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By Harrell Kerkhoff,
Maintenance Sales News Magazine Editor

Cleaning is big business today — whether it’s taking care of an office complex, school system, convention center, airport, sports arena or a myriad of other facilities. The complexities of cleaning have also increased, as have the expense of labor, equipment and supplies. There is help, however.

Jimy Baynum

The use of data is giving jan/san distributors, building maintenance supervisors and hands-on cleaning professionals better tools to make facility cleaning more efficient and effective.

Speaking on this topic during an educational session at the 2017 ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America trade show, in Las Vegas, NV, was Jimy Baynum, acting vice president e-commerce, Essity Professional Hygiene. His address was titled, “Revolutionizing Facility Management with Data-Driven Cleaning.”

According to Baynum, data-driven cleaning is reshaping facility maintenance and practices, as real-time information continues to revolutionize cleaning quality and staff efficiency.

“Data has become a hot topic today within the cleaning industry, as well as other types of businesses,” he said.

The Evolution Of Cleaning

Cleaning has always been a chore, albeit a necessary one. Thankfully, innovations within the past 150-plus years have greatly improved the cleaning process, both in time, effort and effectiveness.

Few people today would want to go back to the days of washing clothes by hand or beating a rug with a stick to make these items “cleaner.” Baynum highlighted some key innovations in cleaning that were introduced over the past two centuries. This includes the first electric vacuum cleaner in 1860 (although the commercialization of this product did not occur for another 41 years), the first electric washing machine in 1908 (with the electric clothes dryer following 30 years later), and the first electric dishwasher in 1929.

“These are common items today, used for both commercial and residential cleaning,” Baynum said. “They have become a critical part of our lives, changing our behavior and helping us with efficiency and time management.”

The electric vacuum, washer and dryer and dishwasher have been around — at least in their early stages — for as long as most living people can remember. However, major advancements in cleaning have also taken place within the past 40-plus years, according to Baynum. By decade, this includes:

■ 1970s — The emergence of “green” cleaning products, providing safer alternatives to harsher chemicals;

■ 1980s — Computers are introduced to the cleaning industry as an administrative tool to improve stock management and more;

■ 1990s — The introduction of more efficient cleaning products, such as microfiber cloths;

■ 2000s — The ergonomics revolution takes place, as the cleaning industry pays greater attention to how products are designed, through better innovation, for the benefit of end-users; and,

■ 2010s — Greater technology impacts the industry through the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics.

“The question to now ask is, ‘What is coming for the next decade? What is the next big thing that is going to shape the cleaning industry?’” Baynum asked.

The answer may very well be “data-driven cleaning.”

“This is data derived from sensors that are imbedded in products. This data allows us to change cleaning processes and procedures more efficiently. The value is not as much in the connectivity process itself, but in the actions that can be taken based on the new information being collected,” Baynum said. “For example, when a cleaning staff receives real-time data, it becomes possible to be more proactive, rather than reactive — to do exactly what’s needed when and where.”

Baynum said receiving data from machines is not new. For years, machines have been able to indicate when something is not working properly, perhaps even a specific part that needs to be replaced.

“This type of data is reactive — something for the end-user to worry about. However, for the next generation of IoT, especially when it comes to cleaning, better data will help people become more proactive,” Baynum said. “This data shows how a person can do something before a complaint comes in — such as changing paper towels from a restroom dispenser before that dispenser is completely empty. The person doesn’t even have to visit the restroom. The data tells him/her beforehand that there is going to be a need for more paper towels that day. Again, it’s all about being more proactive in the cleaning process.”

The Three Major Benefits To Data-Driven Cleaning

There are three main ways data-driven technology can benefit cleaning, according to Baynum. The first is helping a maintenance staff achieve maximum efficiency. Data from sensors can now better direct professional cleaners to where and when something needs to be done — all in an effort to improve efficiencies.

Baynum explained that many cleaning professionals today use a “fixed or frequency route-based system” for cleaning. This involves a set schedule five or seven days a week.

“What if I were to tell you there are systems today that will let the head of a cleaning staff know, first thing in the morning, which of the 5,000 dispensers in a facility needs to be filled, as opposed to having staff members check each of these dispensers one-at-a-time,” Baynum said. “How would this make the cleaning process more efficient? How would this process cut down on complaints about empty dispensers?”

Secondly, data-driven cleaning can boost staff engagement. The days of using pencil and paper to keep track of cleaning schedules are fast disappearing.

“What happens when you say to a cleaner, ‘Here is a computer tablet. By using it, you are going to receive information from all over the building, telling you where you need to go, and what maintenance should be done,’” Baynum said. “The data-driven process can be empowering for cleaners. Using this technology each day can improve employee morale.

