Western Washington University Bellingham decided 20 years ago that they needed a plan that would compensate for future budget cuts. They began developing approaches that would improve their efficiency enough that they would not need to hire any additional custodians even though the university was growing larger year-by year. Because labor accounts for 90% of the cost of cleaning and maintaining a facility, this provided the college with considerable savings.
The approach included:
- The adoption of team cleaning practices
- Chemical consolidation
- Focused attention on public areas
- Utilization of modern machinery to tackle tasks
- Quarterly e-mails to reach out to faculty and staff
With a little knowledge and a lot of hard work, the custodial department at Western Washington University Bellingham realized the sense of accomplishment that accompanies a job well-done that comes with the willingness to do things a little bit differently.