A reader writes: “We are considering becoming certified by an outside third party organization. Do you approve and how do we proceed from here?”

Congratulations on making this decision. If handled correctly, you will be part of an elite group that has chosen to become recognized by an independent third party based on complying with a rigorous framework of commonly accepted practices. Please note that although the certification agency does not endorse a chemical or equipment line they will be very interested in the “green” and “sustainable” qualities of the products and equipment you utilize. They will focus on what many call High Performance Cleaning, which expects green, sustainable products and systems where possible. They will also score your equipment on points such as decibel level, air filtration, type of batteries used and durability. Your vendors can provide a lot of guidance in this area.

I conduct an internal two-day workshop on this subject and now have implemented a one-day basic camp designed to jump start the process at a BSC’s headquarters. The two-day workshop is designed to answer the questions: 1) is this type certification beneficial to me? 2) is this the time to implement it? and 3) what are the challenges and potential downside to achieving this certification? I certainly cannot fully address those questions in this short article but encourage you to visit the accrediting agency’s website and make an informed decision before proceeding. Be sure to count the full cost in labor, time and resources that will be necessary to pursue this worthwhile goal. It will be worth it as you invest in your company’s future.

As to the boot camp, I conduct an internal one-day session with key stakeholders on site to answer questions, identify a Champion and set clear dates/goals for achieving the certification. It is important that everyone be on board and support the efforts since there may be changes in equipment, processes, supplies and even the culture of the company. Appointing a champion is very important since they will be tasked to cut through the red tape and accomplish the steps on time. Deciding on clear goals/dates is important since there should be a sense of urgency as you proceed.

Finally, consider contacting other companies similar to yours who have already achieved the certification for their lessons learned. As always your comments and suggestions are welcome. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.