Indianapolis University Saves Over 60% on Vacuuming Costs

Posted by: Bill Fisher

Executive Summary

FlexPAC recently worked with a major Indianapolis-area university to find a cost-effective carpet care plan that would protect their overall investment. The university’s carpet is compromised daily from students, faculty, visitors, and employees using the buildings and an updated cleaning routine was needed to manage the high volume of foot traffic. A good, well-thought-out carpet maintenance plan should keep the carpet looking clean, flush out dirt and soil, and protect the carpet from future damage. By following FlexPAC’s new carpet maintenance plan and becoming proactive in treating future dirt and soil, the university is now able to save over 60% on annual vacuuming costs.

Challenges

The university sees over 6,000 students and faculty members on campus throughout the year, plus visitors and other employees. Before FlexPAC introduced the backpack vacuum model, the university was using a standard 14” upright vacuums that saw over 60 maintenance hours of use per day. Using the upright vacuum was not only costly and inefficient but also took up valuable time. The old carpet encapsulation process was slow and was not performing to the university’s standards, causing their carpeting to wear quickly. Commercial carpeting acts like a sink that continually captures soil. When stains and spills occur, they sink to the bottom fibers of the carpet. When the dirt is not extracted, the carpets’ appearance and fibers become damaged.

FlexPAC’s Process

FlexPAC designed a cost-effective carpet care system that reduced labor and materials while dramatically enhancing the look of the carpets. FlexPAC has evaluated many systems, and the fastest way to protect the investment of the carpet is to use a comprehensive plan that addresses daily, interim, scheduled, and restorative carpet maintenance. Switching to a backpack model vacuum and a 14” orifice carpet tool allowed for flexibility and speed of use for carpet cleaning. FlexPAC also introduced a new carpet encapsulation process. The new encapsulation machine works faster to clean the carpets and keeps them in peak condition with the flexibility of the low moisture cleaning method. The chemical process produces clean carpets that can be turned around in 30 minutes with air movers, allowing for normal foot traffic to resume without long interruptions. For carpets that need deep restoration cleaning, the university schedules the carpets to be flushed using a high flow extraction process. Doing so pushes all the dirt and hidden stains from the carpet restoring it to the original quality and only takes 1 hour to dry using air movers.

Results

The university vacuums 260 days a year and has a total of 175,000 square feet of carpet. The new vacuums saved the university over 35 total labor hours per day across multiple workers, saved over $145,000 a year, reduced vacuuming time per 1,000 square feet from 21 to 8 minutes, and they can now vacuum 4,550 square feet more per hour. Using the new backpack vacuum provides flexibility to get to areas that were too difficult to get to using the upright vacuum, proving also to be more efficient.

The carpet encapsulation process increased speed, performance, and protects the carpet from looking soiled. The extraction process, which flushes the carpet to remove the dirt load, keeps the carpets in “like-new” condition. By using the updated processes and schedule, the carpets will last longer, be cleaner, and provide the university a greater return on their initial investment.