Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

CIMS: ISSA show stopper

September 19, 2010

I''ve attended the annual ISSA/INTERCLEAN® trade show for years.

Every year, ISSA''s attendance increases and the association offers more and better educational sessions and events.

Last year, ISSA introduced the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) to the industry at large — a big step toward transforming the growing industry.

Just one year later, at this year''s show in Las Vegas, I could already see the Standard''s positive effect on attendees.

Walking the walk
Bob Hamilton, of Walter Industrial & Sanitary Supply, was one of 58 attendees who earned distinction as a CIMS ISSA Certification Expert (I.C.E.) at the show this year.

As a result, Bob, like other CIMS-influenced attendees, walked the trade show floor with a different perspective, no longer solely seeking the latest cleaning innovations, but now looking for much more.

He was looking for points of distinction, such as software programs, safety and compliance aids, technical training and tools — resources that will assist in his effort to help his cleaning organization customers meet the CIMS requirements.

Having completed the I.C.E. certification course requirements, Bob now has a much higher level of awareness that extends beyond prices and products.

He is now looking for resources to help him and his organization succeed in the business of cleaning.

One certification for all
Individuals who achieved I.C.E. certification at the show represented all aspects of the cleaning industry, including executives, sales professionals, distributors, in-house facility service providers, building service contractors (BSCs), and cleaning product manufacturers.

The Standard offers something for every type of attendee — the right framework for documenting and lowering operating costs.

This year, all show attendees are experiencing the effects of difficult economic times, and customers are looking for ways to create more value, enhance marketing, and become more relevant within the industry.

CIMS offers all of the above.

CIMS requires organizations to gather and provide documentation of all policies and procedures, eliminating the option to operate on a trial-and-error basis.

This documentation becomes a valuable tool for providing a baseline and an opportunity to measure performance and challenge organizations to improve and reduce operating costs.

Create value
CIMS offers value across the industry and to all market segments.

CIMS-certified BSCs gain key customers, while certified in-house facility service providers enhance efficiency and professionalism.

At the same time, I.C.E. certified distributors and manufacturers can partner with and land BSCs and in-house customers by helping provide CIMS quality services.

Enhance industry relevance and leadership
CIMS was created by the industry''s leading association, born of good governance and true industry leadership.

CIMS is increasingly recognized as an industry differentiator.

As the Standard continues to gain even more momentum and recognition, certified organizations are seen as the best leaders.

After seeing what CIMS can do in just one year, I look forward to finding out what''s in store for the years ahead.

Dave Frank is a 30-year industry veteran and the president of the American Institute for Cleaning Sciences. AICS is the registrar for the ISSA Cleaning Industry Management Standard certification program.