In every world industry and economy, 2020 has been the year of the unprecedented. It is impossible to tell any story without acknowledging the impact of the global pandemic and economic downturn. For 4M Building Solutions, the winner of this year’s Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) Cleaning for Health Award sponsored by ProTeam®, the demands of the year have meant ongoing adaptation while redoubling their commitment to Cleaning for Health.
“We consider Cleaning for Health to mean the spaces that our customers occupy are clean and sanitary. That involves cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, vacuuming, removing dust, collecting trash, and all the things that go hand-in-hand with the janitorial business,” said Vice President of Safety and Risk Management Tom Covilli. “This year, in light of the pandemic, Cleaning for Health has taken on new meanings. It also means creating an environment with minimal bacterial and viral contamination where our customers can feel safe.”
4M Building Solutions first won the Cleaning for Health Award in 2018 for their policies, procedures, and training that emphasize the health of building occupants and staff. For the purposes of the award, Cleaning for Health is also defined as a cleaning program that helps drastically reduce the levels of allergens and asthma triggers in the indoor environment.
“Vacuuming is hugely important when Cleaning for Health,” said 4M Division Support Director Terry Miller. “Vacuuming removes dust, allergens, and soil from the carpet. We let our clients know that if we didn’t vacuum regularly, spores and dust accumulate on the floor. When we vacuum on a regular basis, it helps improve absenteeism.”
4M Building Solutions has been cleaning and disinfecting office and industrial spaces since 1978. With 3,500-4,000 team members across 16 states, 4M Building Solutions maintains 125 million square feet of facility space every day. This year they added electrostatic spraying services to meet the increased demand for surface disinfection and are now providing that service for 37 million square feet a month.
Due to their large footprint and reputation for excellence, 4M is uniquely positioned to influence the cleaning industry through their cleaning philosophies and practices. Those philosophies and practices live in the company’s organizational playbook. The 4M Account Operations Manual outlines every detail: cleaning equipment, solutions, floor care, number of workers, hours, routes, and more.
“I think it’s all about organization and consistency. The strongest push in the last couple years has been making sure our processes are consistent, organized, and efficient,” said Covilli who has been with 4M for 13 years.
One recent push towards greater efficiency has been swapping out corded equipment for their cordless counterparts. For example, 4M now cleans the majority of square footage with cordless vacuums.
“Battery-powered backpack and upright vacuums allow us to clean more square footage and improve our production rates. Plus, 4M has a very strong safety culture, and the potential to trip over a cord is a problem. With cordless vacuums there is no cord to trip over or get damaged,” said Miller. “Cordless vacuums continue to benefit us overall.”
As 4M Building Solutions adapted to the changing demands of facility maintenance in 2020, they have successfully kept Cleaning for Health as a cornerstone of their company culture.