“It also helps employees become more creative, both in their daily tasks, and efforts to improve their careers.”

And with greater staff engagement comes the third benefit of data-driven cleaning — setting a new standard for customer satisfaction.

“If your staff is able to reach areas in a building before complaints come in, as well as eliminate or greatly decrease other bad experiences, what does that mean for your customers and employees?” Baynum said. “How many people do not go back to a restaurant if they have had a bad restroom experience? What about a health care facility? People might think, ‘If they can’t keep their restrooms clean and properly supplied, what is it like to have surgery here?’”

He added that data-driven cleaning can push customer satisfaction to all-time highs. Other industries have benefited from this technology as well. This includes the shipping industry, where sensors placed on containers can now indicate a container’s content, weight and destination — all in an effort to maximize load potential and space while on a cargo ship.

Today’s “smart buildings” are another example of the benefits of data-driven technology. These are facilities where the temperature and lighting are controlled by sensors from received data.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, Baynum added, buildings currently use approximately 40 percent of the global energy being produced across the world.

“If data through sensors can be used to reduce this percentage, think of all the positive results for the environment and the overall global community. Again, this all comes from IoT, from sensors and from data,” he said. “Change is coming. IoT is not a fad. It’s going to be here for a while. And so, for those in the cleaning industry who want to be quicker and more efficient, (data-driven technology) will greatly help them in the future.”

Baynum gave an example of a well-known location that is now using data-driven cleaning with great success — Navy Pier, in Chicago. The site covers 50 acres on Lake Michigan that includes parks, restaurants, retail shops and access to sightseeing, dining and cruise ships.

“Navy Pier sees nine million guests annually, with an average of 12,000 daily restroom visitors,” Baynum said.

With this high rate of visitor traffic, there is constant pressure placed on the Navy Pier facility management team to have the site maintain a spotless image. Installation of data-driven technology, through the use of sensor-equipped dispensers, has helped. Maintenance officials now better understand visitor traffic patterns and whether these restroom dispensers are full or becoming empty.

This technology has helped Navy Pier improve its goal of being an excellent venue for anyone to visit, and at any time — regardless of weather and the level of occupancy.

“For the maintenance staff, data-driven cleaning (at Navy Pier) also helps them to see they are making a greater impact on customer satisfaction,” Baynum said.

Six Practical Tips When Implementing Data-Driven Cleaning

Baynum outlined six practical tips when implementing data-driven cleaning, as well as discussed how to better get an organization onboard with this emerging technology. They are:

■ No. 1 — Evaluate challenges: “It’s important to understand what is crucial to the success of your business or operation, and what areas need improvement,” he said. “It can be a daunting task to increase technology all at once, in multiple areas of a location. It may be better to pick one area that you feel is most critical as a good starting place.”

■ No. 2 — Choose the right partner: “Find a credible partner that has already implemented data-driven solutions. It’s good to work with a company that already has experience,” Baynum said.

■ No. 3 — Set specific goals: “Setting specific goals and prioritizing helps (users of data-driven cleaning) focus initial efforts on what’s most important,” Baynum said. “Understand what you are trying to achieve with the new system and measure its effectiveness. This will allow you to see what accomplishments are taking place.”

■ No. 4 — Involve key stakeholders: “This often includes upper management. Show them all of the data that has been collected over a week, month, quarter, etc., — and in a way that they can understand,” Baynum said.

■ No. 5 — Request a demonstration: “It also helps to make sure adequate time is dedicated to explaining the solutions that data-driven cleaning can provide, helping you, and your team, make full use of the system’s potential,” Baynum said.

■ No. 6 — Support everybody during implementation: “It’s important to address any unexpected challenges or resistance that may occur,” he said. “When it comes to using new technology daily, it’s also important that the proper training takes place. Understand that this training may take longer for some people than others. It’s essential that leadership is involved.”

Baynum also discussed Essity’s data-driven technology for cleaning — Tork EasyCube™ Intelligent Facility Cleaning System.

This technology uses sensors, in such products as dispensers, to record, in real-time, such measurements as restroom visits and refill levels. The information allows cleaners to better act on what needs to be accomplished, in a more timely manner.

“Tork EasyCube™ allows facility managers to be more in control, helping them to better plan and follow up with less time and effort,” Baynum said. “The system also provides managers with access to graphs, charts and overall analytics, helping them see daily, weekly and monthly trends, while improving cleaning processes and procedures.”

Visit www.torkusa.com for more information.

