Varsity Facility Services Blog

Varsity Facility Services Blog

Strategic Sourcing

Strategic Sourcing

When walking in the woods, it is hard to “see the forest for the trees.” Fly above the forest and you get a much broader perspective. The same kind of “buying” myopia can occur with any Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Up close, your RFP process is beautifully designed to help your company lower cost… Continue Reading

2 Customer Service Principles

2 Customer Service Principles

2 Principles for both Property and Facility Managers From janitorial services, to environmental control, to tenant-lease renewals, facility and property managers are responsible for a host of customer expectations. So how can you have the greatest influence over a building, its owners and its occupants? Try exceeding their expectations. There are two principles both property and… Continue Reading

Behind the Scenes: EVS Unsung Heroes

Behind the Scenes: EVS Unsung Heroes

National EVS Week – September 11-17, 2016 The Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) of the American Hospital Association (AHA) is celebrating National Environmental Services (EVS) and Housekeeping Week this week. What is Environmental Services (EVS) in healthcare? Environmental services workers play a critical role in hospital safety. These workers clean the facilities to hospital standards.… Continue Reading

9-11, The Impact on Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

9-11, The Impact on Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

9/11 – The Eternal Impact on Lives It was a clear, cool 64° in Dallas the morning of 9/11, an unusually low temperature for September in the deep South. Firefighters at fire houses and private EMS paramedics were washing and restocking their trucks, hoping for a slow day with few calls and emergency rooms across… Continue Reading

You Talkin’ to Me?

You Talkin’ to Me?

In our houses, cars, and now many developed urban landscapes, we are increasingly surrounded by tiny, intelligent devices that capture data about our lives and what we do. They are now beginning to talk to one another, and before too long, we will be able to set them up to respond to our needs, solve… Continue Reading

What’s Next in Online B2B Purchasing

What’s Next in Online B2B Purchasing

There is no denying the popularity and convenience of buying online. Retail consumers enjoy the time and money savings; however, an interesting new development is that businesses are starting to accept this modern method of purchasing as well. According to the article “B2B Ecommerce Growing; Becoming More Like B2C,” posted on Practical Ecommerce, the trend… Continue Reading

New technologies in the war on germs

New technologies in the war on germs

Whether you’re a new mom, a human resource manager, or a hospital infection preventionist, illness caused by contagious pathogens is something that is universally dreaded. Scarier still, are the new strains of pathogens and antibiotic resistant bugs that seem to pop up over night. The good news is there are more tools at our disposal… Continue Reading

It’s a Revolution!

It’s a Revolution!

Over the coming weeks and months, Varsity Facility Services will be publishing articles from our industry experts that we find informative and helpful. We begin with the article below from the President of ISSA: Reprinted with permission from ISSA Today (June 2016) (www.issa.com/magazine) Nanotechnology. Gamification. Engineered Water. The Internet of Things…. If you are anything like me,… Continue Reading

World FM Day 2016 – Empowering People for a Productive World

World FM Day 2016 – Empowering People for a Productive World

Initiated in 2008, World FM day aims at raising the profile of the facilities management profession on a global scale. The event has succeeded in mobilizing hundreds of individuals, companies, associations and partners to celebrate their successes and show the world the important contribution facilities management brings to the built environment. This year the FM community… Continue Reading

Cleaning & Hygiene: The Foundation of Infection Control

Cleaning & Hygiene: The Foundation of Infection Control

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned earlier this year that the country was in for a severe flu season, and its prediction looks to be panning out. According to the CDC, 6.8 percent of all U.S. deaths during the week of December 14-20, 2014, could be attributed to pneumonia and influenza,… Continue Reading

3 Tips to Make Green Efficient

3 Tips to Make Green Efficient

The pursuit of sustainability, from energy to green cleaning janitorial services, is now the norm. If that is news to you, check your driver’s license to verify your name isn’t Rip Van Winkle. Today you can find anyone from building owners, to facility managers, to children, discussing aspects of sustainability. With such green saturation into everyday… Continue Reading

E. Coli – A Good Bacteria With a Bad Rap

E. Coli – A Good Bacteria With a Bad Rap

-Dannette Heeth, CEH, IP, NR-Paramedic I took a cruise to the Bahamas in 2000, and just returned from a quick jaunt on a cruise to Cozumel in January 2016. As an Infection Preventionist, I noticed the difference in the on-board infection control immediately. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer at the front of every buffet, food served indoors… Continue Reading

MRSA in Educational Facilities – An Emerging Issue

MRSA in Educational Facilities – An Emerging Issue

-Dannette Heeth, CEH, IP, NR-Paramedic When I worked in healthcare back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, we dreaded what we called “The Big S”…Staphylococcus Aureus. It was impossible to treat once the bacteria mutated and became resistant to penicillin, but then a miracle drug was introduced that cured the disease…Methicillin, a Penicillin derivative. … Continue Reading

Image Enhancement – Customer Satisfaction

Image Enhancement – Customer Satisfaction

According to multiple studies, customers value cleanliness more than many other factors when deciding to do business with an establishment. The image that a clean facility creates is a lasting one. Many managers perceive cleaning as an operational cost, but a dirty facility with a poor image will cost businesses direct revenue. Dirty buildings can… Continue Reading

6 Listening Sins

6 Listening Sins

The 6 Deafly Sins: Are you listening to customers, or sinning? As a task-oriented person I am often guilty of what is called Pseudo Listening. That’s when you pretend to be listening. Someone will come into my office, and I will continue typing while the person speaks. I have to catch myself and stop my propensity… Continue Reading

Why I Love My Customers…

Why I Love My Customers…

Dannette Heeth, CEH, IP, NR-Paramedic, Regional Business Development Even when it’s not Valentine’s Day, I love my customers and potential customers! Over the years, my clients have taught me better and given me a more thorough education than any university. Here are three invaluable lessons I’ve learned from three different customers. 3 Valuable Lessons They Have… Continue Reading

MEASLES…An Old Disease Rearing Its Ugly Head Again

MEASLES…An Old Disease Rearing Its Ugly Head Again

Dannette Heeth, CEH, IP, NR-Paramedic Regional Business Development Some events in life, and the people associated with those events, are always remembered; such as my childhood friend, Karl. One morning when I was three years old, Karl’s mother knocked at our door with him in tow. She raised his shirt up for my mother to… Continue Reading

When The Flu Comes Calling

When The Flu Comes Calling

Flu trends this year, and what we can do about them -Dannette Heeth, CEH, IP, NR-Paramedic Southwest Regional Business Development Recently I had an appointment at my local nail salon. The technician doing my nails began sneezing, and rather than covering her mouth or sneezing into the crook of her arm, she sneezed on me….several… Continue Reading

Real S.M.A.R.T.S. for Your Facility Services

Real S.M.A.R.T.S. for Your Facility Services

An effective structure for writing realistic, achievable and worthwhile goals. Property managers need to be thinking now what they will accomplish in the New Year. So you want to improve tenant scorecard ratings? Looking to improve Net Operating Profits (NOI) for building occupants? Do you want to form a tenant council to improve coordination of… Continue Reading

Millennials: What are they and why should you care?

Millennials: What are they and why should you care?

What are they and how do they think and value? On November 5, I was given the opportunity to moderate a panel discussion for a session put on by the Young Executives Society at the ISSA International Conference. Our topic was on the massive influx of Millennials that will hit the workforce in the next… Continue Reading

Ebola and other viruses

Ebola and other viruses

The Ebola Scare: That shouldn’t be all we are worried about Dannette Young Heeth, CEH, IP, NR-Paramedic | Varsity Facility Services/Southwest Division | Regional Business Development TIME TO TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY  FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASES I live in two worlds; janitorial maintenance with emphasis on infection control and as a trauma medic on the weekends in a very… Continue Reading

Leader or Manager. What are you?

Leader or Manager. What are you?

