Health, safety and proper maintenance of facilities are top priorities for organizations in all sectors. Purchasing managers strive to align with facility managers and identify the products and services needed to keep floors in the best possible condition. There is often a mismatch as to the right floor care products needed for various locations or environments. Mistakes in sourcing the right floor care products can cost millions, especially in cases like a college campus (UCLA with over 45,000 students) or airports like Atlanta International with over 100 million passengers flying each year.
To better manage the details involved in making appropriate floor care decisions, procurement officers can work with a cooperative purchasing organization for advice on expense management, expert advice on flooring and access to solutions from industry-leading suppliers to get the job done successfully.
What’s at stake? “Nearly 90% of customers surveyed said dirty floors, spills and stains would negatively impact their perception of a facility.”
What are common floor care mistakes in the United States today?
Although floor care is complicated, research shows that the top three mistakes made in floor care decisions in the United States today are:
- Choosing the wrong floor finish
- Poor floor maintenance
- Not asking the right questions
How can working with OMNIA partners help you save time and money in finding the right floor care products?
Spartan Chemical floor care products are available from OMNIA Partners distributors, including contracts were publicly solicited and awardedallowing immediate access to what you need, when you need it, with full transparency and compliance.
Now let’s take a look at how purchasing professionals can avoid these common mistakes with advice from Rebecca Kaufold, a chemist at Spartan Chemical responsible for new product development for resilient substrate coatings.
#1 Choosing the wrong floor finish
Simply put, flooring helps protect floors from damage due to traffic or maintenance, so floors last longer. Although the concept seems simple, the challenge comes when you consider the variables. For example, how many people does the floor serve? What type of property is the floor in? Is the floor in an area where extreme weather conditions impact indoor and outdoor traffic? As facility maintenance personnel make purchasing decisions, two of the most popular choices are percent solids and gloss, both of which have their challenges.
Percent Solids: A 20% non-volatile solids finish would require five coats to achieve the same protective qualities as a 25% finish, which would only require four coats. Although the 20% product itself is less expensive, labor costs are higher for this additional (5th) application. In addition, additional downtime: the installation cannot be used during the additional period of coating and drying.
Brilliant: For most installations, high gloss floors are the epitome of a well-maintained building – the higher the gloss, the better. However, glossy floors show every scratch and scuff, so they require more upkeep and maintenance, resulting in a higher overall cost.
#2 Maintaining the floor incorrectly
Here are some examples of poor floor maintenance.
- Failure to dust regularly
- Failure to regularly place and vacuum runners at all entrances
- Do not clean with neutral detergent
- Do not occasionally burnish to remove scratches and scuffs
- Failure to cover with appropriate floor coverings.
Routine maintenance will avoid the ever more expensive full strip and refill needed when not properly serviced. However, it is equally important to recognize that routine maintenance must include appropriate products and a suitable schedule.
“We take our floors for granted, but if we choose the right floor finishes, maintain the floors we choose and make sure to ask lots of questions, our floors will serve us well for a very long time. – Rebecca Kaufold, Chemist
#3 Not asking the right questions
This error in floor maintenance is linked to the other two. This happens when the buying agent didn’t ask their maintenance team what they considered to be issues; or the architect did not consider the type and amount of foot traffic or the flooring products for the end use in question when designing the building; or the flooring product sales representative did not ask the buyer, architect and installation maintenance crew exactly what they were doing with the existing floors. Finally, these groups may not ask people who live, work, or just walk through the building what they want or need in terms of flooring.
Tips for long-term maintenance
Maintenance-free floors are a misnomer. In reality, the lack of maintenance translates into wanting to replace floors more frequently instead of refinishing, treating and maintaining.
To help with this, Spartan Chemical manufactures a line of resilient floor care products., which include floor finishing products, floor finishing stripping compounds and daily floor maintenance solutions. These can be applied with mops, sprayers, etc. which are available through OMNIA Partners cooperative agreements with Spartan Chemical distributors.
Training on proper floor care is also available through Spartan’s CleanCheck™ Training System, brochures and online graphics, and through their maintenance programs and instruction documents.
Floor care products
Spartan Chemical is here to help facilities make the tough decisions (sometimes trade-offs) to avoid these costly mistakes. To learn more about Spartan Chemical’s extensive floor care portfolio and solutions available through OMNIA Partners, please visit Spartan Chemical Cooperative Contract | Floor care (omniapartners.com) and contact us today!