David Muhr, Regional Manager, Spartan Chemical Company Named Penn Jersey Paper 2017 Vendor Rep Of The Year

Pictured is David Muhr (left) accepting the Vendor Representative of the Year
award from Penn Jersey Paper President Thomas Furia Jr.

Spartan Chemical Company announced David Muhr, regional manager, Spartan Chemical Company was recently named the Penn Jersey Paper 2017 Vendor Representative of the Year.

“Each year, Penn Jersey Paper (PJP) recognizes one vendor or manufacturer representative for the work he/she does with the PJP team to grow and develop business. The award recipient exemplifies the core attributes of a partner — one who works diligently with the sales team and purchasing department, makes end-user calls and goes the extra mile to ensure the job is done completely and properly,” according to a press release.

The award was presented to Muhr by Thomas Furia Jr., president of Penn Jersey Paper.

For more information, visit spartanchemical.com.

From Nexstep Commercial Products:
The MaxiPlus® Deluxe Janitor Cart

The features of the MaxiPlus® Deluxe Janitor Cart

• Locking cabinet provides secure area for cleaning supplies;

• Roll top provides easy access to

• Multifunctional cart works well with
microfiber or standard cleaning systems;

• Quiet wheels and casters roll smoothly; and,

• Easy-to-use lid covers waste storage.

Nexstep Commercial Products is the exclusive licensee of O-Cedar.

For more information, contact cusomerservice@ocedarcommercial.com.

New Owners For Warsaw Chemical

Warsaw Chemical has new owners after being employee-owned for 25 years.

“New owners Scott Wolfrum and Tyler Sadek, both of Indiana, are new to the chemical industry, with extensive backgrounds in other business. Wolfrum and Sadek say they are looking forward to learning more about the chemical business and ways to continue to serve customers,” according to a press release.

“As a company, Warsaw Chemical will continue to provide Car Choice® Brand car wash products and maintenance products as it has for over 75 years. It will also examine ways to improve products and processes in order to grow alongside the needs of its customers.”

The release continued, “Warsaw Chemical headquarters will remain in Warsaw, IN, and the company staff, sales team and management, including Ken Bucher, as president, also remain in place. The same staff and location allow customers to continue to work with the same individuals who have served them for years.”

Bucher said, “As we turn the page at Warsaw Chemical, we feel confident that this will be very positive for our customers and our employees, who are the most important to Warsaw.”

For more information, visit www.warsaw-chem.com.

NPS Corporation Acquires United Sorbents

Green Bay, WI-based NPS Corporation, a spill control, towel and products manufacturer, has acquired United Sorbents, and all of United’s affiliated companies, according to a press release from NPS.

Founded in 2004, and headquartered in Seattle, WA, United manufactures a variety of sorbents and other spill control products from two manufacturing facilities. One facility is located in Seattle, WA, the other in Port Arthur, TX.

United also has distribution centers in Alaska, Illinois, Minnesota, Tennessee and Utah.

“I’m excited to welcome United’s customers, and its 100 employees to the NPS team. With this acquisition, NPS is now the world’s largest manufacturer of sorbent products. With manufacturing facilities in Washington, Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin and in the United Kingdom, our dominant operational footprint will allow us to provide our distributors superior customer service and enhanced product development,” said Andrew Hetzel Jr., president/CEO of NPS Corporation.

“I am pleased to announce that United is now part of the NPS family. I’m happy to say that myself and the entire United leadership team will be joining the NPS team, which will ensure a great transition,” said United’s CEO/Founder Don Rogahn.

“This acquisition marks our third acquisition of a spill control company within the last 11 months,” said Hetzel.

The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

NPS was founded in 1996, with the purchase of a small, specialty packaging business from Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Brands include: Spilfyter, Sustayn, Slipfyter, Lubetech, ESP, Merfin, Response, Retain, React, iView, ReddiNap and Versa-Pak.

For more information, visit www.npscorp.com and www.unitedsorbents.com or contact: Debbie Stary at dstary@npscorp.com.

From Avmor
Colds, Flu, Or Allergies: Which Is It?

Avmor, a manufacturer of professional cleaning solutions, has put together the following guide to help people determine if they have a cold, the flu, or an allergy.

“Just because a person has a stuffy nose, sneezing, sniffling, itchy eyes, coughs, and just doesn’t feel well, that individual may not have the flu,” said Avmor. “The possibility is that it's an allergy, or just a bad cold. The symptoms are surprisingly similar.”

Avmor has put together the following guide:

“While the flu is typically the most severe, it usually comes and goes within two to four days. Compare that to allergies, which can last for weeks.”

