Success with Kaivac: An Interview with Michigan State University (MSU)

By Allen Rathey

  • Success with Kaivac: An Interview with Michigan State University (MSU)
Success with Kaivac: An Interview with Michigan State University (MSU)
Michigan State University

Q. Since healthy spaces are important to MSU's Division of Residential and Hospitality Services (RHS), how has Kaivac equipment helped meet hygienic goals?

A. Kaivac equipment is a key piece of equipment in maintaining a healthy environment for our residents and employees. The equipment, by design, allows us to clean and disinfect effectively. For employees, the ability to apply the cleaning agents and being able to extract the water up at the end of the process is a very safe, effective, and sanitary method of cleaning. The employees using the Kaivac units have minimal direct contact with the cleaning surfaces which reduces the chance of potential exposures. 

From a safety standpoint, we have had minimal slip and fall events caused by wet floors in restrooms over the past several years.


Q. What types of Kaivac equipment−and how many machines−do you have, and where are they deployed?

A. We have: 

The 1250 and 1750 Units are used in all Residence Hall areas. The OmniFlex units are used mainly in the dining facilities.


Q. How have these affected labor and supply costs?

A. We have been able to increase the total square footage that a building service employee covers each day. This is major savings for us in terms of being able to 'do more with existing or less' labor staff. 

The versatility of the units also has allowed us reduce the need for additional specialty cleaning equipment. For example, the extraction feature of the Kaivac reduces the number and need for additional wet/dry vacuums in our custodial equipment rooms.

During the summer renovation cleaning process, we use the Kaivac units in several different ways including deep cleaning of stairwells and hard to clean areas. Again, this reduces the amount of custodial equipment in our facilities that is only used during the summer.

From a supply cost standpoint, we have very good control of our cleaning products as they are dispensed via the Kaivac unit. We also have reduced the use of microfiber mop heads and scrub brushes over the past several years as the Kaivac has allowed us to limit the use of these items.

The Culinary Dining units also use the OmniFlex in their kitchen areas and have great success in cleaning their floors more often and reducing slip conditions in the back of the house.


Q. How does training enable getting the most from the equipment?

A. The training enables our staff to maximize the use of the equipment. The staff also does quite a bit of self-maintenance on the units which allows us to maximize the life cycle of the equipment. 

Our staff has also been able to provide feedback directly to Kaivac several times and we have had a very good response from the company.

The online training videos provided by Kaivac are very useful for all team members. Our part-time student staff at night use the videos for new employees, and they are good supplement to the hands-on training program.


Q. How does your staff like the equipment and outcomes? Any customer feedback on results?

A. Our staff has embraced the units and treat the pieces of equipment very well.  We get high marks and excellent comments from our customers for cleanliness of the Residence Halls on regular basis. 


-Paul Manson, CEFM
 Associate Director for Planning & Preventive Maintenance
 RHS Planning and Projects Office
 Michigan State University

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