Case Studies

Harvard Maintenance Inc.

Sustainability leaders in the custodial and property maintenance industry

With property and facility managers facing a variety of challenges every day, Harvard Maintenance Inc. provides the ability to ensure their client indoor environments are clean and healthy while maintaining sustainable and environmentally responsible business practices. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Harvard Maintenance works throughout the country and has broad-based capabilities to meet specific facility maintenance needs, regardless of how varied or challenging. As one of the premier providers of maintenance and custodial solutions, Harvard Maintenance ensures that each client’s facility is kept in peak condition.

Harvard Maintenance Inc.

As a company that focuses on sustainable practices, Harvard Maintenance’s top priority is to make sure the company has zero negative impact to the indoor environment on behalf of their services performed at their clients’ facilities. This approach is broken down into four distinct categories: indoor health and wellness, a pledge of zero-waste to landfill, and conservation of natural resources resulting in an overall reduced carbon footprint. “Since maintenance tasks are performed at client sites, we are focused on measuring our service benefits and quantifying how we are responsible partners,” says Jason Lee, LEED AP O+M, Director of Sustainability and Optimization for Harvard Maintenance. To help validate our service delivery, “we quantify our performance that may save on water, electrical uses, and monitor occupant wellness” that are in line with our third party corporate certifications.

Certified sustainability Service Provider

Harvard Maintenance’s established reputation in the industry has allowed them to stand out from the competition due to its sustainability efforts. The company holds numerous industry certifications from multiple organizations, including the Cleaning Industry Management Standard from International Sanitary Supply Association as well as Green Seal 42 Certification, which is specifically for cleaning service providers.

“There are only a small handful of companies in the country that have as many company-wide certifications as we do,” says Lee. “We have earned them because we apply all of our business practices and ethics to every job, regardless of the scope of work.” Harvard Maintenance also has 20 associates who actively participate on their internal Sustainability Council and are individually certified in Healthy High Performance Cleaning procedures or LEED Accredited Professionals.

With a presence in 46 states and workforce of 8,500, Harvard Maintenance services approximately 250,000,000 square feet on a daily basis. The company’s primary focus is custodial work accounting for the majority of annual revenue, with facility maintenance or supply chain related functions supplementing the rest.

The clientele of Harvard Maintenance consists largely of Fortune 500 companies and are preferred vendors for national Property Management organizations. As different business sectors have needs specific to their industries, Harvard Maintenance approaches each job by evaluating its existing service delivery and ensuring processes are customized toward each client’s unique needs. In order to ensure quality service and cost containment, the firm has established its Service Excellence approach to drive transparency across each department.

“Service Excellence is a guiding light for our employees and acts as a performance scorecard,” Lee explains. “It is all about utilizing transparency and metrics to exceed our clients’ expectations”. Service Excellence includes metrics for safety, sustainability, product selection and risk and liability” to help exceed overall service outcomes and provide a clear value add to differentiate from their competition.

One of Harvard Maintenance’s sustainability efforts is to staff buildings during the day, rather than hiring second and third shifts that work overnight. This has generated residual energy savings for clients of over 8 percent and Lee finds that tenant and associate satisfaction has increased. “This has been a great business model for us and our clients,” says Lee. “It’s a win-win situation for all parties involved. There is no capital investment from the clients, increased lines of communication occur during regular work hours, and buildings are secure during evening hours.”

Many more steps to take

As a company performing custodial work and supply chain activities with a heavy focus on sustainability, Lee says one of the biggest challenges Harvard Maintenance faces is the outside perception when pairing its line of work with sustainability. “It’s actually less of a challenge and more of an opportunity to educate facility professionals on the beneficial impact that a service provider may have on the indoor environment,” says Lee. “In order to be a leader in the industry, you have to be a vested service partner who values benefits of sustainable service outcomes.”

Lee has championed sustainability related efforts for over 20 years. A passion toward a triple bottom line and total quality began with Lee when he was a teenager. “I didn’t choose it, it chose me,” asserts Lee. “As one of my first jobs, I would visit my dad at the steel mill he worked at after school. I would collect all of the aluminum cans from deliveries so the plant could repurpose them into automotive materials.” While serving in the U.S. Army for six years, Lee was exposed to Total Quality Management and Kaizen techniques in response to unprecedented lack of federal funding for the armed services.  Following the military he entered the construction world and was involved in the one of the initial LEED construction projects where he became one of the nation’s first LEED Accredited Professionals specializing in Operations in Maintenance.

Moving forward, Lee is looking to take Harvard Maintenance’s Service Excellence to another level. The company is focusing on what Lee terms as “price versus cost.” Harvard Maintenance Inc. is more concerned with its clients receiving a higher value over the life of a contract, rather than being concerned with an upfront price.

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