By Jim Peduto

Jim Peduto is the president of Matrix Integrated Facility Management and the co-founder of the American Institute for Cleaning Sciences, an independent third-party accreditation organization that establishes standards to improve the professional performance of the cleaning industry.

When grand skyscrapers are built, observers rarely focus on their great foundations. But without that strong support system the rest of the building would not sustain itself for long. The same goes for businesses. Regardless of size, lack of structure or a weak foundation could put a business in jeopardy.

It doesn’t matter if a business consists of two employees, 200 or 2,000. To ensure consistent service and a promising future, businesses need to implement and follow a scaleable organizational framework composed of five key elements:

  1. Quality Systems. Quality is the cornerstone of a successful, customer-centered cleaning organization. A quality system includes defining cleaning service requirements, implementing a quality plan, measuring performance, obtaining relevant customer feedback and committing to continual improvement.
  2. Service Delivery. Effective customer service requires a service delivery plan that outlines the organization’s customer-related processes, including workloading, staffing, purchasing and handling of unexpected events. Each organization has its own unique business processes, but they need to be structured to ensure that customers’ needs are being met and service is provided as expected.
  3. Human Resources. A cleaning organization will only operate in an efficient and professional manner if its employees are well-trained, customer-focused and dedicated to delivering a quality service. An organization must ensure that it efficiently and effectively manages its “human capital” in a way that enhances organizational performance. From hiring to training to the actual delivery of service, an organization’s human resources, including both management and cleaning personnel, must be prepared to uphold the organization’s commitment to quality.
  4. Health, Safety & Environmental Stewardship. Quality cleaning and maintenance services should be safe, healthy and sustainable. Organizations should have processes, systems and documentation proving their commitment.
  5. Management Commitment. Organizations need management commitment to help demonstrate that they have effective management systems in place to meet customer expectations. This includes a clearly defined vision for the future and an understanding of its mission. Companies also should have well-defined organizational roles and responsibilities and an effective communication plan. Finally, they should ensure they are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and have secured all necessary insurance and licensing.

The key to building a strong business and continually moving to the next level is to use these five elements as an organizational model for your business. As you grow the only thing that changes is how the organization executes in each area. By building on this foundation and adopting a highly scalable framework, every organization can reach the highest heights.