Disclaimer: No Dutch or persons from Holland were injured in making this post Imagine yourself as a famous track star.  You’re about to run an important race. Just before the race starts, you go to your locker, pull out a pair of wooden clogs, and head to the field.  Yea, you know it. They’re beautiful.… Continue Reading

Protocol: Plan | Audit

Protocol: Plan | Audit

Post #4 of 10 Protocol for Measuring and Monitoring Cleaning Effectiveness: Written Plan | Building Audit This section sets forth a protocol for measuring and monitoring cleaning performance in K-12 school facilities. A standardized protocol of this nature is critical in assessing the effectiveness of a school’s cleaning program, geared toward providing a clean healthy… Continue Reading

4 Customer Rights…

4 Customer Rights…

Building owners and occupants have customer rights. Are you fulfilling them? Many years ago I was working on the strategic position for a large company with a significant janitorial services division. The strategic theme we developed was piece of mind and repeatable success. The idea for peace of mind and repeatable success came from four… Continue Reading

D-Day June 6 1944 – 70 years later

D-Day June 6 1944 – 70 years later

“The Eyes of the World Are Upon You.” Remembering those who gave the full measure of devotion 70 years ago   The Normandy American Cemetery, overlooking Omaha Beach and the English Channel, was established on June 8, 1944, as the first U.S. cemetery in Europe during World War II. It holds the graves of more… Continue Reading

Defining Current Cleaning Procedures – K-12

Defining Current Cleaning Procedures – K-12

Varsity Facility Services, a national janitorial services who uses the highest green cleaning methods, and an award winning member of ISSA, is proud to present a 10-part series of informative and vital blog posts from the “ISSA Clean Standard K-12 Schools 1014-2013 | Measure the Effectiveness of Cleaning” Post #3 of 10: Defining Current Cleaning Procedures The implementation of… Continue Reading

6 Notes on Customer Service

6 Notes on Customer Service

Your entire job depends on your customer. That’s a pretty strong statement. Yet the statement is just as true for facility and property managers as it is for any other service industry worker. Property and facility management is a service. From coordination of space planning to energy management, to cleaning, companies that manage properties must… Continue Reading

5 Tips for Rock ‘n Customer Service

5 Tips for Rock ‘n Customer Service

Apprehensive, Sharon calls her customer, “Hello John, I got your email.” John quickly responds, “Yea, I am frustrated with the janitorial. Companies like yours over promise and under deliver.  In fact, your service is ridiculous!  I want out of the contract.” Sharon responds, “Wait a minute, John, we have come through for you many times… Continue Reading

PARAMEDIC & JANITOR: Merging the Careers Together

PARAMEDIC & JANITOR: Merging the Careers Together

May 18-24 is Emergency Medical Services Week, the time all first responders, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, fire fighters and emergency room workers are honored. This year’s theme is “EMS: Dedicated for Life”, and never has a truer statement been said. It’s 7 p.m. on a Sunday evening. During the past twelve and a half hours,… Continue Reading

4 Rules to a Janitorial Service Price

4 Rules to a Janitorial Service Price

If you are looking for janitorial service prices, there are four rules required to produce an accurate bid. If your bids are inaccurate, you will likely experience service problems in the future. To avoid post-purchase regret, here are the four rules to help you get it right: Rule 1: Know and provide bidders your actual… Continue Reading

World Health Day 2014

World Health Day 2014

Diseases are spread in a variety of ways; bloodborne, waterborne, airborne and vector-borne, and this year the World Health Organization has chosen April 7th as Vector-borne Prevention Day.  [click here to read more from World Health Organization] The most common vectors that pass disease are mosquitos and ticks, and while in many countries these vectors… Continue Reading

Scope & Purpose – K-12

Scope & Purpose – K-12

Varsity Facility Services, a national janitorial services who uses the highest green cleaning methods, and an award winning member of ISSA, is proud to present a 10-part series of informative and vital blog posts from the “ISSA Clean Standard K-12 Schools 1014-2013 | Measure the Effectiveness of Cleaning” Post #2 of 10: Scope and Purpose The Clean Standard: K-12… Continue Reading

Overview & Background – K-12

Overview & Background – K-12

Varsity Facility Services, a national janitorial services who uses the highest green cleaning methods, and an award winning member of ISSA, is proud to present a 10-part series of informative and vital blog posts from the “ISSA Clean Standard K-12 Schools 1014-2013 | Measure the Effectiveness of Cleaning” Post #1 of 10: Overview and Background… Continue Reading

Got a problem? Go to Gemba!

Got a problem? Go to Gemba!

“Hey, you got a problem!?” That’s what a guy once said to me in subway car in Chicago. It came off as more of a statement than a question. Realizing his suspension bridge to sanity was one cable short, I responded apprehensively with a dash of sarcasm. I leaned over and whispered, “Oh yea, you… Continue Reading

Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI)

Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI)

While healthcare specific, HAIs are valuable to note for all cleaning organizations as they illustrate the fundamental correlation between clean environments and reduced cross-contamination cases. The same principles apply in an office or public setting in which cleaning activities can reduce the spread of illness, thus reducing health-related personnel costs, including lower health insurance costs… Continue Reading

Energy Savings: Daytime Cleaning

Energy Savings: Daytime Cleaning

Even the timing of when cleaning is conducted can have profit generation impact. There are numerous methodologies that can be used to schedule cleaning activities, and a multitude of factors need to be considered when setting up the cleaning plan.  Daytime cleaning is one approach that has produced energy savings at some locations. In 1997,… Continue Reading

First step to saving $ in your Janitorial Services—5-S

First step to saving $ in your Janitorial Services—5-S

In Part 1 of my post, “How to Apply Lean Sigma to Janitorial Services,” we jumped into a plane, climbed up to twenty-thousand feet, opened the door and stuck our heads out. We let the wind slap our cheeks and our hair whip about as we took a high-level view of the differences between “Lean”… Continue Reading

Create A Vacuum Day – Feb. 4

Create A Vacuum Day – Feb. 4

In celebration of “Create A Vacuum Day” (Feb. 4), here is a brief history of the creation, and evolution, of the vacuum. HISTORY of VACUUMS (includes information from Wikipedia.org) 1860 – – First manual models, using bellows were developed. Daniel Hess of West Union, Iowa created the carpet sweeper. 1898 – – John S. Thurman of… Continue Reading

How to be a Consistent Leader

How to be a Consistent Leader

As a facility or property manager, do you ever hold annual quarterly meetings on a semi-annual basis?   The annual quarterly meeting on a semi-annual basis is a running joke amongst my team. I’m the first to laugh at it since I labeled it. The meeting name describes perfectly the inconsistency of this meeting, which was… Continue Reading

Facility Service Refresh Button

Facility Service Refresh Button

I like refresh buttons. Whether it’s a browser or an online document, the refresh button stands for something new, something updated. It stands for progress. As leaders in the facilities management industry, refresh buttons come in the form of quality janitorial services and handyman services. A janitorial service is a refresh to a facility. A… Continue Reading

Asset Preservation: Carpet & Hard Surface Floors

Asset Preservation: Carpet & Hard Surface Floors

Buildings are financial assets that impact companies’ balance sheets, making it worthwhile to preserve their value and reduce added maintenance or refurbishment costs.  Cleaning plays a significant role in extending asset life cycles and increasing return on investment.  Reduced cleaning to meet short-term operational budgets can actually result in a lower ROI as life cycles… Continue Reading

October Safety Focus

October Safety Focus

Chemicals play an important role at home and at work. They include corrosives, solvents, flammables, combustible materials and other chemical substances. They all can be potentially dangerous, but they needn’t be harmful when they are handled, stored and disposed of safely. You can protect yourself against chemical hazards. Possible solutions include: Read container labels, material… Continue Reading

Building Occupant Productivity-Presenteeism

Building Occupant Productivity-Presenteeism

Many organizations track the financial impact of absenteeism, the sum of hours absent from work for a health-related reason.  But few businesses properly track the impact of “presenteeism” on businesses’ bottom lines, another area impacted by cleanliness levels and their health implications. Presenteeism occurs when a worker feels compelled to come to work but is… Continue Reading

