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Value in Proactive Maintenance

Did you know that there is not a single widely recognized definition of either “clean” or “cleaning” in our ever complex and growing world? No wonder proactive maintenance is so challenging to achieve! We would all need to agree on a definition of “clean” to know when to do more cleaning!

“Clean” is far too often thought to be “subjective.” A “pleasing appearance” alone, which is fundamentally an artifact of light reflectance, often remains the dominant hallmark of the clean condition.
– Dr. Michael A. Berry

Dr. Berry really knows his stuff. He played a crucial role in organizing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Indoor Air Research Program. During his research, he found nearly endless potential from the advantages of “clean” facilities, residences, and any public spaces people tend to occupy.

Defining “Clean”

Interestingly, Dr. Berry is the person who pointed out that the subjective nature of what “clean” means to different people, makes standardization of cleaning maintenance plans surprisingly challenging. Which is why here at IBS Direct, we pride ourselves in having skilled and vigilant staff that follows a proactive maintenance workflow.


An entryway carpet can collect over 39 pounds of dirt during a single year.

Proactive maintenance is the best way to achieve a consistent standard of “clean.” When a Direct Clean employee goes about their daily duties, they keep a vigilant eye on your facilities. Our employees are trained to look in the areas that are used the least as much as the areas that are used the most.

Our training program empowers each employee to think of the facility from a building owner’s point of view. This results in proactive communication to building managers before anything less than clean has a chance to cause problems.

Proactive Maintenance as Value

Dr. Berry’s work is often concerned with helping employers and facility owners to understand the value of a clean environment. There really are endless reasons in favor of a clean working (or living) environment, so we will focus on the issues most relevant to our customer base here in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut Tri-State region.

For many of the facilities and homes that leverage Direct Clean services, there are some common needs each space we work within tends to require. We consider these needs as fundamental goals in our proactive maintenance workflows, both on-site and off. Here’s a few examples of focus points for our staff:


Within 30 seconds of entering a building, all customers form a judgment of quality concerning the business(es) operating in that building. In fact, this impression starts forming before they even enter the facility, and is based on the external impressions of the building itself, too.

Proactive maintenance is the only reliable way for IBS Direct to ensure your customer’s first impressions are always positive.


If a business employee loses a mere 5% of productivity due to an unclean working environment, it can cost that business thousands of dollars per year. What’s amazing about this, is how difficult it can be for a business to even know the productivity loss is due to a lack of cleanliness… thanks to the subjectivity of the term “clean!”

Again, proactive maintenance can save the day (and save a business thousands of dollars per year). A Direct Clean employee knows to communicate a particularly unclean workstation area upwards, just in case this workstation needs a little extra love from a business POV.


Dr. Berry’s studies show a very clear and positive connection between cleanliness and morale. When workers feel they are in a healthy environment, they tend to work harder, get sick less, and all while factors like turnover and disgruntled behavior are drastically reduced. These factors speak to liabilities for all employers.


Respiratory illnesses contracted in the work place (which can come from dust and allergens) can cost employers as much as $134 per employee per year.

With Direct Clean’s proactive maintenance approach, typical business staff liabilities have invaluable guardians (with all-seeing eyes) via the folks who keep things tidy after normal work hours have finished. So management will know ahead of time, when things might be approaching a liability concern, thanks to our proactive maintenance approach.