increases to approximately onethird of the salt levels found in the ocean. These raised salt levels impact the health and survival of fish, amphibians and other animals and aquatic plants. In fact, most chloride-based products cause some form of harm to humans, pets, plants and aquatic life. When cats and dogs walk on surfaces treated with sodium chloride products, they often experience painful burning, inflammation and cracked pads. If they lick their paws and ingest the salt, they may experience symptoms such as excessive thirst, vomiting and diarrhea. When sodium chloride spreads from sidewalks and driveways into nearby soil, it interferes with plants’ ability to absorb vital nutrients, including water, potassium, calcium and magnesium.


Calcium chloride-based products, another common de-icer/anti-icer, can burn human skin on contact. If inhaled, dust particles can cause severe irritation and bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. They irritate dogs’ paws and are poisonous to canines. When spread into gardens and on to vegetation, calcium chloride can have a defoliating effect on trees and other plants. Magnesium chloride-based products are considered to be better for the environment than those made from sodium and calcium chloride, but they cannot be considered environmentally friendly because they still contain a high percentage of chloride salts. Beyond health and environmental concerns, chlorides also are corrosive to metals and, to varying degrees, concrete, asphalt and stone walkways, and will reduce the functional life of structures such as railings and doors.

/ sustainability /

An alternative to chloride-based granular ice melt products are liquid de-icers. One such product based upon potassium formate technology is 100 per cent chloride-free and readily biodegradable. It is safer for pets, plants, metal, concrete and other surfaces. Its toxicity rate is significantly lower than that of calcium chloride, calcium magnesium acetate (CMA), rock salt and potassium acetate. Facility managers have been attracted to liquid ice melt/de-ice products in recent years largely because they are much easier to apply. There is no need to carry a bag of granular product across walkways and up and down stairways to administer — and no need to continually reach into the bag to scoop out de-icer. Spray applications are far more efficient, easy to use and provide for very precise application rates. Because children and pets are not typically walking or playing on the grounds of commercial buildings, facility managers may view consumer concerns about child and pet-based eco-friendliness as of secondary importance. But a building’s indoor environment is also negatively impacted by some

de-ice/anti-ice materials. When tracked into a facility, sodium chloride de-icers leave a white residue that can dull the finish of floors and fade the colour of carpets. Calcium and magnesium chloride-based products coat floors with an oily, slippery residue that damages wax and urethane finishes, posing a safety risk to employees and visitors. By contrast, the neutral pH formulations of certain potassium formate technology deicers eliminate tracking, leaving no residue. This reduces near-term labour costs associated with manual cleaning, estimated at $50 per entrance per day, according to the ISSA’s Clean Management Institute. And with no tracking and no residue, the building’s floors and carpets are safer to walk, too. Outdoors, potassium formate technology de-icers create a safer environment for pedestrians more quickly than chloride-based de-icers. For example, some

potassium formate technology de-icers have a speed of melt of 30 to 50 seconds by reducing the freezing point to temperatures as low as minus 53 C. These de-icers quickly and reliably remove thin layers of ice and prevent new snow and ice from accumulating. By contrast, chloride-based granular de-icers take a minimum of three to five minutes to achieve an acceptable melt, and as much as 10 minutes. Most users will achieve a lower application cost per 1,000 square feet with liquids than with granular de-icers because of the ease and speed of application and the reduced amount of product needed to produce an acceptable melt. Combined, the benefits of liquid de-icers based upon potassium formate technology are making it easier for facility managers to create a clean, safe environment. /

Nate Clemmer is CEO of Branch Creek, the maker of Entry — the chloride-free liquid ice melt that eliminates the mess of salt. He can be reached at 1-888-408-5433 or nclemmer@branchcreekorganics.com.

