This is a continuation of last month''s Raising Standards column.
As a review, 10 trends are impacting the cleaning industry and the way facilities and businesses operate.
The first five are: Sophistication, budget cuts, outsourcing, standards and instrumentation.
6. Infection prevention
Recent outbreaks of infections such as the 2009 H1N1 flu and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have elevated the need for cleaning organizations to deliver high-quality service.
In health care facilities, preventing cross-contamination of bacteria, viruses and infection is the constant focus for environmental services and infection control staff.
The cleaning department plays an important role in breaking the chain of infection, regardless of building type.
Thorough and frequent cleaning can help stop the spread of infection in buildings, whether it''s a common cold virus in an office building or a staph infection in a medical facility.
To help break the chain, cleaning organizations must focus on assessing risk within their facilities, giving the most attention to areas highlighted as the highest risk.
Highly touched objects (HTOs) must be cleaned most frequently and include door handles and knobs, patient bed rails, restroom fixtures, telephones and keyboards.
Organizations can use CIMS to ensure staffs receive technical training and to implement an infection prevention plan.
The cleaning department is a key partner for sustainable organizations.
CIMS-Green Building (GB) certification demonstrates a cleaning organization''s capability to assist facilities in achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings: Operation and Management (LEED-EBOM) points and offers property managers and building owners assurance that the cleaning organization they select is prepared to partner with them in the LEED process.
CIMS drives cleaning organizations to workload their facilities and document all workloading data, including square footage, surface types, tasks, number of workers and so on.
The workloading process helps cleaning managers calculate cost per square foot per year and even cost per building occupant per year.
Moreover, managers can quantify cost per worker and use that data to justify staffing numbers and possibly avoid staffing reductions.
Workloading is a trend that helps cleaning organizations deliver what every customer wants — a clean, green, safe building at the lowest possible cost.
As businesses become more mature and sophisticated, it is natural for consolidation to occur.
Roll-ups, mergers and acquisitions are occurring in many trades, including the cleaning industry.
Consolidation streamlines business processes, removes redundancies among companies and compensates for increasing costs, helping businesses do more with less.
As some businesses become larger and more global, benefiting from reduced redundancies and costs, smaller, still-independent businesses can find opportunity in niche markets.
CIMS offers the right operating framework to help organizations ensure they have the right management pieces in place to deliver quality service regardless of size.
10. Upper management intervention
Upper level management teams within organizations are becoming more engaged in the cleaning function of facilities.
They look at cleaning as a business and expect the building service contractor or in-house cleaning department to run like a business.
Managers are seeking and hiring prospective employees with business or accounting backgrounds to run cleaning operations because they are more focused on data, information and budgets.
The current state of unemployment gives upper management a larger pool of business-trained potential cleaning managers.
With CIMS as a framework, cleaning managers with a cleaning background and a business background have a complete checklist for running a successful operation.
Jim Peduto is the president of Matrix Integrated Facility Management LLC and the co-founder of the American Institute for Cleaning Sciences (AICS). AICS is the registrar for ISSA''s Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) certification program. Visit www.ISSA.com/CIMS for more information.