Over 25 years ago, Carlos Martinez’s full-time job reduced his hours. Newly married, he and his wife both went to work in the evenings cleaning part-time with a national building service contractor. Later on, his mother also joined the crew. As new employees, they were given little to no training on how to clean properly.
“When I needed time off, I called my supervisor, and he said, ‘Can you just find someone and train them for the days you need covered?’” said Martinez. “We were cleaning a bank, and I thought that was very risky. On another occasion the vacuum broke, and they asked me to bring my vacuum from home.”
Six months down the road, Martinez was comparing experiences with his mother, and they both agreed that they didn’t get the support they needed from their employer to be successful. Their cleaning equipment was of poor quality. They were not allotted enough time to do the work well, and, when problems arose on the job, there was no support. Then the idea surfaced, What if we started our own cleaning company? That is how Dura-Shine Clean was born. Martinez and his mother cofounded the company with a commitment to provide the support that cleaners need to succeed.
“Our philosophy is if we give our staff good equipment and good training they will do a good job for us,” said Martinez. “We want to correct the mistakes of our first experience.”
Dura-Shine Clean has grown to maintain 4.5 million square feet in over 200 facilities in and around the Tri-Cities area in the state of Washington. Their 70 employees clean both commercial and residential buildings in addition to providing specialized floor care, carpet cleaning, window washing, and post-construction services.
For Martinez, part of fulfilling his commitment to support cleaners was finding the right vacuum. For the first eight years, his employees used a combination of uprights and sweepers to clean flooring, but Martinez was not satisfied with the results.
“The uprights weren’t efficient. You couldn’t get around corners with them or close to edges,” said Martinez.
Then he read an article about backpack vacuums in the Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) magazine and decided to give them a try.
“ProTeam backpack vacuums cut our vacuuming time in half,” said Martinez. “They are more efficient than uprights, and they save time and money.”
Recently Dura-Shine Clean invested in their first cordless backpack vacuum, the GoFree Flex Pro. Weighing in at 19 pounds, the GoFree Flex Pro provides approximately one hour of cordless cleaning with 2.5 hours to bring the battery back to full charge. Martinez put it to work in a Gold’s Gym location where cleaners have to maneuver around equipment and gym members who use the facility 24-hours a day.
“When you have a cord in a big area like a gym, you don’t want to end up winding yourself around the equipment, so you have to think a lot while cleaning,” said Martinez. “With the GoFree Flex Pro, you don’t have to worry. It’s quicker with no cord slowing you down.”
For Martinez, the addition of cordless technology is in pursuit of a greater goal: to always strive for improvement.
“We are always trying to improve, so we have to have partners that are trying to do the same – make it easier, make it more efficient,” said Martinez. “It’s great to see an innovative company like ProTeam that is always trying to make a better product.”
See the Next Generation backpack vacuums in action here.