Introduction to Lean Thinking for Janitorial Services

Introduction to Lean Thinking for Janitorial Services

Designed and assembled in the manufacturing space, the Lean Sigma approach to business can leave a service provider (like commercial cleaning services) feeling like a foreign exchange student within their own country. If you are hoping for an “out-of-box”, WYSYWIG type implementation for janitorial services, please read the packaging-label warning, “TRANSLATION REQUIRED!” Having played the… Continue Reading

Value of Clean [Infographic]

Value of Clean [Infographic]

Varsity Facility Services, a member of ISSA, is committed to the Value of Clean. Our proven Lean Sigma facility management strategy ensures that all of our customers understand, appreciate and benefit from this value. Cleaning is an investment in human health, the environment, and an improved bottom line. Discover more about the Value of Clean… Continue Reading

Absenteeism (Part 2 of 2)

Absenteeism (Part 2 of 2)

Healthy Workplace Study Often, organizations that track absenteeism are missing the quantifiable connection between cleaning activity and spread of illness in their facility.  But in doing so, they underestimate the human resources savings of proper cleaning.  In 2010, Kimberly-Clark Professional* launched The Healthy Workplace Project*[1] (HWP) in North America and by the end of 2012,… Continue Reading

Lean Six Sigma Van

Lean Six Sigma Van

My First Lean Project: 5-S Project Work Vans — In this post I am going to share my first Lean Sigma project. My hope is that you will get a sense of how Lean can be applied in any facility service. In obtaining my Green Belt for a national janitorial company, I chose a 5-S project. If you… Continue Reading

Absenteeism (Part 1 of 2)

Absenteeism (Part 1 of 2)

ISSA has released a new analysis of data which strongly supports the position that cleaning is economically efficient and, thus, a relatively modest investment in improved cleaning produces substantial returns. CLICK HERE to download the new Value of Clean Paper and learn more about justifying your cleaning budgets in a completely new way with hard… Continue Reading

Ask the GREEN Expert

Ask the GREEN Expert

Q: It seems like every company wants to be seen as green or offer green products, but what does sustainability really have to do with vacuums and other cleaning equipment? A: Being green or sustainable is about how much waste is added to landfills, whether products are harmful to the natural environment, and how much… Continue Reading

Work Ticket Resolution

Work Ticket Resolution

ISSA has released a new analysis of data which strongly supports the position that cleaning is economically efficient and, thus, a relatively modest investment in improved cleaning produces substantial returns. CLICK HERE to download the new Value of Clean Paper and learn more about justifying your cleaning budgets in a completely new way with hard… Continue Reading

Abracadabra

Abracadabra

A year or two ago I was visiting a manufacturing customer. Varsity Facility Services handles hundreds of tons of recycling a day for this customer.  Between the main manufacturing space and the cardboard baling room was a metal door. I watched as tug after tug carrying recyclable materials passed. Each time they had to stop… Continue Reading

Reduce Plastic and Please Your Tenants

Reduce Plastic and Please Your Tenants

Have you ever tried refilling a water bottle from a drinking fountain? You may have seen someone doing that around office, or done it yourself. I am one of the impatient sorts, so for me, I would opt for a new bottle rather than taking the time to refill. However, there is another option—bottle filling… Continue Reading

A Look Into The Future

A Look Into The Future

Building vacancy rates affect everyone along the facility supply chain, from manufacturers of lighting to commercial janitorial services. Companies that provide maintenance and construction are also impacted. As such, I was interested in what BOMA CEO/President Henry Chamberlain had to say about the state of the industry. If you were hoping for exciting news of… Continue Reading

A Building is a Service

A Building is a Service

Do you think of the building you manage as a service? Today’s leaders in building management and professional facility services and national janitorial services do.  In fact, in the BOMA panel session with industry leaders, the leading thought was getting tenants to “love their building services”.  This is not new. As a professional marketer, I… Continue Reading

Customer Service in a Matrix

Customer Service in a Matrix

When you think about customer service, you probably don’t think of a matrix. However, author Derek Williams suggests that very thing—putting customer services for your building tenants in a matrix. In the general session of the 2013 Every Building Show, Londoner and author, Derek Williams, shared a matrix from Ron Zemky’s book,  “Tales of Knock Your… Continue Reading

Is There Waste in Your Facility Budget

Is There Waste in Your Facility Budget

I am not talking about waste that your janitorial services company failed to remove from your facility. I am talking about waste in terms of actions, purchases or activities performed in maintaining a facility that does not boost the building owner’s cap rate. In my previous post, I discussed eight ways facility or property managers… Continue Reading

OPENING KEYNOTE: Navy Seal Robert O’Neill

OPENING KEYNOTE: Navy Seal Robert O’Neill

I must admit that I had not read the introductory bio on Sunday’s keynote speaker Sunday morning. Based on past keynotes, I had anticipated a decent speech from a well-known speaker. However, what I had not anticipated was a keynote straight out of a Brad Thor or Tom Clancy novel! The speaker, Robert O’Neill, is… Continue Reading

Q: How does ergonomic equipment improve productivity?

Q: How does ergonomic equipment improve productivity?

Ask The Expert  (in the field of professional janitorial services) Q: How does ergonomic equipment improve productivity? A: Ergonomic design improves productivity in at least three ways. First, ergonomic equipment can replace more than one tool. A backpack vacuum does not only clean carpet, but hard floors, stairs, and upholstery in addition to high and… Continue Reading

How to Clean a Lasagna Pan

How to Clean a Lasagna Pan

Recently I received a question from a customer of a professional janitorial services company about cleaning in a high traffic environment.  They were having trouble maintaining the carpet and were looking for solutions on how to maintain a clean, consistent appearance in this type of environment.  One of their specific concerns was how to deal… Continue Reading

8 Ways to Boost NOI in your Facility

8 Ways to Boost NOI in your Facility

Years ago in graduate school, my commercial real-estate investment professor said, “the best metric for comparing the worth of commercial real estate is the cap rate.”  I cannot claim that was insightful to me at the time, but that single idea stayed with me. As I gained experience with designing Lean Sigma Janitorial Service processes… Continue Reading

The Value of Cleaning – INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

The Value of Cleaning – INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

ISSA has released a new analysis of data which strongly supports the position that cleaning is economically efficient and, thus, a relatively modest investment in improved cleaning produces substantial returns. CLICK HERE to download the new Value of Clean Paper and learn more about justifying your cleaning budgets in a completely new way with hard… Continue Reading

Ergonomics and Safety

Ergonomics and Safety

Many cleaning tools used by professional janitorial services carry labels boasting that they are “ergonomic”. Perhaps it is a mop with a hand-contoured grip or color-coded cleaning cloths. It could be a backpack vacuum that eliminates the strain of pushing a heavy upright. But ergonomics is more than tools that make us comfortable. It is… Continue Reading

Options for Strategic Sourcing Auctions

Options for Strategic Sourcing Auctions

Some people use Excel spreadsheets as databases. When they discover their data is flawed, redundant or inconsistent, they balk. While Excel can perform many database functions, it lacks the efficiency and power a true database can provide. So what does this have to do with strategic sourcing tools? Like some folks do with Excel, some… Continue Reading

Submeter Your Energy Maintenance!

Submeter Your Energy Maintenance!

