Alliance Building Services provides commercial janitorial and a host of specialty services to downtown Seattle and the surrounding areas, an area about 85 miles in diameter. Their staff of 500 cleans over 17 million square feet of facility space each night and provides day porter services during business hours. Alliance’s day porter clients include commercial high-rise buildings, prestigious medical centers, and one of Seattle’s most popular tourist destinations.
According to Scott Smith, Principal of Alliance Building Services since 2007, the company has been identifying where they can improve their cleaning standards in regards to safety, especially with day porters cleaning around building occupants.
“We needed to get out of liability for the tripping hazard of a cord. When there was a cord stretching across a lobby or down a set of stairs, the risk was too great,” said Smith. “We took all of our day porters and gave them cordless backpack vacuums. By removing the cord, we reduced our tripping hazards.”
Slips, trips, and falls in the workplace have an enormous financial impact on businesses. Compensation and medical costs stemming from employee slip-and-fall accidents add up to approximately 70 billion dollars a year, according to the National Safety Council. The average cost of a single slip, trip, or fall injury is 20,000 dollars, while the average cost of to defend a claim from a slip, trip, or fall incident is 50,000 dollars. For Smith, the importance of reducing the risk of tripping on a vacuum cord was obvious.
Alliance invested in about 50 ProTeam® GoFree® Flex Pro cordless backpack vacuums for their day porters. Initially, the cleaners who would be using the vacuums had mixed responses.
“The staff was both excited and concerned,” said Smith. “They were excited about not having a cord. They were concerned about the weight. After using the GoFree Flex Pro for a few months, all those concerns washed away.”
Smith noticed that the level of cleanliness from the GoFree Flex Pro was comparable to the cleanliness after using a corded backpack vacuum. The cordless backpack also increased cleaning speed by 30 percent and improved access in challenging areas like staircases.
“The staircases we clean have limited power outlets. When we used standard backpack vacuums, the cleaner would have to prop open a door and go out in to the hallway to plug into an outlet. Then they would clean down two flights of stairs and have to go back up to change outlets,” said Smith. “With the cordless backpack vacuum they just start at the top and work their way down. It has greatly increased our flexibility for cleaning staircases.”
With the time saved from the cordless backpack vacuums, Alliance chose to improve their service, rather than reducing labor. That improved level of service has already helped them win a new account.
“We clean an international engineering school in Bellevue, Washington,” said Smith. “It has shop spaces with mixed carpet and concrete floors. Those spaces need more detail cleaning. We communicated with the property manager how the cordless backpack vacuums would help us to increase frequency, and that helped us win the account.”
Alliance Building Services was founded on the idea that quality service at a fair price would yield a successful business. By adopting new technology that improves cleaning speed and safety, they continue to keep their prices fair and their service at a high level of quality.
For more information, please visit ProTeam’s website.