Avmor also suggests ways cleaning professionals can keep themselves and building-users healthier during flu season and throughout the year. Among them are the following:

• Use HEPA filtered vacuum cleaners and change the filters frequently;

• Use only green-certified cleaning solutions;

• Select GREENGUARD™ certified cleaning solutions; and,

• Remove "dust collectors" from the office such as boxes and books that are rarely accessed.

"Make sure all high-touch areas are cleaned regularly and after cleaning, disinfected. It's a two-step process."

"And based on our guide, if you determine you have the flu, don't work," said Mike Watt, an Avmor representative. "Take a couple of days off, and get better so you don't pass the flu on to anyone else."

RDA Advantage Has 2 New Members

RDA Advantage, a group of independent redistributors, has announced Buy-Rite Distributors and Metrobag, as its newest member companies.

Headquartered in Glendale Heights, IL, Buy-Rite has serviced food service and sanitary maintenance distributors across Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa for more than 36 years.

George Kostidis, Buy-Rite Distributors president said, “We are excited to join RDA Advantage as we look forward to expanding our product offering to better serve our current customers.”

Buy-Rite Distributors Vice President Mike Petitt said, “Membership in RDA Advantage helps position our organization for future growth across new and existing categories, while providing networking opportunities and operational synergies with the other members of RDA Advantage.”

RDA Advantage Chairman Fred Hilbert said, “Buy-Rite Distributors exemplifies the primary principles of RDA Advantage, pure independent redistributors who provide distributors with sales support, competitive pricing and access to more than 5,000 food service and sanitary maintenance products from one source of supply.”

RDA Advantage also announced that Metrobag has joined the group. Headquartered in Hiram, GA, in its new expanded facility, Metrobag has serviced food service and sanitary maintenance distributors for more than 21 years across Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, western Tennessee and northwest Florida.

Mark Verrone, Metrobag president and owner said, “We are excited to join RDA Advantage, and we look forward to further expanding our food service and sanitary maintenance product offerings with new suppliers and products to better service our customers now and in the future across the Southeast.”

Hilbert said, “Metrobag is a great fit with the RDA Advantage family of members. As an independent pure redistributor, Mark, and the veteran sales team at Metrobag, bring personalized service and local market knowledge, which are the core values of our group.”

RDA Advantage has 20 distribution centers across the United States and Canada. Members sell only to distributors.

For more information, visit www.rdaadvantage.com.

RD Industries Announces New CFO, CAO and V.P. Of Sales

Steve Kane

Joey Patterson

Michael Quaka

Steve Kane has been named new chief financial officer at RD Industries. Kane is responsible for RD Industries’ overall financial planning, analysis, annual budget cycle, financial reporting and long-range business planning.

Before joining RD Industries, Kane served as managing director and vice president finance and accounting at Javlin Capital, and he held various positions of increasing responsibility at ConAgra Foods, leading business plan development, financial forecasting, financial analysis, as well as competitive analysis and benchmarking.

Kane graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, and an MBA degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He also holds a Certified Management Accountant designation (inactive). Kane served in the Army National Guard as a legal noncommissioned officer, and is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

RD Industries has promoted Joey Patterson to chief administrative officer. Patterson now provides overall direction to the organization through planning, policy-making and coordinating a variety of activities, and reports to RD Industries Chief Executive Officer Rod Liable.

In addition, she provides experience in human resource and corporate operations that includes developing goals, policies, and procedures as well as leading the way to improve the organization.

“Joey Patterson brings extensive insight into this large-scale operation for developing the talent of people and plans to support the business strategy. The experience gained over 25 years of senior leadership positions in human resources and operations is instrumental to the future of RD Industries and driving efficiency. She has served as the director of human resources at Streck, vice president of human resources at National Research Company, NMC, and InfoUSA," according to a press release.

"Patterson earned a bachelor’s degree in human resources from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She is a member of the board of directors for Nebraska DECA, and helps in preparing emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high school and college programs around the globe. She served as an advocate and as a board of director on the TeamMates Mentoring program for two years and facilitated mentoring outreach to school-aged children across the Midwest."

RD Industries has added Michael Quaka as vice president of sales. Quaka oversees new business acquisition and customer retention in the United States and Canada, and leads the domestic sales team.

He has over 25 years experience in B-2-B sales. Before joining RD Industries, Quaka served as vice president of sales at Clear Comfort Water and national sales manager at Alfred Manufacturing. He led, or was a part of, sales teams at Aercon Florida, LLC, Polaris Pool Systems, and Carpenter Company.

He holds a Masters of Business degree from Florida Metropolitan University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Indiana University.

RD Industries offers closed loop chemical containment and dispensing solutions systems.

For more information, visit RDIndustries.com.

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