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TIME TO SPRUCE UP THE ENVIRONMENT Five ways facilities can green their cleaning by Craig Vendramin


aintaining a clean, hygienic environment is a top priority for facility managers. A clean building can contribute to the overall health of occupants and improve productivity. How a clean workplace is achieved is also important. Businesses are increasingly interested in leasing space where green cleaning measures, products and supplies are used, reinforcing their commitment to sustainability. Developing a comprehensive green cleaning program, or expanding an existing one, is easier than ever with a wide variety of readily available, affordable and safe products that perform as well as their traditional counterparts. But with so many options, selecting the right green cleaning solutions can prove difficult. To help facility managers get started, here are five ways to reduce a building’s environmental footprint. READ THE LABEL

Look for cleaning products labelled biodegradable, which indicates they are made using sustainable manufacturing practices and naturally-derived, non-toxic ingredients like coconut that don’t negatively impact the environment or human health. Many of these products can be safely used on multiple surfaces and are also available as compostable

wipes, making cleaning keyboards, small appliances and trash cans convenient, quick and easy. In an office setting, especially in co-work spaces, wipes can be provided to encourage employees to help clean their areas on a daily basis.

to the innovative design. These cloths do not require drying; they can be stored damp and will resist bacteria growth for up to 24 hours. Further, they retain their antibacterial properties even after several hundred washes. THINK INSIDE THE BOX

Replace multi-purpose cleaners used for different jobs with one concentrated all-purpose cleaner. This will not only reduce the number of products required but save time and money. Non-toxic, biodegradable options effectively remove oil, lubricants, grease and grime from almost any washable surface and can be custom diluted for specialized cleaning. These products even work well on tough jobs like cleaning grease filter traps.

Reduce waste by using boxes specifically designed to collect difficult to recycle waste streams in a variety of facilities, manufacturing sites and offices. Products like earplugs, hair nets and small automotive parts can be collected and shipped for processing in the same box. These handy boxes can be kept alongside trash and traditional recycling bins in easily accessible locations to help employees keep workspaces tidy.



In environments where hygiene is critical, like hospitals, schools and restaurants, consider bacteria-free microfibre cloths. Developed with nano silver technology, the cloths not only pick up and trap dirt quickly and easily but also kill bacteria on contact thanks

In facilities that offer hand sanitizer, consider switching to a multi-purpose biodegradable hand cleaner that works as an everyday hand wash but is also effective on oil, grease, paint, tar and asphalt. Look for varieties with natural scrubs and solvents for best results. /


Craig Vendramin is director of sales at Acklands-Grainger, Canada’s largest distributor of industrial supplies, and a leading destination for facilities maintenance and cleaning products. The company offers the broadest selection of in-stock, brand-name products from the world’s top manufacturers and serves customers from a Canada-wide distribution network.


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THE GREAT DEBATE Air trumps paper as eco-friendlier hand drying option in restrooms by Paul McLuckie


ore than 20 years ago, the first bagless vacuum cleaner launched. Not only more efficient and powerful than its bagged counterpart, it eliminated bags from ending up in landfills. The established vacuum cleaner manufacturers fought against it. At the time, the secondary market for vacuum cleaner bags was worth 100 million pounds a year in the U.K., alone. A similar struggle is happening today that also impacts the environment. This time, however, it’s in public washrooms, pitting hand dryers against paper towels. While both carry an ecological price, research has found today’s high-speed hand dryers produce up to 79 per cent fewer carbon dioxide emissions and cost $34 per year in energy consumption,

which is up to 98 per cent less compared to paper towel. The production of paper towels also often requires trees to be cut down and complex chemical processes to manufacture. When they are used in public washrooms, most paper towels can’t be recycled and are disposed of in the garbage, ending up in landfills or incinerators. Yet, paper towels remain a favourite method for drying hands. Fortunately, consumers and businesses are becoming more aware of the impact their daily lives have on the environment. Movements against disposable cups, plastic grocery bags and plastic straws are happening. The idea of using pieces of paper to dry hands seems outdated at best. /

Paul McLuckie is an engineering manager at Dyson, a global technology company that designs and manufactures a variety of household and commercial appliances. Paul has worked on the Dyson Airblade hand dryer and lighting categories for two years, including the newest Airblade Wash+Dry fixture, a single touchless unit that combines a tap and hand dryer.

