NORTHBROOK, Ill.—August 14, 2020—In this edition of Straight Talk, Jeff Cross talks with Christi Redfearn, the chief strategy officer with Redlee/SCS, and Charlie Janowicz, chief account executive for the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS), an ISSA program. Redfearn and Janowicz discuss how CIMS certification helps building service contracting companies become more competitive in a tough marketplace.
CIMS outlines best practices for cleaning operations for building service contractors and in-house service providers. “What we strive for here at the Association is to achieve a higher level of operation and quality of service,” explained Janowicz. The program provides a basic certification as well as a Green Building certification which qualifies the contractor as a sustainable operator trained to meet the cleaning requirements of a LEED building.
Redfearn’s company first explored CIMS when bidding for a client that required the certification. She realized that most of the requirements were things her company already did as part of their cleaning protocols—they just needed to document them properly to attain certification and give assurance to their clients that Redlee/SCS adheres to green cleaning best practices.
Her company spent three months formalizing and documenting their operating procedures and cleaning protocols according to CIMS requirements, and then a CIMS assessor reviewed all of the documentation and visited several of the company’s key accounts to verify that the cleaning performance matched the documentation. “It’s not just a rubber stamp; it was a very very thorough process,” said Redfearn.
Redfearn admits that when bidding for contracts there’s pressure to quote the cheapest price, which would mean cutting corners on service. She says Redlee/SCS has remained committed to quality over price-point and earning the CIMS certification affirmed these priorities. Redfearn adds that the certification makes them more competitive with clients that require third-party verification, and it’s an effective educational tool and differentiator for clients that may not know about the program yet.
Earning CIMS certification also meant Redfearn’s company was prepared to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic because best practices for infection control were already among their standard operating procedures. Now more than ever, businesses and facilities are looking for certifications and third-party verifications of cleaning protocols to assure their customers and employees that the environment is clean and safe. The CIMS program can help building service contractors differentiate themselves as a top-tier cleaning business ready to address and mitigate the risks related to the pandemic.
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