Every facility should include energy management. Maintenance services that focus on energy management will recommend that you get granular with your energy data. This can be difficult when the best source for data (the utility bill) is often extremely general regarding your facility’s energy consumption. So what is the best way to get granular?  Survey says, “Submeter… Continue Reading

The Burden of Labor Burden

The Burden of Labor Burden

When you outsource a service, you are largely outsourcing labor costs. Yet, many labor costs rarely get a close look, but affect the price of the service. Take for example, labor burden (payroll taxes). I have priced or reviewed pricing on hundreds of opportunities. We always accept the published labor burden for a given state.… Continue Reading

Top 10 OSHA Violations

Top 10 OSHA Violations

Safety is not my forte, it is not really “my business”, but I have participated in enough executive committee meetings to know how important it is – and how it really should be “everyone’s business”. As I was pursing OSHA’s website, I came across The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupation and Safety and Health Administration’s… Continue Reading

Interim Carpet Maintenance

Interim Carpet Maintenance

In order to extend the time between scheduled extractions, interim maintenance helps improve carpet appearance and is best accomplished with encapsulation cleaning.  Encapsulation provides a way to get your carpet cleaner, faster, and with longer lasting results. A good program of interim maintenance can extend the time period between scheduled deep extractions by 6 to… Continue Reading

Deep Carpet Cleaning

Deep Carpet Cleaning

Varsity’s scheduled maintenance removes deeply embedded soils and restore the appearance of the carpet to as close to its original state as possible. This is achieved through deep, restorative cleaning via hot water extraction. Soil Suspension Pre-spray your carpet to allow the chemical time in contact with the bonded soils that are adhered to the… Continue Reading

It’s a New Day in Cleaning

It’s a New Day in Cleaning

Traditionally, building cleaning has been completed during the night time hours. The initiatives to reduce facility expenses and improve sustainability have brought day cleaning to light as a viable and beneficial solution for the property manager, building occupants/tenants and the building service contractor. Day cleaning offers both financial and nonfinancial advantages.Day Cleaning Key Benefits  For… Continue Reading

Preventative Carpet Maintenance

Preventative Carpet Maintenance

Preventative Maintenance Soil is everywhere. Stopping it from entering the building is the key to a successful carpet program, as industry studies estimate that as much as 94% of the soil in any given facility was tracked in from the outside. The more soil we stop from entering the building, the less we have to… Continue Reading

3 Steps to Energy Savings

3 Steps to Energy Savings

You can spend a massive amount of capital on an Energy Management System (EMS). The purchase of software and hardware is pricey. Like any system, you have to worry about adoption, and like any system you will be sold a cadre of bells and whistles that most likely won’t be used. But energy savings shouldn’t… Continue Reading

3 Tips to Improve RFP’s

3 Tips to Improve RFP’s

Some would argue the Request for Proposal (RFP) process for facility services is broken. In our hurried world of information overload, RFP’s are born quickly and unnaturally as Frankenstein-like documents, grafted together from dissimilar service RFPs. You learn this quickly when you see the stitches and scars left from old body parts having been grafted… Continue Reading

What’s Hot: Toilet Paper?

What’s Hot: Toilet Paper?

Alright, we are not talking about heated toilet paper for your tenants. (Hmm…there is an idea, though.) I included this because Vince Rountree (on the left) from Georgia-Pacific was doing demos for toilet paper and paper towel dispensers. He was dynamic and probably the only person in the world who could make toilet paper interesting.… Continue Reading

What’s Hot: T8 LED Replacements

What’s Hot: T8 LED Replacements

That’s right! You can now replace your T8, T10 and T12 fluorescent lamps with LED. The best part, you don’t have to change the ballast. The lamps come in 2-6 foot sizes. You can check out more about LED T8 replacements at www.LEDTRAIL.com. Continue Reading

KINDLE WINNER IN BOOTH

KINDLE WINNER IN BOOTH

A lucky Wednesday Kindle winner (center) in the Varsity Facility Services Booth receiving her prize from Varsity’s VP of Marketing Marc Collings (on left) after a rousing industry demo in the booth from Vince Rountree (on right) of Georgia-Pacific. Continue Reading

What’s Hot: NEED A LIFT TO THE TOP?

What’s Hot: NEED A LIFT TO THE TOP?

I can’t promise you this post will help you bypass the corporate ladder, but you will be able to lift your way to the top. One of the coolest things on the IFMA floor was, yes, vertical lifts from JLG.  My last experience using a lift was more than fifteen years ago in operations management.… Continue Reading

Varsity at IFMA’s World Workplace

Varsity at IFMA’s World Workplace

Varsity is pleased to be participating at IFMA’s World Workplace in San Antonio, Texas on Oct 31 and Nov 1. Check our website, our social media sites and check back here on our blog soon for a schedule of in-booth demos and presentations from industry leaders, as well as reports on “What’s Hot” at the show. There… Continue Reading

Follow ISSA INTERCLEAN 2012

Follow ISSA INTERCLEAN 2012

Greetings from the Windy City! This week it is also the Clean City. My blog posts over the next several days, from October 17-20th, will feature the ISSA INTERCLEAN Convention. http://www.issa.com/show http://www.livestream.com/issashow For FM and property managers, follow the next several posts to gather second-hand knowledge of what your cleaning contractor should bring to the table… Continue Reading

What’s Hot: Decorative Bug Zappers

What’s Hot: Decorative Bug Zappers

Pest management, especially for the flying sort, is important to all building occupants. The closer the building function is to food services, the more important it is to the business occupying the building and to the customers. Did you know flies can travel a mile a day, depositing bacteria every time they land in places… Continue Reading

What’s Hot: 3M’s Scotchgard for hard floors

What’s Hot: 3M’s Scotchgard for hard floors

How would you like to remove stripping and waxing or sealing on concrete, marble or terrazzo floors? Think about the labor savings!  Scotchgard it! That’s right, I said Scotchgard. I know, you typically only think of Scotchgard for protecting carpets. Well, one of the most interesting products I found so far is the 3M new Scotchgard product… Continue Reading

What’s Hot: Chariot of Fire, now Chariot of Clean

What’s Hot: Chariot of Fire, now Chariot of Clean

I am a big fan of Chariot style vacuums, scrubbers and carpet machines. Our operations use them nationally. We spec’d them as a standard for our janitorial operating system because they gave us the best SHAPE benefit. They are safe because of the upright visibility and controlled speeds. They are healthy because they are effective… Continue Reading

What’s Hot: Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto

What’s Hot: Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto

That’s right, full robotic cleaning. Robo cleaning has been around for over 5 years, but I thought I would feature it because it is always cool. Up to 70% of facility manager’s janitorial costs is in labor and burden. So any gains in cost savings has to come from labor to move the cost reduction… Continue Reading

What’s Hot: Ghostbuster gum remover

What’s Hot: Ghostbuster gum remover

“Who ya’ gonna call?” Turns out, in 2012 it is the Gumbusters. This is one of the unique products displayed at ISSA this year. Gum is the bane of all building manager’s existence. Cleaning contractors experience no less annoyance. Traditionally, we remove gum from cement using power washers and solvents and from carpet by freezing or… Continue Reading

Diary of the Live Interviews

Diary of the Live Interviews

I was one of three industry leaders invited to three videotaped interviews. My contacts within ISSA and my championing and directing of Varsity’s CIMS and CIMS-GB certification got their attention. I’ll spotlight CIMS in another post. In a nutshell, CIMS (Cleaning Industry Management Standard) is an ISSA standards certification program as a quality company and… Continue Reading

ISSA INTERCLEAN Breakdown

ISSA INTERCLEAN Breakdown

So what is ISSA? It’s short for International Sanitary and Supply Association. ISSA is composed of manufacturers, distributors and building services contractors. Here’s what you will find at the show: 200 chemical companies 60 floor machine companies 50 technology companies 40 mop and duster vendors 30 waste receptacle providers But that’s not all. Commonly thought… Continue Reading

Spot Removal

Spot Removal

8 Rules for Best Results Spot Removal | 8 Rules for Best Results Spot removal can be one of the most confusing and frustrating aspects of carpet care. Improperly treated or ignored spots can destroy expensive carpet. The following eight rules can also help simplify the challenge. 1.  The faster you get to a spot… Continue Reading

The Data Speaks for Itself

The Data Speaks for Itself

Varsity’s technology solutions show customers, statistically, what we’ve accomplished for them.Learn more about our technology solutionsVarsity’s technology solutions show customers, statistically, what we have accomplished for them.  With operational budgets stretched to the max, it is becoming increasingly important to make data-driven decisions.  Varsity’s Vektr quality control technology enables our customers to conduct quality audits… Continue Reading

