Writer: Max Crampton-Thomas
2 min read March 2021 —As companies across every spectrum look toward effective sanitation technologies and methodologies to boost consumer confidence, janitorial services are enjoying a new industry high, fueled by innovation, new certifications and regulations. David Hammond, CEO of CSI International, shares his views on the future of the industry.
What were the most complex COVID-19 challenges you had to navigate?
We had to renegotiate every single contract with every client because every client’s needs changed. We managed to make the adjustments that fit their needs. Now that people are reopening, those needs are still changing. There is more attention being paid to day services because of the touch points, ensuring all those touch points are getting cleaned much more frequently. We do a lot of electrostatic spraying/disinfection and use the Clorox 360 system. We’re now working toward getting our GBAC (Global Biorisk Advisory Council) certification as a GBAC service provider and will be one of the first companies to be a Certified Service Provider. Several buildings and airlines have opted for the International Sanitary Supply Association’s GBAC building or corporate certification to ensure they are sanitizing the right way. We have to have at least 5% of our workforce trained in proper sanitation procedures. We anticipate this certification requirement will become permanent down the road, considering sanitizing regulation is in the works after the observation that several companies out there are not doing it the right way. We’re positioning ourselves at the forefront of the sanitization game. We also provide mechanical services, and there are many mechanical processes to help sanitize air systems.
What new opportunities have arisen from the concern over cleanliness and sanitation?
Electrostatic spraying/disinfection became huge. That has been a sizable part of our extra revenues and services over the last 10 months, and it will continue to be. It’s one of the best technologies in helping battle the pandemic and kill the virus. We really have only been doing it for our primary clients. Part of the reason is because of the supply chain issues. Our clients come first; they’re priority No. 1. We now have plenty of storage and plenty of supplies, which enables us to cater to outside clients, which we had not done in the past. We’re developing relationships that hopefully down the line will turn into long-term clients and nurture an extended line of services beyond electrostatic spraying/disinfection. A lot more companies are looking at some of the companies out there, assessing who has the expertise, tools and wherewithal to make it happen quickly. We check all of those boxes. We’re spread over 18 states with almost 2,500 employees. We provide a strong workforce that can handle this. We’re doing it for some of our clients on a national basis. We have solid and long-standing relationships with other providers across several states. When we get a call to sanitize a building, we have vendors that we can bring in immediately. That’s an infrastructure of subcontractors that we have built up over the years.
How has COVID-19 fostered recognition of the frontline workers who are keeping people safe?
Our employees are very well recognized, especially the day shift employees because they’re seen every day by the people in the building. It’s the night cleaners who sometimes get forgotten. There’s a lot more respect for them today, knowing that they’re out there, keeping everybody safe by putting themselves at risk, hence the need for proper PPE supplies and making sure that our employees are well equipped with a face mask, rubber gloves and full body suits where needed. We’re going to be rolling out an incentive program for our employees to get the COVID vaccination. We’re going to pay our employees and provide them a time allowance to go in and get their vaccinations. We’re not going to mandate it because it is not our position to tell an employee what they can and cannot do with their bodies. But it’s up to us to incentivize them and ensure they have everything they need to get vaccinated.
What are your near-term goals?
Our growth goal for 2021 is 12%. We remain on target to continue to meet or exceed that goal. Bids were put on hold over the last year and we’re now seeing things start to move. Whether they had good or bad suppliers, companies are well aware of the critical necessity of effective janitorial services to restore consumer confidence. Every month is a different renegotiation of every client contract. We will continue to provide the flexibility and nimbleness required to meet our clients’ needs and help them through these trying times. We are completing the GBAC Certification and also will be finalizing our ISO9001 Certification as we also service many clean-room environments. As CEO of the company, I’ve got nothing but accolades for our employees and what they’ve done over the last year. They’ve been the true heroes, getting out there and helping fight this and embracing it. I’m extremely grateful for every single one.
For more information, visit: https://csiinternational.com/