CIMS-GB Certification Helps DMS Standardize Cleaning Procedures & Green Its Overall Operations

When DMS Facility Services decided to pursue certification to ISSA's Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) in the summer of 2007, the company really did not know what to expect. The DMS team was confident that implementing the management best practices required by CIMS would be beneficial, but nobody truly understood what it could mean to the bottom line. Two years later, after witnessing firsthand the benefits of standardized and consistent quality service and enjoying improved customer retention and increased credibility as a result, DMS was ready to take the logical next step — achieving the CIMS-Green Building (CIMS-GB) designation — with an expectation that similar benefits would accrue.

Yet, the DMS team recognized that it would not be an easy process. DMS knew that with fewer than eight weeks to prepare for its CIMS-GB assessment, the organization would need to rely on processes that were already in place when evaluating its current green-service capabilities. Fortunately, DMS was able to fall back on its success in achieving CIMS management certification, as well as Six Sigma metrics and its more than five years of experience in utilizing green cleaning products and practices.

Ultimately, DMS learned several valuable lessons from the CIMS-GB certification process, most notably: (1) The importance of creating an internal certification team; (2) the benefits of utilizing proven operational practices, including those developed through Six Sigma; (3) the need to allow for regional ownership; and (4) the value of managing CIMS-audit results to identify potential service problems and achieve continuous improvement.

A Team Effort

In preparing for certification, DMS's first step was to form a core CIMS team, which included both internal managers and outside suppliers. The team was charged with the primary responsibility for devising and implementing the company's certification strategy.

DMS's internal team consisted of John Harris, Vice President and General Manager-San Diego, and Loren Dotts, Vice President and General Manager-Santa Ana. The team's experience with Six Sigma, Lean Enterprise, green cleaning, and the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED criteria were key when establishing the protocols necessary to certify to CIMS-GB.

DMS also benefited from working with a local "ISSA Certification Expert" (I.C.E.) during the CIMS-GB certification process. Waxie Sanitary Supply Marketing Manager, Keith Schneringer, had helped DMS achieve its initial CIMS certification and proved even more valuable during the GB process, especially given Schneringer's expertise as a LEED-certified professional.

Schneringer was also instrumental in coordinating efforts with DMS's chemical formulator. Schneringer worked closely with Mark Le Cheminant, Accounts Manager at Diversey (formerly JohnsonDiversey), paving the way for DMS's use of Diversey's training resources in developing a high-performance cleaning program.

Proven Six-Sigma Practices

DMS also found that its existing Six Sigma operational practices — particularly the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) methodology — complemented CIMS and CIMS-GB and made the certification process easier. DMS repurposed the DMAIC system into what it termed the "CIMS Audit Matrix," helping to define the critical components required to achieve certification. Using the CIMS and subsequent CIMS-GB audit matrices, DMS analyzed areas of opportunity and worked to improve those areas that needed attention in order to prepare for the final CIMS-GB certification assessment.

Regional Ownership

With regional operations throughout the state of California, two of DMS's main objectives in pursuing CIMS and CIMS-GB certification were to standardize management and operational practices in each region, while allowing for regional ownership of the certification process. "Each segment of the CIMS certification process was instrumental in bringing together DMS's various regions to create consistency in service," noted Cary Burch, Vice President and General Manager-Los Angeles.

One of the most positive results of the CIMS and CIMS-GB process was the interest and ownership taken by DMS's managers, supervisors, and staff. They became the true experts in implementation of the best-practices outlined in the Standard. "Participating in the CIMS-GB certification process has made me a better manager because I now implement our best practices with every project," noted Harris.

Managing Audit Results

Ultimately, the certification process taught DMS a crucial lesson. The company gained a better sense of the risk presented by poor service and gained a new appreciation for implementing an effective mechanism for assessing performance. By using the CIMS Audit Matrix, DMS is now better able to identify accounts that need increased attention, potentially preventing the loss of key customers. Using the matrix and managing audit results also allows DMS to proactively catch errors in service and correct deficiencies before they are noticed by the customer, positioning the CIMS and CIMS-GB Audit Matrices as invaluable customer retention tools.


The True Impact of Health Care Reform

By Bill Balek

On March 23, 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that, along with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 signed into law on March 30, 2010, overhauls the U.S. health-care system. Comprised of more than 2,600 pages of text, the landmark legislation will have some effect on every American and most U.S. businesses

ISSA has prepared the following summary to help the industry anticipate and understand how the major provisions of the health-care reform will impact their businesses and employees. Please be aware, however, that the legislation is unwieldy and even experts who have lived and breathed health-care reform for the last year are unsure of all of the details and their implications at this relatively early stage. Moreover, many of the particulars associated with the health care reform measure will be worked out in the coming months through the regulatory process.