Did you see something great in today’s news or an industry blog that’s inspired your next blog post? If you’d like to chime in, there are some rules to follow that will keep you in good standing in the online community. If the article in question is from another blogger, reach out to the author. You can generate some goodwill by congratulating them on a job well done, and can ask to republish the post on your own blog. Many bloggers also invite guest blogging opportunities or trading of guest posts, so if you’re looking to cultivate relationships, this is a good way to start. If you’re dealing with a mainstream news publisher, they’ll typically not allow you to republish their work. Your best bet is to give credit to the original author and publication, and be sure to quote no more than a few sentences of their work. Quoting too much of the original text may be considered copyright infringement, and search engines also punish web pages that have duplicate content. In the text you’ve quoted, be sure to either use quotation marks around the text, or if it’s a full paragraph, indent and italicize the quote so it appears to stand alone from your own post. Be sure to hyperlink to the original piece. Regardless of who your content source is, it’s a good idea to either email or tag the writer/publication on social media to let them know you’ve referenced their work. Most authors are happy to receive a mention and the referral traffic you’re sending their way, so you might end up with a new contact who may even share your post on their own channels. The blogging community is more often than not a respectful one, so being a member in good standing will not only keep you out of legal trouble but could help grow your own networking if done correctly.

Steven Chester is the Digital Media Director of MediaEdge Communications. With 15 years’ experience in cross-platform communications, Steven helps companies expand their reach through social media and other digital initiatives. To contact him directly, email gosocial@mediaedge.ca.

/ business management /

DON’T GET DOWN IN THE DUMPS Think out-of-the-box when it comes to add-on services by Mike Watt


ndustry trends are showing more and more cleaning contractors are offering add-ons to clients, combining traditional janitorial services with other items such as carpet and window cleaning, floor stripping and refinishing, light handyman work and grounds maintenance. For cleaning contractors, providing bundled services can be quite lucrative. If a contractor charges $10,000 a month to clean and maintain a facility, for instance, and their client wants to add landscaping to the mix at a rate of $1,500 per month, the contractor will bank an extra $18,000 annually. Aside from the financial advantages, the contractor becomes increasingly valuable to the client; the more entwined in the facility’s daily operations, the harder it is for the client to let the contractor go. The benefits of bundled services are not one-sided. They provide facility managers with a single point of contact for a variety of matters and allows them to combine different services into one invoice, making their job easier.

In addition to the common cleaning addons, contractors should consider offering more niche services to set themselves apart from the competition. One option is dumpster cleaning. If not properly maintained, this large trash receptacle poses a health hazard to building occupants. How so? Dumpsters can be major magnets for insects and small rodents like mice and rats. Since they’re often located right next to the back entrance of a building, these pests, along with germs, bacteria and various biohazards, are literally just outside the door. As a result, the likelihood of contaminants and pests finding their way inside a facility is greater. KEEPING A ‘SANITARY’ GARBAGE SITE

Before addressing how to properly clean dumpster bins, it’s important to consider ways to keep them from becoming so unsanitary and pest-ridden in the first place. Dumpsters should always rest on concrete, not grass or mulch. Rodents and insects live in these areas, so this makes


dumpsters an attractive location to move into and start nesting. They should also be placed at least 50 feet away from the facility. If it’s a grocery store or food service establishment, 100 feet from the nearest building entrance is recommended. If a dumpster has a drain or opening, make sure it has a grid covering to prevent insects and rodents from venturing inside and a potential infestation. Trim tree branches near the dumpster; branches become ‘trails’ for some pests, directing them to the area. Also, eliminate any nearby vegetation. Vegetation is often used as a hiding place for insects and makes it hard to keep the dumpster area clean. Dumpsters should have a tight, secure lid to prevent rodents and insects from entering. When not in use, the lid should be kept firmly closed and locked to prevent dumpster diving and neighbours from using it. Select the right type and size dumpster for the facility’s requirements. A dumpster that’s too small may overf low with trash, making it difficult or im-


