KleenMark Cobotics Lunch & Learn Recap – November 2, 2023

Lunch & Learn Recap: Cobotics

Get the inside scoop from our November 2023 lunch and learn event.

KleenMark welcomed guests from around the state to our Madison, WI headquarters on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023 for our first-ever lunch and learn event.

This event covered cobotics, an emerging technology topic that combines the expertise of an internal cleaning staff with the efficiency of robotic cleaning devices.

Attendees began the day with a “sneak peek” demo featuring cobotic floor cleaning devices from Tennant, SoftBank, and Karcher. KleenMark’s own Doug Lerch kicked off the proceedings with a welcome address on the future of cobotics and how it can revolutionize commercial cleaning without sacrificing the knowledge and personal touch of human cleaning staff.

“Everyone wants to do away with some of the hard tasks that we have to do or the tasks that are boring to do for some operators,” Lerch said. “Sometimes people call [cobotics] ‘the perfect employee.’ I think it’s whatever the best version of an employee is that you’re looking for.”

Diana Kittelson, Custodial Operations Supervisor at the Stoughton Area School District, presented keynote remarks about how her district got started with cobotics and the results they’ve seen from having robots work alongside employees.

“I was facing some efficiency issues. I wondered if equipment could be the answer here,” Kittelson explained. 

In the years since first embarking on her research into cobotics, Kittelson notes the pros of investing in cobotics far outweigh the cons, and staff members have started to rely on the technology as an essential tool to carry out their jobs.

“I did check in with the operators that operate these machines before I came here, I said, ‘Hey, what would you say if you wanted to talk about [cobotics]?’ My middle school head custodian said, ‘Diana, I don’t know how we would survive without the T380.’”

The day wrapped up with a panel discussion featuring Kittelson, Lerch, Francis Balthazor from Urban Land Interests, Adam Russ from Tennant, and Mark Halverson from SoftBank. The panel fielded questions about cobotics technology and the impact it’s had on Kittelson and Balthazor’s organizations’ cleaning results and staff members.

“When you’ve got humans taking care of the vacuuming, we’re spot vacuuming because that’s the time that we have,” Balthazor said. “When we’ve got these units, they’re vacuuming 100% of the surface. It’s picking everything up.”

“The younger generation that are coming into my generation, they think it’s great. I actually feel that a few of my younger employees would have maybe moved on had they not noticed that we’re progressive and forward-thinking,” Kittelson said.

Ready to experience similar results at your organization? To learn more about cobotics and how it can revolutionize your cleaning team, drop our team a line using the form below!

The 2017 KleenMark Employee Appreciation Picnic: Food, Fun, and Family!

BELOW: The 2017 KleenMark Employee Picnic

Our goal is to make sure every person on the KleenMark team feels appreciated each day they come to work with us. But, once a summer we love to do something special to show them (and their families) how much everyone at KleenMark appreciates their hard work!
So, that’s why on Saturday, August 19th, 2017 we gathered together in Middleton’s Lakeview Park to grill up food, spend time with our families, and to let all the kids play in the splash pad, get their faces painted, and enjoy unlimited (and FREE) Kona Ice snow cones!
With over 150 people RSVP’d for the picnic we were so happy to have perfect summer weather to enjoy our burgers, hot dogs, music, and giveaways! Thanks again to everyone who could make it to the event!!
p.s. Want to come to next year’s picnic? We have jobs available right now! Click here to apply for a position with Kleenmark!

2016 KleenMark Employee Picnic Video

THANK YOU EMPLOYEES! The 2016 KleenMark Employee Picnic [VIDEO]

BELOW: The 2016 KleenMark Employee Picnic

In 2016 KleenMark is celebrating our 60th(!) Anniversary. There are a lot of reasons we’ve been able to stick around for so long, but, without a doubt one of the biggest is the dedication of our employees.
So, to celebrate and thank the people who continue to make KleenMark a success we hosted a picnic for all of our employees and their families at Olin Park in Madison, WI.
On a misty day we were thrilled that over 100 employees and family members joined us for:

  • A great picnic lunch including a pig roast, hot dogs, and more
  • Free shaved ice from Kona Ice for the kids (and adults too)
  • Live music by fellow KleenMark cleaner Willy Garcia and Orquesta SalSoul del Mad!