Employer Penalties

Effective January 1, 2014, an employer with 50 or more full-time employees (on who works on average 30 or more hours a week) must pay a penalty if at least one full-time employee requires a public subsidy for insurance, subject to an exemption for the first 30 workers.

Employers will be penalized $2,000 for each full-time employee over the 30-employee exemption who must find his/her own health coverage because the company offers none. When an employer offers coverage but an employee turns it down because it is "unaffordable" (defined by the law as costing more than 9.5 percent of the 2 employee's household income), the penalty is $3,000 per employee who buys insurance on the exchange with a subsidy.

Under the legislation, employers are required to monthly convert their part-time employees (excluding seasonal workers) into full-time equivalents (by dividing their part-timers' total hours by 120, the equivalent of 30 hours a week) for the purpose of determining whether they have 50 or more full-time employees and are subject to the penalty.

However, part-timers do not count for calculating the penalty, so realistically, only employers with at least 31 full-time workers will have to engage in this exercise.

Small Businesses Tax Credits

From 2010 to 2013, the law provides employers with a tax credit of up to 35 percent of their contribution to health insurance if they have 25 full-time workers or fewer and average annual wages of less than $50,000 if the employer contributes at least 50 percent of the premium cost. Starting in 2014, eligible small businesses that purchase coverage through the state-based exchanges can receive a tax credit of up to 50 percent of their contribution to health insurance for two consecutive years if they contribute 50 percent of the premium cost. The full credit is available to businesses with the equivalent of 10 or fewer full-time workers paid, on average, less than $25,000.

Health Insurance Exchanges

Effective January 1, 2014, state governments must establish health-insurance exchanges for individuals and small businesses for the uninsured and self-employed to be able to purchase, with subsidies available to individuals and families with income between the 133 percent and 400 percent of the poverty level.

In addition, states must set up "small business health options programs," also known as "SHOP exchanges", through which small employers can purchase insurance. Plans offered on the exchange will have to be standardized for easy comparison and offer minimum levels of benefits established by the legislation. In 2017, a state may allow large employers (with at least 101 employees) to participate in the exchange.

Individual Health-Care Mandates

Effective January 1, 2014, there will be an annual penalty of $95, or up to 1 percent of income, whichever is greater on individuals who do not have health insurance. This penalty will increase to $695 or 2.5 percent of income by 2016. These limits are for individuals. Families will have a limit of $2,085.

In addition, the health-care legislation has prompted a host of insurance and tax changes to help pay for the new programs. To read more about these, visit


Welcome New ISSA Members!

Ad-Vance Building Services
Nashville, TN

Advanced Cleaning Concepts, Inc.
Bridgeport, CT

Altawil Company
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Alvin's Professional Services, Inc.
New Castle, DE

Always Peachy Clean
Jamestown, NC

Amnesty Professional Services
Memphis, TN

Blue Shore, Inc.
Burtonsville, MD

Building Maintenance Service, LLC (BMS)
New York, NY

Clean de Norte
Chihuahua, Chih., Mexico

E + J Gallo Winery
Modesto, CA

Eagle USA, Inc.
Chesterton, IN

Enviroclean Solutions
Bluffton, SC

FCS, Inc.
Danville, VA

IP Trading S.R.O.
Brno, Czech Republic

JK Metropolitana S.A. de C.V.
Mexico City, D.F., Mexico

Life Care Centers of America
Cleveland, TN

Lynch Janitorial & Cleaning, LLC
Yacolt, WA

Melwood Horticultural Training Center
Upper Marlboro, MD

Metz & Associates Ltd.
Dallas, PA

Mojito Maintenance. Inc. (MMi)
West Palm Beach, FL

RCD Cleaning Service, Inc.
Phoenix, AZ

Shanghai Delation Cleaning Service Co., Ltd.
Shanghai, China

U.S. Postal Service
Harrisburg, PA


Ken Campbell, Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA

Victor Fajardo, City of Houston/Wortham Theater Center
Houston, TX

Alan Peturson, City of Red Deer
Red Deer, AB, Canada

Tom Boone, Quail Springs Baptist Church
Oklahoma City, OK

James Roussos, Southern Regional Medical Command
Evans, GA

Mary Harrison, The Supreme Court of Ohio
Columbus, OH

Ron Blashill, University of Regina
Regina, SK, Canada

Sue Polze, West Bend A Mutual Insurance Co.
West Bend, WI

Dan Calbreath, Windsor C-1 School District
Imperial, MO

All information in "ISSA Reports" is furnished by ISSA. ©2010. All rights reserved.