Strategic Sourcing

Strategic Sourcing

When walking in the woods, it is hard to “see the forest for the trees.” Fly above the forest and you get a much broader perspective. The same kind of “buying” myopia can occur with any Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Up close, your RFP process is beautifully designed to help your company lower cost… Continue Reading

2 Customer Service Principles

2 Customer Service Principles

2 Principles for both Property and Facility Managers From janitorial services, to environmental control, to tenant-lease renewals, facility and property managers are responsible for a host of customer expectations. So how can you have the greatest influence over a building, its owners and its occupants? Try exceeding their expectations. There are two principles both property and… Continue Reading

Behind the Scenes: EVS Unsung Heroes

Behind the Scenes: EVS Unsung Heroes

National EVS Week – September 11-17, 2016 The Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) of the American Hospital Association (AHA) is celebrating National Environmental Services (EVS) and Housekeeping Week this week. What is Environmental Services (EVS) in healthcare? Environmental services workers play a critical role in hospital safety. These workers clean the facilities to hospital standards.… Continue Reading

9-11, The Impact on Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

9-11, The Impact on Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

9/11 – The Eternal Impact on Lives It was a clear, cool 64° in Dallas the morning of 9/11, an unusually low temperature for September in the deep South. Firefighters at fire houses and private EMS paramedics were washing and restocking their trucks, hoping for a slow day with few calls and emergency rooms across… Continue Reading

You Talkin’ to Me?

You Talkin’ to Me?

In our houses, cars, and now many developed urban landscapes, we are increasingly surrounded by tiny, intelligent devices that capture data about our lives and what we do. They are now beginning to talk to one another, and before too long, we will be able to set them up to respond to our needs, solve… Continue Reading

What’s Next in Online B2B Purchasing

What’s Next in Online B2B Purchasing

There is no denying the popularity and convenience of buying online. Retail consumers enjoy the time and money savings; however, an interesting new development is that businesses are starting to accept this modern method of purchasing as well. According to the article “B2B Ecommerce Growing; Becoming More Like B2C,” posted on Practical Ecommerce, the trend… Continue Reading

New technologies in the war on germs

New technologies in the war on germs

Whether you’re a new mom, a human resource manager, or a hospital infection preventionist, illness caused by contagious pathogens is something that is universally dreaded. Scarier still, are the new strains of pathogens and antibiotic resistant bugs that seem to pop up over night. The good news is there are more tools at our disposal… Continue Reading

It’s a Revolution!

It’s a Revolution!

Over the coming weeks and months, Varsity Facility Services will be publishing articles from our industry experts that we find informative and helpful. We begin with the article below from the President of ISSA: Reprinted with permission from ISSA Today (June 2016) (www.issa.com/magazine) Nanotechnology. Gamification. Engineered Water. The Internet of Things…. If you are anything like me,… Continue Reading

World FM Day 2016 – Empowering People for a Productive World

World FM Day 2016 – Empowering People for a Productive World

Initiated in 2008, World FM day aims at raising the profile of the facilities management profession on a global scale. The event has succeeded in mobilizing hundreds of individuals, companies, associations and partners to celebrate their successes and show the world the important contribution facilities management brings to the built environment. This year the FM community… Continue Reading

Cleaning & Hygiene: The Foundation of Infection Control

Cleaning & Hygiene: The Foundation of Infection Control

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned earlier this year that the country was in for a severe flu season, and its prediction looks to be panning out. According to the CDC, 6.8 percent of all U.S. deaths during the week of December 14-20, 2014, could be attributed to pneumonia and influenza,… Continue Reading

3 Tips to Make Green Efficient

3 Tips to Make Green Efficient

The pursuit of sustainability, from energy to green cleaning janitorial services, is now the norm. If that is news to you, check your driver’s license to verify your name isn’t Rip Van Winkle. Today you can find anyone from building owners, to facility managers, to children, discussing aspects of sustainability. With such green saturation into everyday… Continue Reading

E. Coli – A Good Bacteria With a Bad Rap

E. Coli – A Good Bacteria With a Bad Rap

-Dannette Heeth, CEH, IP, NR-Paramedic I took a cruise to the Bahamas in 2000, and just returned from a quick jaunt on a cruise to Cozumel in January 2016. As an Infection Preventionist, I noticed the difference in the on-board infection control immediately. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer at the front of every buffet, food served indoors… Continue Reading

MRSA in Educational Facilities – An Emerging Issue

MRSA in Educational Facilities – An Emerging Issue

-Dannette Heeth, CEH, IP, NR-Paramedic When I worked in healthcare back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, we dreaded what we called “The Big S”…Staphylococcus Aureus. It was impossible to treat once the bacteria mutated and became resistant to penicillin, but then a miracle drug was introduced that cured the disease…Methicillin, a Penicillin derivative. … Continue Reading

Image Enhancement – Customer Satisfaction

Image Enhancement – Customer Satisfaction

According to multiple studies, customers value cleanliness more than many other factors when deciding to do business with an establishment. The image that a clean facility creates is a lasting one. Many managers perceive cleaning as an operational cost, but a dirty facility with a poor image will cost businesses direct revenue. Dirty buildings can… Continue Reading

6 Listening Sins

6 Listening Sins

The 6 Deafly Sins: Are you listening to customers, or sinning? As a task-oriented person I am often guilty of what is called Pseudo Listening. That’s when you pretend to be listening. Someone will come into my office, and I will continue typing while the person speaks. I have to catch myself and stop my propensity… Continue Reading

Why I Love My Customers…

Why I Love My Customers…

Dannette Heeth, CEH, IP, NR-Paramedic, Regional Business Development Even when it’s not Valentine’s Day, I love my customers and potential customers! Over the years, my clients have taught me better and given me a more thorough education than any university. Here are three invaluable lessons I’ve learned from three different customers. 3 Valuable Lessons They Have… Continue Reading

MEASLES…An Old Disease Rearing Its Ugly Head Again

MEASLES…An Old Disease Rearing Its Ugly Head Again

Dannette Heeth, CEH, IP, NR-Paramedic Regional Business Development Some events in life, and the people associated with those events, are always remembered; such as my childhood friend, Karl. One morning when I was three years old, Karl’s mother knocked at our door with him in tow. She raised his shirt up for my mother to… Continue Reading

When The Flu Comes Calling

When The Flu Comes Calling

Flu trends this year, and what we can do about them -Dannette Heeth, CEH, IP, NR-Paramedic Southwest Regional Business Development Recently I had an appointment at my local nail salon. The technician doing my nails began sneezing, and rather than covering her mouth or sneezing into the crook of her arm, she sneezed on me….several… Continue Reading

Real S.M.A.R.T.S. for Your Facility Services

Real S.M.A.R.T.S. for Your Facility Services

An effective structure for writing realistic, achievable and worthwhile goals. Property managers need to be thinking now what they will accomplish in the New Year. So you want to improve tenant scorecard ratings? Looking to improve Net Operating Profits (NOI) for building occupants? Do you want to form a tenant council to improve coordination of… Continue Reading

Millennials: What are they and why should you care?

Millennials: What are they and why should you care?

What are they and how do they think and value? On November 5, I was given the opportunity to moderate a panel discussion for a session put on by the Young Executives Society at the ISSA International Conference. Our topic was on the massive influx of Millennials that will hit the workforce in the next… Continue Reading

Ebola and other viruses

Ebola and other viruses

The Ebola Scare: That shouldn’t be all we are worried about Dannette Young Heeth, CEH, IP, NR-Paramedic | Varsity Facility Services/Southwest Division | Regional Business Development TIME TO TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY  FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASES I live in two worlds; janitorial maintenance with emphasis on infection control and as a trauma medic on the weekends in a very… Continue Reading

Leader or Manager. What are you?

Leader or Manager. What are you?

