Dalton Daily Citizen
A statement that I’ve heard Howard Elder of J&J Industries make from time to time makes a great deal of sense to me. He says, “Let’s not let perfection get in the way of progress.”
I think that most of us do strive for perfection, in both our professional and in our personal lives. But it’s often the case that while we travel down the road toward perfection, we need to take some time to reflect upon our processes and to make changes that lead to progress.
Recently, we at the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) have done just that. Working with a group called the Institute for Inspection Cleaning Restoration Certification (IICRC), we’ve identified a few issues to work on that we feel will benefit both organizations in the long run.
The IICRC is a longstanding organization that actually teaches the fine art of carpet cleaning. We at CRI like this group for a lot of reasons, but among the main ones are that they do intensive hands-on training for their cleaning professionals, they make their students aware of CRI’s Seal of Approval program, and they share our view that the best cleaning outcomes include four components:
• The use of the right cleaning agent.
• The use of high-quality cleaning equipment.
• The employment of well-trained cleaning technicians.
• The implementation of a proper cleaning regimen or plan.
They know, as we do, that the best cleaning outcome involves knowing what will work best for each individual situation and creating a plan to maintain that carpet systematically, consistently and economically.
It’s not a “one size fits all” deal by any means. A carpeted space that is rarely used obviously needs less upkeep than one that services a high-traffic area, such as an entryway in a busy office space. The former might need only weekly vacuuming and quarterly deep cleaning, while the latter might need to be vacuumed daily and deep cleaned once a week.
During a recent meeting between IICRC and CRI representatives, we talked about issues that have come up with some of their members about some of our Seal of Approval program processes.
One such issue concerns the oily component in our test soil. We’ve known for some time that oil that gets on carpet can have a dramatic impact on how well a deep-cleaning system can actually work. And, of course, all oils are not alike. How well an oil can be treated and removed depends a lot on whether it consists of an organic or inorganic compound.
So the IICRC team is planning to work with us on resolving that issue, helping us identify which treatment will work best on particular types of oils, thus providing the marketplace with better deep-cleaning systems.
Another issue which we plan to tackle together has to do with equality in the Seal of Approval program deep-cleaning systems. Not all systems are equal, and what differentiates them is both their ability to remove soil and their productivity numbers. We’re forming a task group with IICRC to look at how we can appropriately adjust for the productivity rate so that people will understand when and where to use certain deep-cleaning programs.
These steps will, of course, be helpful to the consumer. Our goal and the goal of the IICRC is to have a happier consumer — happier with their cleaning experience, and ultimately happier with their carpet.
We’ve had a good relationship with IICRC and we expect that will continue in the years to come. They want their new technicians to do a good job of cleaning carpet and so do we — because we want, and they want, carpet to be the flooring product of choice.
Werner Braun is president of the Dalton-based Carpet and Rug Institute.