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Programs Help Scarlet & Gray Offer Customers More
Posted 06/09/2009

Scarlet & Gray Cleaning Service has spent the past eighteen years working hard to exceed the expectations of its more than 50 K-12 school clients and provide a clean and safe learning environment for teachers and students. Yet, even after having earned the reputation as Cincinnati’s foremost “school cleaning experts,” company president Mark Cappel and his team continue to look for new ways to improve management and operations and provide clients with unique programs that demonstrate the company’s commitment to unrivaled customer satisfaction. And it is with such goals in mind that the company has created the Scarlet & Gray Management Institute and the organization’s new “Beyond Me” program.

The Management Institute was developed in order to improve service and provide the Scarlet & Gray management team with an opportunity for personal and professional growth. To do so, Cappel and his team formalized the organization’s annual training workshops into a series of courses that were specifically designed to increase professionalism and overall effectiveness. The courses are targeted to cover the five major sections of CIMS: (1) Quality Systems; (2) Service Delivery; (3) Human Resources; (4) Health, Safety & Environmental Stewardship; and (5) Management Commitment, as well as include information specific to the development needs of Scarlet & Gray.

“As we went through CIMS certification, we realized how much information we had about the business of cleaning schools,” notes Cappel. “We really wanted to convert such information into practical knowledge that would enable our managers to better apply best practices and sound management principles on a daily basis, as well as provide valuable continuing education for our managers.”

While the Management Institute is focused on improving the skills of Scarlet & Gray’s managers, the “Beyond Me” program is focused on the ultimate customer of the organization’s services—the student. Specifically, the Beyond Me program recognizes and celebrates children and young adults who perform good deeds and, in the words of Cappel, “think beyond themselves.” Students are nominated by teachers, school administrators, and classroom peers, and recognized individuals are rewarded with certificates, pizza parties, t-shirts, and gift cards.

“We wanted to reward students who, as a matter of course, show kindness and compassion and make good choices overall, “states Cappel. “The program was developed as a way for us to give back to the schools we serve, make a difference in the community, and, most importantly, encourage children to treat others with respect and kindness. It also offers a unique opportunity for recognition outside the traditional areas of academics and athletics.”

Both programs have proven to be an immediate success. The Management Institute was introduced this spring and 15 members of Scarlet & Gray’s management team have gone through the initial set of courses. Further, eight schools have participated in the Beyond Me program and more than 200 students have been recognized. Cappel is certainly proud of the number of participants in each of the programs, but is even more pleased with the results.

“With regard to the Management Institute, it has really helped our managers fully realize that they are valuable, true professionals who possess crucial knowledge that helps the company fulfill its crucial mission,” Cappel notes. “We could not exceed the expectations of our clients and provide the cleanest and safest learning environment possible without the diligence of our managers and the Institute helps us further invest in effective management.

“As for Beyond Me, we really want to teach children the importance of going beyond the ‘me mentality’ and making good choices in their daily lives. In a world where life moves so fast and personal success is often the focus, we believe it is critical to think about the needs of others.”

Even with such success, Cappel has big plans for both programs for the future. “We would love to implement the Beyond Me program in all schools that we clean and continue to have a positive impact on participating schools and the community as a whole,” he stresses. “We also plan to continuously assess and improve the effectiveness of the Management Institute courses, expanding the content and investing even further in training and knowledge.”