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5 Reasons You Should Care About Certifications

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CIMS-GB-certified vendors like PMUSA adhere to management best practices that cover quality systems; service delivery; human resources; health, safety and environmental stewardship; and management commitment.

When you’re considering which facilities maintenance or janitorial service provider to go with, does it really matter whether you choose one that’s certified by an outside party?

Hint: The answer is definitely.

“When you choose a vendor that’s been certified by an independent third party, you’re getting a partner who has committed to meeting a number of standards for how they operate the business, how quickly they answer customer requests, and how well they train and treat their employees,” says PMUSA CEO & Managing Partner Rachel Sanchez.

Perhaps the most widely known and most comprehensive certification in the facilities maintenance and janitorial services arena is CIMS, or Cleaning Industry Management Standard, which was developed by the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) in 2006. The association later developed the CIMS-GB (green building) component to meet the growing demand for LEED certification. PMUSA is one of less than 2% of cleaning firms that is CIMS-GB certified.

“One of the great things about the CIMS standards in particular is that they don’t prescribe a set of products or equipment that we have to use,” says Sanchez. “So we can use what best suits our clients.”

Instead, the CIMS standard is based on six sections of management best practices that include quality systems; service delivery; human resources; health, safety and environmental stewardship; and management commitment.

“What you’re really getting when you hire a CIMS certified vendor is a partner that’s focused on the customer by using a management framework that’s designed to deliver stellar service all across the board,” Sanchez says. “Other certifications in our industry are also valuable in that they apply to products, people or processes. But CIMS is more holistic.”

Here’s a look at other benefits of choosing certified vendors. While these tips focus on the facilities maintenance and janitorial industries, you can apply them to other types of vendors you may be considering.

  1. Leave the heavy lifting to someone else. When certifying agencies create criteria for certification, they’re determining what’s important as far as efficiency, safety, quality and environmental impact. This means facility managers don’t have to research and track those standards on their own, because the certifying body has already done the work.
  2. Stay compliant. Every industry has its own set of codes and regulations. If you want to ensure your contractors are adhering to these codes, make sure that they have obtained and are maintaining certifications.
  3. Rely on efficient management processes. Vendors that are certified generally have a management framework in place that’s designed to deliver reliable, high-quality results.
  4. Stay up to speed on best practices. As buildings age and new equipment for facilities maintenance and janitorial services come on the market, ensure your vendors are in-the-know by choosing those who are certified.
  5. Satisfy prerequisites for LEED: Existing Buildings Operations and Management. If your facility is working toward LEED certification, you can satisfy some of the requirements by either putting in place a green cleaning policy of your own, or by hiring a CIMS-GB certified cleaning service provider.

To learn more about CIMS or CIMS-GB standards, check out these resources:

Cleaning Industry and Management Standard

CIMS Green Building

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