possible to close the lid. Additionally, this might cause trash liners to tear, causing contaminated moisture to leak into the dumpster. Regularly check the dumpster to make sure all trash is bagged in heavy-duty trash liners and tightly sealed. Bolster recycling efforts. Paper and other ‘dry’ waste can often be recycled. This can reduce trash collection costs along with the number of dumpsters needed for the facility. Fewer dumpsters helps reduce cleaning concerns. Treat smells and odours as a warning sign. Typically, when a dumpster develops malodours it means significant amounts of bacteria and contamination are present. While there are deodourizers to mask unpleasant smells, remember they do just that. These products don’t remove the source; this requires a thorough and effective cleaning of the dumpster and surrounding area.

There are a variety of ways to clean these large trash receptacles. In some cases, cleaning professionals will climb into the dumpster and apply powerful degreasers to its sides. This is followed by decking (brushing) down the interior and exterior of the bin and then rinsing all areas clean. Not only is this an unpleasant job but the chemicals used can be very powerful, potentially impacting the health of the worker and the environment. Further, it is typically not the most effective way to clean a dumpster. Another possibility is to pressure wash the dumpster along with the surrounding area. This process removes the unpleasantness of crawling into the dumpster. However, it can be a very messy job. If chemicals are used in the process, they can cause significant splattering. Cleaning workers should always wear protective gear and no-vent goggles, which are designed to keep moisture, dust and airborne particulates from reaching the eye. Another option, and one that tends to be greener, is to use microbial cleaning solutions. Sometimes referred to as enzymatic cleaning solutions, these products contain different types of ‘good’ bacteria as well as enzymes that convert soils and contaminants into carbon and water. In most cases, a microbial cleaning solution is sprayed onto surfaces using equipment specifically designed for this cleaning task, which automatically mixes the solution and water together as it is used. A deck brush may be used for agitation to help loosen heavily soiled concentrations but this is typically not necessary. Once the microbial cleaning solution is applied, and after a few minutes of dwell time, the area is hosed down, with soils and moisture going down a drain. This process can also be used to clean floor and wall areas surrounding the dumpster. Regardless of which cleaning method is implemented, it is important to inspect the dumpster for drainage holes and ensure that they are unplugged before beginning. Also, the dumpster and surrounding area should be swept or hosed down after each trash collection. /

Mike Watt is director of training and new product development at Avmor, a leading Canadian manufacturer of professional cleaning solutions. He can be reached at mwatt@avmor.com.


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/ business management /

STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD The value of professional designations as a company differentiator by Brant Insero


onsumer buying habits have changed dramatically over the past decade with the advancement of technology and, particularly, the Internet. Customers are increasingly going online to look for services and want immediate satisfaction from a purchase, including a high level of quality and high speed of delivery. While many smaller to mid-sized contract cleaning companies have struggled to update their infrastructure to accommodate this new trend, others have reacted accordingly. Still, it is difficult to stand out in an increasingly fierce commercial cleaning industry.

This raises the question: How can a business service contractor set itself apart from the competition? There is no doubt a strong digital presence is a must; however, standards and certifications serve as a powerful tool, too. Often overlooked by contractors because of the inability to communicate their worth to consumers, adherence to standards not only positions a company as a leader in the industry but provides potential customers with peace of mind that their quality of service expectations will be met. But it’s not enough to simply share this information with consumers. It’s important


to convey the source of such certifications — leading industry associations and organizations — as this will increase retention rates. Customers love to brag that they are using a company that is certified to leading industry standards, which also goes a long way in their own marketing efforts. Once educated on the value of standards and certifications, consumers are typically most interested in purchasing services from companies that are certified to meet a standard for their entire organization and that have certified cleaning experts on staff to work in their facility.

