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IRIS Insights Enhance Productivity at the University of Washington

The University of Washington (UW) is one the world’s preeminent public universities and also one of the oldest on the West Coast. The university’s historic and beautiful main campus in Seattle includes approximately 200 buildings covering nearly 13 million gross square feet of the academic, research and administrative spaces. The UW Building Services department is tasked with keeping these buildings looking their best and creating a healthy environment for more than 45,870 students and 20,000 staff.


As the UW Building Services department worked to meet internal goals for usage of its floor cleaning equipment, the shortcomings of its manual process for recording and monitoring machine usage became evident. Operators logged hours periodically—an error-prone method that failed to provide reliable, up-to-date visibility on machine usage and cleaning performance. This lack of visibility also made it difficult to ensure proper, planned maintenance was being performed on equipment. The department sought a solution to deliver dependable, near-real-time metrics on machine usage to help increase machine usage, optimize machine deployment and maximize the ROI derived from their Tennant floor cleaning equipment.


As a pilot program, the UW Building Services department deployed the IRIS® Asset Manager solution on seven Tennant floor scrubbers—four T300 machines and three T7 machines. “We discovered a gap with the data IRIS provided,” said Gene Woodard, director of building services at UW. IRIS machine usage data revealed the machines were being used fewer hours than expected—and that machine usage varied widely by building. Battery charging data also showed that operators were not optimally charging batteries, thereby decreasing machine uptime and total battery life.

“We know that Tennant machines are effective and do a great job of cleaning the floors. But now IRIS gives us objective data to help us increase machine usage and maximize our ROI for the equipment.”

Gene Woodard
Director of Building Services
University of Washington


To drive increased machine usage, the department provided more explicit guidance to operators regarding cleaning frequency and time. Each Tennant machine is now assigned to a specific operator in each shift, creating more ownership and accountability for cleaning performance. “Just having that data helps us meet our targets for using these machines,” said Woodard.

After further analysis of machine usage data, the department reassigned one machine to a different building and transferred a machine to the shift to cover extra cleaning needs. These changes will optimize machine deployment, ensuring the right equipment and the right staff are in the right place at the right time—maximizing machine usage. “Higher machine usage means cleaner floors,” said Woodard.

The department addressed battery charging issues with laminated cards placed on each machine, reminding operators to charge until completion at the end of each day’s usage. This will not only ensure machines are charged and ready when needed; it will maximize battery life and help reduce battery replacement costs.

IRIS is now a critical component of UW Building Services’ daily operation. Leaders meet on a regular basis to review IRIS data, identifying opportunities to improve cleaning efficiency, maximize equipment usage and enhance overall cleaning performance. “The IRIS reports provide more timely information that allows us to make real-time adjustments in our operations,” said Woodard, “We now have objective data to help us increase machine usage and ensure we maximize our ROI for the equipment.”

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