Disclaimer: No Dutch or persons from Holland were injured in making this post Imagine yourself as a famous track star.  You’re about to run an important race. Just before the race starts, you go to your locker, pull out a pair of wooden clogs, and head to the field.  Yea, you know it. They’re beautiful.… Continue Reading

Protocol: Plan | Audit

Protocol: Plan | Audit

Post #4 of 10 Protocol for Measuring and Monitoring Cleaning Effectiveness: Written Plan | Building Audit This section sets forth a protocol for measuring and monitoring cleaning performance in K-12 school facilities. A standardized protocol of this nature is critical in assessing the effectiveness of a school’s cleaning program, geared toward providing a clean healthy… Continue Reading

4 Customer Rights…

4 Customer Rights…

Building owners and occupants have customer rights. Are you fulfilling them? Many years ago I was working on the strategic position for a large company with a significant janitorial services division. The strategic theme we developed was piece of mind and repeatable success. The idea for peace of mind and repeatable success came from four… Continue Reading

D-Day June 6 1944 – 70 years later

D-Day June 6 1944 – 70 years later

“The Eyes of the World Are Upon You.” Remembering those who gave the full measure of devotion 70 years ago   The Normandy American Cemetery, overlooking Omaha Beach and the English Channel, was established on June 8, 1944, as the first U.S. cemetery in Europe during World War II. It holds the graves of more… Continue Reading

Defining Current Cleaning Procedures – K-12

Defining Current Cleaning Procedures – K-12

Varsity Facility Services, a national janitorial services who uses the highest green cleaning methods, and an award winning member of ISSA, is proud to present a 10-part series of informative and vital blog posts from the “ISSA Clean Standard K-12 Schools 1014-2013 | Measure the Effectiveness of Cleaning” Post #3 of 10: Defining Current Cleaning Procedures The implementation of… Continue Reading

6 Notes on Customer Service

6 Notes on Customer Service

Your entire job depends on your customer. That’s a pretty strong statement. Yet the statement is just as true for facility and property managers as it is for any other service industry worker. Property and facility management is a service. From coordination of space planning to energy management, to cleaning, companies that manage properties must… Continue Reading

5 Tips for Rock ‘n Customer Service

5 Tips for Rock ‘n Customer Service

Apprehensive, Sharon calls her customer, “Hello John, I got your email.” John quickly responds, “Yea, I am frustrated with the janitorial. Companies like yours over promise and under deliver.  In fact, your service is ridiculous!  I want out of the contract.” Sharon responds, “Wait a minute, John, we have come through for you many times… Continue Reading

PARAMEDIC & JANITOR: Merging the Careers Together

PARAMEDIC & JANITOR: Merging the Careers Together

May 18-24 is Emergency Medical Services Week, the time all first responders, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, fire fighters and emergency room workers are honored. This year’s theme is “EMS: Dedicated for Life”, and never has a truer statement been said. It’s 7 p.m. on a Sunday evening. During the past twelve and a half hours,… Continue Reading

4 Rules to a Janitorial Service Price

4 Rules to a Janitorial Service Price

If you are looking for janitorial service prices, there are four rules required to produce an accurate bid. If your bids are inaccurate, you will likely experience service problems in the future. To avoid post-purchase regret, here are the four rules to help you get it right: Rule 1: Know and provide bidders your actual… Continue Reading

World Health Day 2014

World Health Day 2014

Diseases are spread in a variety of ways; bloodborne, waterborne, airborne and vector-borne, and this year the World Health Organization has chosen April 7th as Vector-borne Prevention Day.  [click here to read more from World Health Organization] The most common vectors that pass disease are mosquitos and ticks, and while in many countries these vectors… Continue Reading

Scope & Purpose – K-12

Scope & Purpose – K-12

Varsity Facility Services, a national janitorial services who uses the highest green cleaning methods, and an award winning member of ISSA, is proud to present a 10-part series of informative and vital blog posts from the “ISSA Clean Standard K-12 Schools 1014-2013 | Measure the Effectiveness of Cleaning” Post #2 of 10: Scope and Purpose The Clean Standard: K-12… Continue Reading

Overview & Background – K-12

Overview & Background – K-12

Varsity Facility Services, a national janitorial services who uses the highest green cleaning methods, and an award winning member of ISSA, is proud to present a 10-part series of informative and vital blog posts from the “ISSA Clean Standard K-12 Schools 1014-2013 | Measure the Effectiveness of Cleaning” Post #1 of 10: Overview and Background… Continue Reading

Got a problem? Go to Gemba!

Got a problem? Go to Gemba!

“Hey, you got a problem!?” That’s what a guy once said to me in subway car in Chicago. It came off as more of a statement than a question. Realizing his suspension bridge to sanity was one cable short, I responded apprehensively with a dash of sarcasm. I leaned over and whispered, “Oh yea, you… Continue Reading

Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI)

Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI)

While healthcare specific, HAIs are valuable to note for all cleaning organizations as they illustrate the fundamental correlation between clean environments and reduced cross-contamination cases. The same principles apply in an office or public setting in which cleaning activities can reduce the spread of illness, thus reducing health-related personnel costs, including lower health insurance costs… Continue Reading

Energy Savings: Daytime Cleaning

Energy Savings: Daytime Cleaning

Even the timing of when cleaning is conducted can have profit generation impact. There are numerous methodologies that can be used to schedule cleaning activities, and a multitude of factors need to be considered when setting up the cleaning plan.  Daytime cleaning is one approach that has produced energy savings at some locations. In 1997,… Continue Reading

First step to saving $ in your Janitorial Services—5-S

First step to saving $ in your Janitorial Services—5-S

In Part 1 of my post, “How to Apply Lean Sigma to Janitorial Services,” we jumped into a plane, climbed up to twenty-thousand feet, opened the door and stuck our heads out. We let the wind slap our cheeks and our hair whip about as we took a high-level view of the differences between “Lean”… Continue Reading

Create A Vacuum Day – Feb. 4

Create A Vacuum Day – Feb. 4

In celebration of “Create A Vacuum Day” (Feb. 4), here is a brief history of the creation, and evolution, of the vacuum. HISTORY of VACUUMS (includes information from Wikipedia.org) 1860 – – First manual models, using bellows were developed. Daniel Hess of West Union, Iowa created the carpet sweeper. 1898 – – John S. Thurman of… Continue Reading

How to be a Consistent Leader

How to be a Consistent Leader

As a facility or property manager, do you ever hold annual quarterly meetings on a semi-annual basis?   The annual quarterly meeting on a semi-annual basis is a running joke amongst my team. I’m the first to laugh at it since I labeled it. The meeting name describes perfectly the inconsistency of this meeting, which was… Continue Reading

Facility Service Refresh Button

Facility Service Refresh Button

I like refresh buttons. Whether it’s a browser or an online document, the refresh button stands for something new, something updated. It stands for progress. As leaders in the facilities management industry, refresh buttons come in the form of quality janitorial services and handyman services. A janitorial service is a refresh to a facility. A… Continue Reading

Asset Preservation: Carpet & Hard Surface Floors

Asset Preservation: Carpet & Hard Surface Floors

Buildings are financial assets that impact companies’ balance sheets, making it worthwhile to preserve their value and reduce added maintenance or refurbishment costs.  Cleaning plays a significant role in extending asset life cycles and increasing return on investment.  Reduced cleaning to meet short-term operational budgets can actually result in a lower ROI as life cycles… Continue Reading

October Safety Focus

October Safety Focus

Chemicals play an important role at home and at work. They include corrosives, solvents, flammables, combustible materials and other chemical substances. They all can be potentially dangerous, but they needn’t be harmful when they are handled, stored and disposed of safely. You can protect yourself against chemical hazards. Possible solutions include: Read container labels, material… Continue Reading

Building Occupant Productivity-Presenteeism

Building Occupant Productivity-Presenteeism

Many organizations track the financial impact of absenteeism, the sum of hours absent from work for a health-related reason.  But few businesses properly track the impact of “presenteeism” on businesses’ bottom lines, another area impacted by cleanliness levels and their health implications. Presenteeism occurs when a worker feels compelled to come to work but is… Continue Reading