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Business service contractors that invest in their employees through continuing education often receive an extra leg up on the competition; Gen Xers and Gen Yers — a huge group of consumers, when combined — are inclined to partner with companies that have strong core values. As well, companies that fail to provide educational development opportunities to their people typically have unmotivated employees, while those that do tend to have engaged and productive workers that serve as evangelists for their company. Encouraging and promoting education and certification is also linked to employee retention. For instance, 78 per cent of companies that have become certified through the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) — the only standard specific to the cleaning industry in Canada and the U.S. — have realized a reduced turnover rate. This translates into cost savings as it is estimated to cost between $10,000 and $15,000 to replace a frontline worker, and up to $30,000 to replace a mid-level manager. While training on current processes and procedures is important to maintain the status quo, educating on new cleaning processes can ultimately increase revenue for a cleaning contractor; it empowers a company to begin selling additional services to current customers while increasing its value to new clients. In a study of CIMS-certified contractors, 78 per cent saw an increase in sales after they achieved the designation. Becoming certified to an industry standard for the first time is a very detailed process. Here are nine certifications provided by the worldwide cleaning industry association, ISSA, to consider working towards. CERTIFIED CUSTODIAL TECHNICIAN

Designed for frontline custodians, the certification program teaches basic and advanced skills in all areas of commercial building cleaning. Requirements: Completion of basic level (six modules) and advanced level (three modules), and ability to pass corresponding exams. Training provided on-site or via inhome independent study.



Like the Certified Custodial Technician program, this certification is geared to frontline custodians and is split into basic and advanced levels. Requirements: Completion of course material based on the seven categories listed in the ISSA training standard — general cleaning, hard floor care, restroom care, carpet care, general safety, hazard communications and customer service — and the ability to pass exams. Corresponding course must be verified through the ISSA cleaning standard.

The certification program is structured to help train and certify cleaning professionals so they can successfully implement training for frontline workers at their operation. Requirements: Completion of a three-day in-class course (Train the Trainer) and the ability to pass the exam with a minimum score of 80 per cent.


The certification program teaches expert skills to frontline custodians in all areas of commercial building cleaning through lecture and performance-based teaching. Requirements: Completion of all components of Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) masters level program. Performance-based measurements for attendees. Mandatory attendance at a CMI verified training centre. Minimum of 20-hours classroom time. ACCREDITED AUDITING PROFESSIONAL

Structured and designed to empower an individual to provide a consistent and standard quality assurance audit within a facility. Requirements: Completion of a one-day in-class course and the ability to pass the exam. Certification is valid for two years from the date taken. CERTIFIED CUSTODIAL SUPERVISOR

Designed for aspiring entry-level workers as well as tenured professionals who are looking to increase their education and learn new techniques, this program will sharpen both technical and soft skills involved in cleaning, maintaining and servicing facilities. Requirements: Completion of the foursection course, each of which covers a particular area of supervising and managing custodial maintenance work, and the ability to pass corresponding exams. The final exam at the conclusion of the course covers all information that has been presented. Training provided at a CMI supervisor boot camp or via inhome independent study.



As the industry’s first consensus-based management standard, compliance demonstrates an organization is structured to deliver consistent, quality services that are designed to meet the customer’s needs and expectations, improve overall operations and save money. It sets forth processes, procedures and supporting documentation proven to be characteristic of customer-driven organizations. CIMS applies to an organization in its entirety, rather than to a specific individual, process or product, and without respect to the size of the organization. Requirements: Submission of written documentation supporting compliance with the five key sections of the standard: quality systems; service delivery; human resources; health, safety and environmental stewardship; and management commitment. An organization must meet 100 per cent of the mandatory elements and 60 per cent of the recommended elements, per section. An ISSA-accredited third party assessor then conducts an on-site review of the applicant’s systems, processes and documentation to ensure compliance, as well as visits individual customer accounts or locations to ensure that the organization’s activities are consistent with the documented systems and processes. Certified organizations are subject to reassessment every two years to keep the designation in good standing. CIMS-GREEN BUILDING

The criteria and designation offers cleaning organizations a certification that is closely tailored to provide their customers with precisely what they need to secure points under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED EB: O&M) rating system, while greening their operations overall.

