The year was 1959, and the place was Ireland.
John Bernard McCauley had just returned home after a tour with the U.S. Army.
Armed only with a bicycle for transportation and a wife for support, McCauley began a business venture cleaning windows.
Half a century later, Grosvenor Building Services Inc. has graduated from cleaning windows into a multi-national commercial cleaning company operating on both sides of the Atlantic with more than 5,000 employees.
Though service offerings have expanded and business has grown exponentially, Grosvenor is still, from a managerial standpoint, a family affair — Bernard McCauley is CEO of European operations, Ben McCauley is director of U.K. operations and Rita McCauley is CEO of U.S. operations.
The U.S. operation — founded in 1983 and headquartered in Orlando, FL — was started with only two employees. Today, over 700 individuals are employed in three states: Georgia, Mississippi and Florida.
The path to excellence
Grosvenor has always taken pride in providing consistently high standards for quality and comprehensive customer service.
In October 2007, Grosvenor decided to pursue Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) certification.
For the next 12 months, extensive training and intense preparation took place for all of Grosvenor''s U.S. operation.
The training consisted of a mixture of classroom and hands-on training.
Best practices for management and front-line workers were learned, studied and implemented into the day-to-day operations.
Bruce Starke of Stark Consulting was also called in as a consultant to provide insight and guidance during the rigorous certification process.
When the training period came to an end, and Grosvenor was confident they had met all of the requirements — and in many cases exceeded them — James Vaughan Jr., a CIMS assessor was brought in for an evaluation.
After the evaluation, Grosvenor was given CIMS certification, and because they incorporated more than 85 percent of the optional, recommended criteria, they were awarded an honors designation to the certification — the highest recognition of the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA).
The optional criteria include open communication among management, custodians and clients, involving everyone in the decision-making and implementation processes and transparency throughout the entire operation.
The CIMS difference
Grosvenor''s new certification has already paid off. They were recently awarded a six year contract with a value exceeding one million dollars.
This new distinction — CIMS certification with honors — shines a spotlight on Grosvenor Cleaning Services.
It ensures customers and prospective clients that they are choosing a company that understands and implements best practices to keep everyone — employees, clients and building occupants — and the environment clean, safe and healthy.
Grosvenor''s motto is "Cleaning for a better environment." By following this mantra, they have always promoted green — even before green was an industry catch phrase — and encourage everyone to steer in that direction.
Now that they have achieved CIMS certification with honors, they have something else to tout.
If you know of someone who you think should be featured in A Clean Sweep, e-mail Aaron Baunee at email@example.com.