Introduction to Lean Thinking for Janitorial Services

Introduction to Lean Thinking for Janitorial Services

Designed and assembled in the manufacturing space, the Lean Sigma approach to business can leave a service provider (like commercial cleaning services) feeling like a foreign exchange student within their own country. If you are hoping for an “out-of-box”, WYSYWIG type implementation for janitorial services, please read the packaging-label warning, “TRANSLATION REQUIRED!” Having played the… Continue Reading

Value of Clean [Infographic]

Value of Clean [Infographic]

Varsity Facility Services, a member of ISSA, is committed to the Value of Clean. Our proven Lean Sigma facility management strategy ensures that all of our customers understand, appreciate and benefit from this value. Cleaning is an investment in human health, the environment, and an improved bottom line. Discover more about the Value of Clean… Continue Reading

Absenteeism (Part 2 of 2)

Absenteeism (Part 2 of 2)

Healthy Workplace Study Often, organizations that track absenteeism are missing the quantifiable connection between cleaning activity and spread of illness in their facility.  But in doing so, they underestimate the human resources savings of proper cleaning.  In 2010, Kimberly-Clark Professional* launched The Healthy Workplace Project*[1] (HWP) in North America and by the end of 2012,… Continue Reading

Lean Six Sigma Van

Lean Six Sigma Van

My First Lean Project: 5-S Project Work Vans — In this post I am going to share my first Lean Sigma project. My hope is that you will get a sense of how Lean can be applied in any facility service. In obtaining my Green Belt for a national janitorial company, I chose a 5-S project. If you… Continue Reading

Absenteeism (Part 1 of 2)

Absenteeism (Part 1 of 2)

ISSA has released a new analysis of data which strongly supports the position that cleaning is economically efficient and, thus, a relatively modest investment in improved cleaning produces substantial returns. CLICK HERE to download the new Value of Clean Paper and learn more about justifying your cleaning budgets in a completely new way with hard… Continue Reading

Ask the GREEN Expert

Ask the GREEN Expert

Q: It seems like every company wants to be seen as green or offer green products, but what does sustainability really have to do with vacuums and other cleaning equipment? A: Being green or sustainable is about how much waste is added to landfills, whether products are harmful to the natural environment, and how much… Continue Reading

Work Ticket Resolution

Work Ticket Resolution

ISSA has released a new analysis of data which strongly supports the position that cleaning is economically efficient and, thus, a relatively modest investment in improved cleaning produces substantial returns. CLICK HERE to download the new Value of Clean Paper and learn more about justifying your cleaning budgets in a completely new way with hard… Continue Reading

Abracadabra

Abracadabra

A year or two ago I was visiting a manufacturing customer. Varsity Facility Services handles hundreds of tons of recycling a day for this customer.  Between the main manufacturing space and the cardboard baling room was a metal door. I watched as tug after tug carrying recyclable materials passed. Each time they had to stop… Continue Reading

Reduce Plastic and Please Your Tenants

Reduce Plastic and Please Your Tenants

Have you ever tried refilling a water bottle from a drinking fountain? You may have seen someone doing that around office, or done it yourself. I am one of the impatient sorts, so for me, I would opt for a new bottle rather than taking the time to refill. However, there is another option—bottle filling… Continue Reading

A Look Into The Future

A Look Into The Future

Building vacancy rates affect everyone along the facility supply chain, from manufacturers of lighting to commercial janitorial services. Companies that provide maintenance and construction are also impacted. As such, I was interested in what BOMA CEO/President Henry Chamberlain had to say about the state of the industry. If you were hoping for exciting news of… Continue Reading

A Building is a Service

A Building is a Service

Do you think of the building you manage as a service? Today’s leaders in building management and professional facility services and national janitorial services do.  In fact, in the BOMA panel session with industry leaders, the leading thought was getting tenants to “love their building services”.  This is not new. As a professional marketer, I… Continue Reading

Customer Service in a Matrix

Customer Service in a Matrix

When you think about customer service, you probably don’t think of a matrix. However, author Derek Williams suggests that very thing—putting customer services for your building tenants in a matrix. In the general session of the 2013 Every Building Show, Londoner and author, Derek Williams, shared a matrix from Ron Zemky’s book,  “Tales of Knock Your… Continue Reading

Is There Waste in Your Facility Budget

Is There Waste in Your Facility Budget

I am not talking about waste that your janitorial services company failed to remove from your facility. I am talking about waste in terms of actions, purchases or activities performed in maintaining a facility that does not boost the building owner’s cap rate. In my previous post, I discussed eight ways facility or property managers… Continue Reading

OPENING KEYNOTE: Navy Seal Robert O’Neill

OPENING KEYNOTE: Navy Seal Robert O’Neill

I must admit that I had not read the introductory bio on Sunday’s keynote speaker Sunday morning. Based on past keynotes, I had anticipated a decent speech from a well-known speaker. However, what I had not anticipated was a keynote straight out of a Brad Thor or Tom Clancy novel! The speaker, Robert O’Neill, is… Continue Reading

Q: How does ergonomic equipment improve productivity?

Q: How does ergonomic equipment improve productivity?

Ask The Expert  (in the field of professional janitorial services) Q: How does ergonomic equipment improve productivity? A: Ergonomic design improves productivity in at least three ways. First, ergonomic equipment can replace more than one tool. A backpack vacuum does not only clean carpet, but hard floors, stairs, and upholstery in addition to high and… Continue Reading

How to Clean a Lasagna Pan

How to Clean a Lasagna Pan

Recently I received a question from a customer of a professional janitorial services company about cleaning in a high traffic environment.  They were having trouble maintaining the carpet and were looking for solutions on how to maintain a clean, consistent appearance in this type of environment.  One of their specific concerns was how to deal… Continue Reading

8 Ways to Boost NOI in your Facility

8 Ways to Boost NOI in your Facility

Years ago in graduate school, my commercial real-estate investment professor said, “the best metric for comparing the worth of commercial real estate is the cap rate.”  I cannot claim that was insightful to me at the time, but that single idea stayed with me. As I gained experience with designing Lean Sigma Janitorial Service processes… Continue Reading

The Value of Cleaning – INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

The Value of Cleaning – INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

ISSA has released a new analysis of data which strongly supports the position that cleaning is economically efficient and, thus, a relatively modest investment in improved cleaning produces substantial returns. CLICK HERE to download the new Value of Clean Paper and learn more about justifying your cleaning budgets in a completely new way with hard… Continue Reading

Ergonomics and Safety

Ergonomics and Safety

Many cleaning tools used by professional janitorial services carry labels boasting that they are “ergonomic”. Perhaps it is a mop with a hand-contoured grip or color-coded cleaning cloths. It could be a backpack vacuum that eliminates the strain of pushing a heavy upright. But ergonomics is more than tools that make us comfortable. It is… Continue Reading

Options for Strategic Sourcing Auctions

Options for Strategic Sourcing Auctions

Some people use Excel spreadsheets as databases. When they discover their data is flawed, redundant or inconsistent, they balk. While Excel can perform many database functions, it lacks the efficiency and power a true database can provide. So what does this have to do with strategic sourcing tools? Like some folks do with Excel, some… Continue Reading

Submeter Your Energy Maintenance!

Submeter Your Energy Maintenance!

