It has been about a year since Miguel Lopez shifted his vacuum fleet to ProTeam GoFree Flex Pro cordless backpack vacuums, and he’s glad he did. Lopez can point to several reasons to go cordless, but as the Custodial Manager of Weber State University, there’s one he values most.
“Efficiency is number one.”
It has to be; the cleaning needs of a university are particularly varied and demanding.
“In addition to administrative and faculty offices, we have classrooms, labs, break rooms, conference rooms, study spaces, a gallery, a library,” says Lopez.
In fact, Weber State University’s facilities total about 2 million square feet. That’s a lot of ground to cover, even for Lopez’s staff of about 50 full-time and 112 part-time workers.
What’s more, Weber’s student body alone is 27,000, a number that doesn’t include faculty and other employees. And because it’s a university, there is unique ebb and flow to the occupants of Weber State University’s varied facilities.
“The scheduling is pretty tight,” observes Lopez. “We have to plan around the classroom schedules, which start at 7am and continue into the night. So a lot has to get done before 7 a.m. or after 10 p.m.”
Thanks to ProTeam, it does.
“We have 65 ProTeam battery-powered backpack vacuums,” Lopez explains. “With these, you don’t have to worry about plugging and unplugging the vacuum. That saves a lot of time.”
Lopez’s cordless fleet fits into a larger, time-tested efficiency strategy, Team Cleaning.
Each member in a Team Cleaning system specializes in a focused set of tasks, and coordinates their efforts to maximize efficiency and productivity.
“We implemented Team Cleaning about 6 years ago,” says Lopez. “And we have refresher training every year. Team Cleaning is the very best system we’ve used.”
Lopez has been able to take full advantage of the Team Cleaning method, using the time saved by his cordless vacuums for other tasks.
“We could allocate more time to detailed cleaning, high and low dusting, window cleaning. Wherever we need it the most.”
The Enlightened Custodian
Efficiency may be number one, but Lopez’s equipment purchasing decisions must also consider other important factors—chiefly, ergonomics and environmental health. After all, the word, “custodian,” doesn’t just mean a person who cleans; it’s the person responsible for the well being of a building and its occupants, including the staff.
“When we got the battery vacuums, staff complained at first. They were worried they would be too heavy. Now they wouldn’t go without them.”
Lopez knows there’s more to ergonomics than comfort and mobility.
“Our GoFree Flex Pro vacuums operate at a low decibel level. That’s good for our staff, and lets them clean in more situations.”
Lopez also strives to uphold and advance his green cleaning goals for the university.
“We use green cleaning chemicals, and whenever possible, none at all,” says Lopez. “Now, I’m looking for greener options for trash bags. We want to be as environmentally friendly as possible.”
Setting and achieving green cleaning goals is so important to Weber University that its Energy and Sustainability Office has created a Green Department Program. The program promotes green practices by setting rigorous standards for attaining four levels of certification.
“We’ve nearly achieved Gold Certification, and we’re not going to stop there,” says Lopez. “All the equipment we get has to help us achieve our green cleaning goals.”
Naturally, improving indoor air quality is an important part of any green cleaning agenda.
“ProTeam vacuums have a great filtration system. The students and faculty breathe better.”
Lopez began to appreciate the advantages of ProTeam years ago, when he was looking to solve another challenge.
“Ten years ago, we had different vacuums, different brands,” recalls Lopez. “But eventually, we wanted to be consistent. When it comes to repair, ordering parts, bags, and filters, it is just easier and more efficient to have a single, reliable source.”
Not unlike a researcher at the university, Lopez studied the problem and arrived at an informed conclusion.
“We decided to go with ProTeam.”
Back then, his fleet consisted mainly of the ProTeam Super Coach Pro. When he decided to switch to battery-powered vacuums, Lopez once again did his homework before coming to a decision.
“When I learned about the battery powered vacuums, we tried several other brands,” he says. “I decided to go with ProTeam. Later on, I learned that other universities went with ProTeam, too.”
Learn how the University of Utah improved productivity by going cordless.