An Interview with Yurie Kim, BMS Director of Quality Assurance
This month we sat down with BMS’s Director of our Quality Assurance (QA) Program in the Mid-Atlantic, Yurie Kim, to learn more about how she’s shaping service quality at BMS. Her insight not only demonstrates the ways QA directly impacts the service you receive, but also makes it clear why every cleaning company should have a separate QA division.
1. Why does BMS need a separate Quality Assurance Department in the first place?
Cleaning and service quality are quite subjective. So having a team to standardize the quality of the overall company service is important. Standardized expectations help ensure each client is receiving the same results.
One of the hardest things to do is to be critical of your own work, especially for subjective jobs like cleaning. My department takes this responsibility off the cleaning staff and the Operations department entirely.
While my role is to ensure quality, I also use the information I learn in the field to find new ways to keep our cleaning staff motivated in what is otherwise a somewhat repetitive job.
2. What are the biggest benefits of the QA program to BMS’s clients?
I like to compare our Quality Assurance structure to Legislative and Judicial branches of government. We make the policies across multiple departments to improve and support Operations. Then we monitor their effectiveness and ensure they are being followed. Therefore, the entire company can remain critical, transparent and objective.
In many ways my department acts as a communications bridge between departments, enabling everyone in the company to share new ideas and feedback. All this benefits our clients.
3. How do you measure the company’s sustainability performance as a part of the QA program?
Sustainability is not a trend anymore. It has become a lifestyle. Because sustainability in cleaning affects our health directly, the importance of ensuring sustainability in our industry is critical.
Not only do I review chemical and equipment purchasing to ensure they meet Green Seal and other standards, I also look at the quality of our janitorial supply closets. This is where we store “green” chemicals and equipment. It’s really the ultimate measure of our quality. If the location where we store supplies is not sustain-ably managed, then we have a problem. The supply closet is a perfect snapshot of our performance for an entire building.
4. Quality Assurance isn’t just about how well BMS cleans a building. What quality indicators are you evaluating with respect to our internal business processes?
Internally, our HR practices play a significant role in quality of employee performance. Externally, the vendors, such as Daycon Cleaning and Maintenance Supplies , with whom we partner have a direct impact on the quality of our chemicals, paper and equipment.
On the HR side, I am involved with our training program. I believe that great results come from great execution of the small details. This is why detailed training is critical. I also work with HR to ensure our janitorial staff is provided the best possible work conditions on site in the buildings they work within.
On the vendor side, among other things, I track our percentage of sustainable purchases and ensure our vendors are meeting our sustainability expectations.
5. How does the QA program help streamline efficiencies within the organization?
The QA staff are always looking for ways to improve our operations and streamline the way we do business.
One recent example is the expansion of our shared network drive out into the field. Most of our account managers are located at one of their assigned buildings. They are our eyes and ears on the ground. As soon as I joined BMS, I saw an opportunity to improve communications tracking and access to building information by connecting our field staff with our shared drive at their assigned buildings. Once connected to the shared drive, we realized improved efficiencies on several fronts.
6. You’ve spent the past year, since you joined the company, evaluating the BMS QA program. What changes, if any, do you anticipate making to the program over the next two years?
Positive changes were already happening even before I joined BMS, and we have made many exciting changes this past year. My goal over the next two years is to drive improvements that allow our employees even more opportunity to grow professionally, to succeed within the company, and that help them forge stronger relationships with our clients.
Our policies and programs are only successful when our account managers and employees are on board. Change can be difficult, so my goal is to motivate and encourage our staff along the way. Our employees are the heart of our company and their success is our success.
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