Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Unlocking Potential Inside And Outside Your Organization

September 19, 2010

Whether you manage a small startup contract company, a 100-year-old industry icon facility or an in-house operation, throughout your tenure you''ve seen your cleaning organization reach milestones in growth and development.

You''ve also likely encountered many roadblocks along the way.

You might have already discovered that milestones aren''t always good — especially if you are not ready for them — and roadblocks are not always bad — particularly when they offer new opportunities.

However, both offer an occasion for strengthening your organization and revisiting its operations plan.

Many cleaning organizations of all types and sizes have uncovered hidden potential when they applied the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) principles to their operations.

CIMS reveals existing points of excellence and opportunities for improvement and provides organizations with a framework for delivering consistent, high-quality service moving forward.

Existing Excellence

Using the five main CIMS principles — quality systems; service delivery; human resources; health, safety and environmental stewardship; and management commitment — organizations can quickly see areas in which they are doing well and those in which they need to improve.

Those seeking Cleaning Industry Management Standard-Green Building (CIMS-GB) certification also must meet the sixth principle — green buildings.

For MG Capital Maintenance, a Morrisville, North Carolina-based contract cleaning company, CIMS confirmed for the company that it was already doing a lot of things right.

When Jorge Goti, the company''s president, completed the company''s application for CIMS-GB certification, he felt a sense of reassurance.

"We were already doing a lot of what was required by CIMS, which gave me a great feeling of comfort," Goti says. "I thought, ''my goodness, we are already doing all of these things.'' What CIMS did was reassured us of how well of a business we were running and gave us confidence, especially when a third party certified us CIMS-GB with honors."

Opportunities For Improvement

By aligning itself with the Standard, MG Capital is positioning the organization for what''s ahead.

For instance, applying for CIMS-GB challenged the company to become more organized and to set the bar even higher.

"When I do anything, I aim for perfection," Goti states. "Before we were certified, we were not as organized as CIMS requires, so we now have a much better organized [documentation] system. There is no question that we had high standards before, but we have already raised our own standards even higher as a result."

External Appreciation

Proud of MG Capital''s CIMS-GB certification, Goti shared the news with some of his best customers, including property managers for the many Class-A, high-rise office buildings the company services.

"The property managers just felt that this was something good for tenants to know, for the management company''s own PR," Goti adds. "The firm wanted to let tenants know that the company it hired has received the industry''s highest level of professional certification, which was very meaningful for our company."

Tenants in the buildings responded very favorably, even replying to the e-mailed news with notes of congratulations.

A doctor who works in one of the buildings even took time to respond, saying, "They do a great job of cleaning, and I am impressed with these credentials. I appreciate this level of care."

A Framework For Moving Forward

As MG Capital has demonstrated, CIMS helps cleaning organizations uncover positive news inside the organization as well as outside, even helping to enhance customers'' reputations.

But, perhaps the most important takeaway cleaning organizations get from CIMS is its management framework.

While organizations unprepared for growth struggle, CIMS principles guide organizations to the next level smoothly.

For organizations that have reached a plateau or are simply lacking a point of differentiation among the competition, CIMS provides the opportunity to improve or even, if necessary, hit the "reset button" and make your organization come alive.

It''s time to unlock your excellence.

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 the ISSA Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) certification program.