Meet the Expert: ISSA’s Dan Wagner

Dan Wagner, ISSA’s Director of Facility Service Programs

Dan Wagner is our CSG Expert Guest this month. CSG values the industry knowledge and best practices strategies that we have developed based on our association with Dan Wagner and ISSA. We hope to share our enthusiasm with our customers.

Check out our interview with Dan Wagner for more on how the CIMS-GB certification process has helped CSG improve and expand our services.

1.      As a CIMS-GB certified provider, CSG understands that the CIMS certification process was developed through a collaboration of constituents from the cleaning industry, facility management, and purchasing communities. In what way does the CIMS and CIMS-GB certification improve a building contractor’s operations based on this peer review?

We intentionally involved as many stakeholders as possible in the development process to ensure that the needs of all were met.  For example, we wanted to involve representatives of the facility management/ end user community in order to make sure the Standard covered key areas of focus of health and safety of facility occupants and to ensure that the cleaning service provider is capable of delivering a quality, dependable service.

At the end of the day, by involving all parties, the Standard is set up to facilitate true partnerships between a contractor and their customers and make sure that they are receiving best in class service.

2.      How does the certification process bring an increase in efficiency contractor services?

The Standard itself and the certification process forces and organization to perform an in-depth analysis of their operations in five key areas of management best practices: (1) Quality Systems; (2) Service Delivery; (3) Human Resources; (4) Health, Safety and Environmental Stewardship; and (5) Management Commitment.

By requiring an organization to focus on ensuring that they have the necessary pieces in place and have achieved implementation on the account level, the program naturally leads to an increase in efficiency and an improvement in operations overall.

3.      What improvements to staff training result from a CIMS certification?

Not only is cleaning professional training one of the hallmark requirements of the Standard but the Standard also serves to increase overall professionalism and develop a sense of pride in the worker.

We all know that there cleaning organizations that merely give lip service to training, yet is remains one of the key investments a company can make.  Further, investing in true excellence should include helping workers understand their true role as protectors of health and sustainability.  No longer are they mere “janitors,” they are now cleaning service professionals and the defenders of public health.

4.      You have discussed in other articles that while CIMS is voluntary, many industry specific laws and regulations are required. How does CIMS certification process deal with these laws?

Section four of the Standard – Health, Safety and Environmental Stewardship – is premised on making sure an organization is committed to legal and regulatory compliance as it relates to health and safety.  That said, the section includes a number of elements pertaining to federal OSHA regulations, including hazard communication, personal protective equipment, bloodborne pathogens and spill containment.

CIMS assessors certainly do not act as federal enforcement agents and the assessment is not intended to mirror a regulatory inspection but the Standard certainly does want to make sure that organizations are living up to their legal responsibilities.  The customer certainly demands it.

5.      ISSA recommends hiring a CIMS certified contractor to assure a partnership with quality successful cleaning organization. What is the specific value of a CIMS and CIMS-GB certification to the customers of a building contractor?

Let’s face it…cleaning service organizations run the gamut from the very good to the very bad.  Customers who understand the “true value of clean,” therefore, recognize that they need to be very careful in selecting a cleaning service provider and do everything they can to make sure their vendor is dependable and capable of delivering a clean indoor environment. After all, their cleaning service provider is directly responsible for protecting the health and safety of facility occupants.

CIMS and CIMS-GB certification makes the contractor selection process much easier and offers a level of assurance that a company is a quality, customer-focused organization that has the necessary management structure.  By “taking the guesswork out of the equation,” CIMS/CIMS-GB certification allows a customer to immediately identify a cleaning provider who is dependable and has proven they meet THE industry standard of excellence.

The CIMS-GB certification is now a direct compliance option in the most recent version of LEED: EBOM.  Specifically, using a CIMS-GB certified provider enables a facility to immediately meet the new “Green Cleaning Policy” prerequisite – making a LEED: EBOM applicant’s job MUCH easier!

6.      What is ISSA doing to increase exposure of the CIMS program to end users of cleaning services?

As part of the association’s larger mission to “change the way the world views cleaning,” ISSA proactively educates facility management professionals, procurement representatives, and other end users on the CIMS/CIMS-GB program and how it can be used to identify and pre-qualify dependable cleaning organizations.

This involves working very closely with end user organizations such as the International Facility Management Association (IFMA); APPA; the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and many others to help spread the word.

ISSA representatives present on CIMS and the true value of clean at end user events throughout the country and the association has an exhibition presence at all major facility management shows.  And we are always looking for additional opportunities to get the word out on why requiring CIMS/CIMS-GB certification is a no-brainer!

About Dan Wagner: Dan Wagner is ISSA’s Director of Facility Service Programs. A sought-after speaker and author on management best practices, standardization and continuous improvement, Wagner has management authority over ISSA’s programs for the facility services market, including the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) and CIMS-Green Building program. Wagner is also a noted subject matter expert on sustainability and green cleaning, having served as an SME for the International Facility Management Association and US Green Building Council.

About CSG: Contract Services Group, Inc. is an industry leading facilities services contractor with 40 years’ experience providing commercial janitorial, window cleaning and temporary labor services throughout California, Nevada and Arizona. CSG is committed to safety excellence, high-performing building outcomes and redefining quality partnerships. From servicing our clients premiere facilities to treating our employees with dignity, we believe that quality and commitment to excellence exemplifies our business.,,