Everyone had a blast!
Thank you to everyone at KleenMark behind the scenes that helped to make this an amazing event. We couldn’t have done this without the dedication of many individuals working together. Special thanks goes to our lead event planner, Casey Kottwitz, who took the planning head on!
And finally, our big thanks once again to every one of our employees whether or not you were able to join us at the picnic!
p.s. Looking for a great job? Click here to apply for a position with Kleenmark!

6 questions to ask before outsourcing anything

When outsourcing isn’t the answer: 6 questions to ask before you outsource anything.

6 questions to ask before outsourcing anything

“Is outsourcing the greatest thing since sliced bread or more like New Coke?”

Our COO, Tim Waldsmith, answered this question along with 6 other key questions you should ask before outsourcing anything in his presentation at the WASBO Facilities Masters Conference.
We were honored to be able to share our thoughts on this sometimes tough topic with over 50 facility professionals from school districts across the state of Wisconsin.
In our 45 minutes we were able to have an honest discussion about things like:

  • The plusses and minuses of different outsourcing models
  • Alternatives to outsourcing
  • When outsourcing does makes sense

It was also great to hear stories and perspectives from people in the room about their (good and bad) experiences with outsourcing during the Q&A.
In case you missed our presentation look for us at future WASBO events or go to kleenmark.com/wasbo to download:

  • Our presentation slides
  • An outsourcing checklist
  • Get updated on future KleenMark education seminars

wasbo facility masters conference 2016 kleenmark outsourcing presentation tim waldsmith



Scott’s Customer Appreciation BBQ 2014: The Recap


Thank You Attendees!

Every year KleenMark gathers nearly 100 of our closest customers, partners and friends to enjoy great food, BBQ and fellowship. This year was no different as we had a great crowd, good (but HOT!) weather and a brand new parking lot!

Most importantly, thanks to everyone’s generosity we were able to raise nearly $1000 for Easter Seals!

So once again, thank you to everyone that attended!

Thank You Volunteers!

On behalf of everyone at KleenMark, we’d also like to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone that helped to set-up, tear-down, man raffle booths and otherwise take care of our guests! We also want to thank A&J Specialty Services for once again providing the excellent food.

See you next year!

Rich Stanley shares his knowledge with the ProTeam at KleenMark University Attendees

KMU Recap: ProTeam Day at KleenMark University

KleenMark University, Madison, WI – On July 23rd, KleenMark partnered with ProTeam to welcome nearly 30 operators, custodians and facility managers from around the Madison area to KleenMark University.

Attendees had the chance to learn about the latest ProTeam vacuums, the effect of vacuums on indoor air quality and how to incorporate backpack vacuums in their daily cleaning routines.


Special Training for KleenMark Staff

Later in the day, ProTeam also put on a special session for KleenMark commercial cleaning staff to learn about important maintenance and operation techniques. These kind of events are incredibly valuable to our cleaning staff and our only possible because of KleenMark’s Facility Supply operations.

We’d like to thank Rich Stanley from ProTeam for his engaging presentation and Kurt Zollner from Apex for helping to coordinate this great event!

No Room for Cowboys – Spring Operations Meeting

KleenMark HQ, Madison, WI – “We don’t have room for cowboys here at KleenMark.”, Scott Stevenson, President and CEO.
At KleenMark we’ve learned the value of repeatable processes and making sure to share best practices across the company. That’s why roughly once a quarter we gather our entire operations staff together at KleenMark HQ in Madison, including Senior Management, Account Managers and Recruiting, to do just that.

“We don’t have room for cowboys here at KleenMark.” – Scott Stevenson, President and CEO

Opening up the meeting was a welcome by our COO, Tim Waldsmith, who had a great icebreaker of “If you were going to have dinner with one person this weekend…who would it be and why?”
The answers varied from great leaders to legends of music, but interestingly most of the answers revolved around family members, spouses and parents. As a family-owned company it was great to hear so many people who are working for more than just themselves.
Further on the agenda was a great discussion of our company values and how they should impact your decision-making by our President and CEO, Scott Stevenson. Also discussed was an update to our employee recruiting and retention policy by our Director of Recruiting, Jess Lawinger, a reminder to Always Bring Value in every communication with our customers by Josh Haroldson, Marketing Manager, and a technology update by Mike Lisle, Controller.
The meeting also served as an opportunity for our staff to tour the nearly completed renovation to our 1206 building. These renovations are designed to provide better collaborative spaces for our account managers, a unified space for sales and better staff amenities such as a renovated cafe.
Overall the meeting was a great team event and we’re already looking forward to the next one.
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