Zion Park District Sports Arena Fitness Studio is a recreational facility in Zion, Illinois that houses three full-size basketball courts, and fitness classrooms, along with meeting and party rooms.
Throughout the week, the facility is visited by hundreds of people of all ages, gathering to workout, play sports, and meet with friends.
Eric Bradley is the Executive Director and Jimmy Barbour is the Maintenance Technician for the Zion Park District.
For Bradley and Barbour, it is important that the Zion Park District recreational facility is clean, safe, and enjoyable for patrons, and this can be difficult to accomplish in a facility with a variety of flooring types and rooms of varying shapes and sizes, in addition to heavy foot traffic.
In a facility like Zion Park District, there is a variety of challenges faced by the janitorial and maintenance staff.
Due to the wide range of patrons, there is a lot of soil tracked in on shoes. People come from any number of jobs and locations resulting in varying types of soil on the floors.
Clean flooring is essential in a facility that hosts sports players and elderly persons walking the track or using fitness equipment.
Dirty floors can be a safety hazard, so Barbour and his team aim to clean all the flooring twice a day to provide a safe and enjoyable facility for patrons.
Additionally for Barbour, the sports arena, which houses two full-size basketball courts, takes an extensive amount of time to clean, typically 4-6 hours each day.
For Bradley, the challenges have been dealing with labor shortages and the rising costs of labor.
“We have struggled, like every business, with staffing shortages and we were trying to find ways to supplement our existing staff with automation.”
Bradley points out Cobi was not brought on to replace staff, but rather to support full-time and part-time employees with their daily tasks.
For this reason, Bradley also needed a solution that was easy to use and easy to train staff on.
"Automation is an increasingly important aspect to accomplish routine cleaning tasks and implementing Cobi 18 has improved our staff’s efficiency and provided significant value in this current environment of labor shortages and increased wages.”
As Bradley was looking for cost-effective ways to support his staff and augment labor issues, he decided to bring on Cobi 18, by ICE Cobotics.
Cobi was added to the Zion Park District recreation facility in November 2022 and has been a cost-effective addition to the maintenance team.
“We thought the pricing was very fair. Initially, we were concerned about its cost and if Cobi was going to be affordable, but based on pricing and its efficiency and effectiveness, it was an easy decision for us.”-Eric Bradley
Cobi starts at $15 dollars a day and can be deployed multiple times throughout the day. This allows Barbour and his staff to focus on other tasks while also completing the floor cleaning.
In fact, as Bradley points out “When you look at $15 a day vs. $13 an hour to employ a person, we’re realizing significant savings on our floor cleaning costs.”
Barbour notes, “I had Cobi running the other day and instead of mopping I went to fix electrical outlets. I can let Cobi clean floors while I accomplish other tasks.”
The sports arena is one area where Cobi makes a significant difference. Barbour has the arena divided into four cleaning routes for Cobi. Barbour can dust mop sections of the courts while Cobi scrubs them, allowing for much less manual time spent cleaning that space.
Additionally, since Barbour is the resident Cobi expert, he has trained the other staff members on how to use Cobi. “I do think you need to have someone in the facility that is the resident expert and can train the other staff members,” he notes.
Adding Cobi 18 to the staff has led to some exciting results for Bradley and Barbour
“By adding Cobi, we have cut the arena floor cleaning time in half or better.” -Jimmy Barbour
Barbour points out he is now able to clean three sections of the sports arena in about thirty-five minutes each and on one full charge. He can charge Cobi while at lunch and then finish the last section of the arena in the afternoon.
What used to take 4-6 hours now takes 2-3 hours, and Barbour can tackle other tasks during this time too.
On top of that, Barbour and Bradley received feedback from some of the regular basketball players noticing that courts were less slippery since Cobi had been implemented, creating a safer surface to play on.
When asked if there was anything that exceeded their expectations about Cobi 18 or ICE Cobotics, Bradley pointed out:
“The customer service we’ve received since implementing Cobi has been excellent. We had high expectations for the machine and it has performed well. But it has been Matt’s involvement that made it easy and made us feel comfortable. He has come back to our facility a couple of times and taken a hands-on approach to help us utilize Cobi to its full potential, which was appreciated. The customer service and everyone on the ICE Cobotics team have been great.”
“When you look at $15 a day to operate Cobi vs. $13 an hour to employ a person, we’re realizing significant savings each day on our floor cleaning costs.”