Every facility should include energy management. Maintenance services that focus on energy management will recommend that you get granular with your energy data. This can be difficult when the best source for data (the utility bill) is often extremely general regarding your facility’s energy consumption. So what is the best way to get granular?  Survey says, “Submeter… Continue Reading

The Burden of Labor Burden

The Burden of Labor Burden

When you outsource a service, you are largely outsourcing labor costs. Yet, many labor costs rarely get a close look, but affect the price of the service. Take for example, labor burden (payroll taxes). I have priced or reviewed pricing on hundreds of opportunities. We always accept the published labor burden for a given state.… Continue Reading

Top 10 OSHA Violations

Top 10 OSHA Violations

Safety is not my forte, it is not really “my business”, but I have participated in enough executive committee meetings to know how important it is – and how it really should be “everyone’s business”. As I was pursing OSHA’s website, I came across The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupation and Safety and Health Administration’s… Continue Reading

Interim Carpet Maintenance

Interim Carpet Maintenance

In order to extend the time between scheduled extractions, interim maintenance helps improve carpet appearance and is best accomplished with encapsulation cleaning.  Encapsulation provides a way to get your carpet cleaner, faster, and with longer lasting results. A good program of interim maintenance can extend the time period between scheduled deep extractions by 6 to… Continue Reading

Deep Carpet Cleaning

Deep Carpet Cleaning

Varsity’s scheduled maintenance removes deeply embedded soils and restore the appearance of the carpet to as close to its original state as possible. This is achieved through deep, restorative cleaning via hot water extraction. Soil Suspension Pre-spray your carpet to allow the chemical time in contact with the bonded soils that are adhered to the… Continue Reading

It’s a New Day in Cleaning

It’s a New Day in Cleaning

Traditionally, building cleaning has been completed during the night time hours. The initiatives to reduce facility expenses and improve sustainability have brought day cleaning to light as a viable and beneficial solution for the property manager, building occupants/tenants and the building service contractor. Day cleaning offers both financial and nonfinancial advantages.Day Cleaning Key Benefits  For… Continue Reading

Preventative Carpet Maintenance

Preventative Carpet Maintenance

Preventative Maintenance Soil is everywhere. Stopping it from entering the building is the key to a successful carpet program, as industry studies estimate that as much as 94% of the soil in any given facility was tracked in from the outside. The more soil we stop from entering the building, the less we have to… Continue Reading

3 Steps to Energy Savings

3 Steps to Energy Savings

You can spend a massive amount of capital on an Energy Management System (EMS). The purchase of software and hardware is pricey. Like any system, you have to worry about adoption, and like any system you will be sold a cadre of bells and whistles that most likely won’t be used. But energy savings shouldn’t… Continue Reading

3 Tips to Improve RFP’s

3 Tips to Improve RFP’s

Some would argue the Request for Proposal (RFP) process for facility services is broken. In our hurried world of information overload, RFP’s are born quickly and unnaturally as Frankenstein-like documents, grafted together from dissimilar service RFPs. You learn this quickly when you see the stitches and scars left from old body parts having been grafted… Continue Reading

What’s Hot: Toilet Paper?

What’s Hot: Toilet Paper?

Alright, we are not talking about heated toilet paper for your tenants. (Hmm…there is an idea, though.) I included this because Vince Rountree (on the left) from Georgia-Pacific was doing demos for toilet paper and paper towel dispensers. He was dynamic and probably the only person in the world who could make toilet paper interesting.… Continue Reading

What’s Hot: T8 LED Replacements

What’s Hot: T8 LED Replacements

That’s right! You can now replace your T8, T10 and T12 fluorescent lamps with LED. The best part, you don’t have to change the ballast. The lamps come in 2-6 foot sizes. You can check out more about LED T8 replacements at www.LEDTRAIL.com. Continue Reading

KINDLE WINNER IN BOOTH

KINDLE WINNER IN BOOTH

A lucky Wednesday Kindle winner (center) in the Varsity Facility Services Booth receiving her prize from Varsity’s VP of Marketing Marc Collings (on left) after a rousing industry demo in the booth from Vince Rountree (on right) of Georgia-Pacific. Continue Reading

What’s Hot: NEED A LIFT TO THE TOP?

What’s Hot: NEED A LIFT TO THE TOP?

I can’t promise you this post will help you bypass the corporate ladder, but you will be able to lift your way to the top. One of the coolest things on the IFMA floor was, yes, vertical lifts from JLG.  My last experience using a lift was more than fifteen years ago in operations management.… Continue Reading

Varsity at IFMA’s World Workplace

Varsity at IFMA’s World Workplace

Varsity is pleased to be participating at IFMA’s World Workplace in San Antonio, Texas on Oct 31 and Nov 1. Check our website, our social media sites and check back here on our blog soon for a schedule of in-booth demos and presentations from industry leaders, as well as reports on “What’s Hot” at the show. There… Continue Reading

Follow ISSA INTERCLEAN 2012

Follow ISSA INTERCLEAN 2012

Greetings from the Windy City! This week it is also the Clean City. My blog posts over the next several days, from October 17-20th, will feature the ISSA INTERCLEAN Convention. http://www.issa.com/show http://www.livestream.com/issashow For FM and property managers, follow the next several posts to gather second-hand knowledge of what your cleaning contractor should bring to the table… Continue Reading

What’s Hot: Decorative Bug Zappers

What’s Hot: Decorative Bug Zappers

Pest management, especially for the flying sort, is important to all building occupants. The closer the building function is to food services, the more important it is to the business occupying the building and to the customers. Did you know flies can travel a mile a day, depositing bacteria every time they land in places… Continue Reading

What’s Hot: 3M’s Scotchgard for hard floors

What’s Hot: 3M’s Scotchgard for hard floors

How would you like to remove stripping and waxing or sealing on concrete, marble or terrazzo floors? Think about the labor savings!  Scotchgard it! That’s right, I said Scotchgard. I know, you typically only think of Scotchgard for protecting carpets. Well, one of the most interesting products I found so far is the 3M new Scotchgard product… Continue Reading

What’s Hot: Chariot of Fire, now Chariot of Clean

What’s Hot: Chariot of Fire, now Chariot of Clean

I am a big fan of Chariot style vacuums, scrubbers and carpet machines. Our operations use them nationally. We spec’d them as a standard for our janitorial operating system because they gave us the best SHAPE benefit. They are safe because of the upright visibility and controlled speeds. They are healthy because they are effective… Continue Reading

What’s Hot: Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto

What’s Hot: Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto

That’s right, full robotic cleaning. Robo cleaning has been around for over 5 years, but I thought I would feature it because it is always cool. Up to 70% of facility manager’s janitorial costs is in labor and burden. So any gains in cost savings has to come from labor to move the cost reduction… Continue Reading

What’s Hot: Ghostbuster gum remover

What’s Hot: Ghostbuster gum remover

“Who ya’ gonna call?” Turns out, in 2012 it is the Gumbusters. This is one of the unique products displayed at ISSA this year. Gum is the bane of all building manager’s existence. Cleaning contractors experience no less annoyance. Traditionally, we remove gum from cement using power washers and solvents and from carpet by freezing or… Continue Reading

Diary of the Live Interviews

Diary of the Live Interviews

I was one of three industry leaders invited to three videotaped interviews. My contacts within ISSA and my championing and directing of Varsity’s CIMS and CIMS-GB certification got their attention. I’ll spotlight CIMS in another post. In a nutshell, CIMS (Cleaning Industry Management Standard) is an ISSA standards certification program as a quality company and… Continue Reading

ISSA INTERCLEAN Breakdown

ISSA INTERCLEAN Breakdown

So what is ISSA? It’s short for International Sanitary and Supply Association. ISSA is composed of manufacturers, distributors and building services contractors. Here’s what you will find at the show: 200 chemical companies 60 floor machine companies 50 technology companies 40 mop and duster vendors 30 waste receptacle providers But that’s not all. Commonly thought… Continue Reading

Spot Removal

Spot Removal

8 Rules for Best Results Spot Removal | 8 Rules for Best Results Spot removal can be one of the most confusing and frustrating aspects of carpet care. Improperly treated or ignored spots can destroy expensive carpet. The following eight rules can also help simplify the challenge. 1.  The faster you get to a spot… Continue Reading

The Data Speaks for Itself

The Data Speaks for Itself

Varsity’s technology solutions show customers, statistically, what we’ve accomplished for them.Learn more about our technology solutionsVarsity’s technology solutions show customers, statistically, what we have accomplished for them.  With operational budgets stretched to the max, it is becoming increasingly important to make data-driven decisions.  Varsity’s Vektr quality control technology enables our customers to conduct quality audits… Continue Reading

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