Why Report Cards Matter

Commercial Cleaning Systems Earns Top Honors with CIMS Certification

Early in life, report cards mattered. Whether we liked it or realized it, grades served as an outside measuring stick of our performance and, even more importantly, provided insights into areas for improvement. In corporate parlance, report cards

served as a basic but important performance management tool for student, parent and teacher alike. Often, though, our focus is only on the end point, the final grades. Appreciating the dual role—as a way to benchmark performance and, importantly, a means for identifying areas for improvement—makes their meaning and impact greater.

The Commercial Cleaning Report Card

Industry certification programs fill a similar, important role within the corporate arena. Within the commercial cleaning services industry, the Cleaning Industry Management Standards (CIMS) is the gold standard. The first consensus-based management standard for the cleaning industry, the evaluation is both independent and thorough, with a 360-degree view of an organization’s work.

To earn CIMS certification, core areas of operation are rigorously reviewed, providing an independent and objective 360-degree evaluation of your business, from management and operations to performance systems and processes. The findings provide a team

with a benchmark for successful delivery of consistent, quality services designed to exceed customer needs and expectations. CIMS doesn’t from management and operations to performance systems and processes. The findings provide a team with a benchmark for successful delivery of consistent, quality services designed to exceed customer needs and expectations. CIMS doesn’t dictate the approach an organization should take (it’s not prescriptive); instead, it assesses how robust the approach the company has implemented is.

Some of the CIMS scorecard elements focus on “big picture” processes and planning, others are very    detail oriented. Together they provide a valuable, in-depth look at an organization from both an inside and outside vantage point—from a team/employee perspective, as well as client-facing one.

The core areas of CIMS evaluation include:

  • Quality Systems | General framework to ensure effective operations and continual
  • Service Delivery | Processes necessary to effectively produce and deliver services, including purchasing, staffing, and handling unexpected
  • Human Resources | Demonstrate efficiency and effectiveness of managing “human capital” in a way that enhances organizational performance.
  • Health, Safety& Environmental Stewardship | Examines the processes, systems, and documentation as they relate to the organization’s quality cleaning and maintenance services with a focus on healthy, sustainable and environmentally friendly
  • Management Commitment | Demonstration of an established and organization-wide management systems to meet customer needs and expectations, even in times of organizational change.
  • Green Building (GB) optional | Requirements and a specific framework to ensure use of environmentally preferable cleaning practices in addition to the management best practices identified in the five core CIMS

While earning a CIMS certification is a key milestone, like any report card, the process of being evaluated also has its benefits. By design, all elements—the evaluation, the grading and the teacher (in this case, an independent certified CIMS assessor)—are tough. Fail to meet 100% of mandatory elements and 60% of the recommended / great to achieve elements in each section, no certification is awarded. Navigating the application and robust review process prompted our team to carefully and honestly scrutinize every aspect of the way we work, from internal policies, procedures and communications to client-facing operations, products and on the job safety protocols.

Above & Beyond: Green Cleaning Standards

To help meet the growing demand for green and the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, “Green Building” (GB) criteria is the sixth CIMS pillar. An optional designation, CIMS-GB certification demonstrates a company’s ability to assist customers in achieving LEED EB: O&M points and assurance for partnering in the LEED process. In fact, CIMS-GB is a direct compliance option for the “Green Cleaning Policy” LEED prerequisite. To satisfy the prerequisite, facilities can either invest in developing and implementing a comprehensive green cleaning policy or simply utilize a CIMS-GB certified cleaning service provider. CCS is one of the select few cleaning providers worldwide to receive the CIMS-GB Honors designation—recognition that we achieved a near perfect   green review/compliance score.

DANIEL LOWERY, Director, Corporate Services, LEED GREEN ASSOCIATE, I.C.E

Full BIO: CCS Leadership

CCS Recieves CIMS Award with Honors – Download