/ business management /

Requirements: Submission of written documentation supporting compliance with the five core sections of CIMS as well as the sixth dimension — green building — which includes: a green cleaning policy; green/ high-performance cleaning program; custodial effectiveness assessment (quality system); purchase of cleaning products and materials; cleaning equipment; entryway systems (matting); and solid waste management (recycling). Certified organizations are subject to reassessment every two years to keep the designation in good standing. CIMS ISSA CERTIFICATION EXPERT

The certification program is geared to individuals who are ready to provide training and consulting services to cleaning organizations interested in complying with, and preparing to become, CIMS-certified. Requirements: Attendance of a one-day workshop and ability to pass the exam. Certification is valid for two years. To achieve recertification, an ISSA Certi-

Consumers are typically most interested in purchasing services from companies that are certified to meet a standard for their entire organization and that have certified cleaning experts on staff to work in their facility. fication Expert (I.C.E.) is required to accumulate 30 ‘professional credits’ for participating in various industry events and activities. The easiest way to achieve

all 30 required credits is to attend the live I.C.E. recertification workshop held each year in conjunction with the ISSA Show North America. /

Brant Insero is director of education, training, certification and standards for the worldwide cleaning industry association, ISSA. Brant has more than a decade of training experience. For the past four years, he has run the ISSA’s Cleaning Management Institute (CMI), which is one of the most recognized education and certification providers in the professional cleaning industry.


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/ business management /

THE ART OF THE BID Ten RFP tips for selecting a supplier, distributor by Michael Wilson


acility managers and large contract cleaners often take bids, or request for proposals (RFPs), from suppliers and distributors for purchasing supplies. While some facility managers/contractors are very familiar with the process, others are not, and mistakes can happen. This makes the process much more cumbersome and in worst case scenarios, skews the bidding results, which can prove costly. Here are 10 tips to help facility managers/ contractors avoid such a situation.

1 Allow plenty of time to prepare RFPs. The more thorough and concise they are, the easier they will be for suppliers/ distributors to work with.

2 Make a list of up to 10 potential partner suppliers/distributors. 3 In the case that RFPs are complicated or involve larger facilities, it is often a good

idea to have a pre-bid meeting with all suppliers/distributors.

7 Ensure the RFPs state who is to receive the proposals and when they are due.

4 If a site visit or walk-through is required, provide two dates when these will be conducted.

8 Give suppliers/distributors enough time to complete their proposals. Usually, two to four weeks is sufficient. If the deadline is extended for one supplier/distributor, it must be done for all.

5 Make sure supplier/distributor proposals are signed by an officer of the company. 6 In the RFPs, be sure to offer suppliers/ distributors the ability to showcase any additional cost-saving alternatives that go beyond the price of the product or service. Often, these companies have found process or labour solutions within other facilities that can be replicated — issues that may initially seem out of scope or aren’t currently being considered.

9 Verify that all suppliers/distributors receive identical RFPs. If any changes are made during the bidding process, those updates must be delivered to all vendors. 10 Once all proposals are received, take time to evaluate them. To narrow the field, weed out those that do not provide all the necessary information and be wary of low bidders. Very often they simply did not understand the requirements. /

Michael Wilson is vice-president of marketing for Afflink, a leading sales and marketing organization for the facility management, healthcare, education, industrial and hospitality industries. He can be reached at wmwilson@afflink.com.


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