Our members are the driving force behind what we do and how we do it.
Networking, education and advocacy. These are the three tenets of any trade association. The Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI) has spent our first decade focusing on the first two items. Our annual convention, our spring leadership conference, weekly podcasts and monthly webinars are all designed to bring members together and to help them build their businesses into professional cleaning companies that consumers can use with confidence.
ARCSI members take networking to a whole new level. In more than thirty years of association and chamber of commerce management, our members are the most giving, helpful and enthusiastic group of business owners I have ever seen. Their willingness to share ideas, solutions, and problem solve with other members is simply amazing. Time and again, members tell us the opportunity to network with other owners who have “been there, done that” is the number one benefit of membership.
I often tell people our primary job is to broker resources, especially educational resources. The ARCSI staff spends time informing and connecting our members with great educational resources available from our industry partners, who also support our association. These include programs, products and services from industry consultants, suppliers and manufacturers. They also include resources from our members which are available in our members only resource library. We also bring our members world-class speakers from both within and outside of our industry. All of these programs are designed to help members raise the level of professionalism in their companies and throughout our industry. As the cleaning industry puts more emphasis on “cleaning for health,” continuing education for both owners and cleaning technicians will become a must. ARCSI supported the development of the House Cleaning Technician (HCT) certification program through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) for this reason. We believe this technical certification, with its third party validation, will become increasingly important to consumers in the future. It is also our job to educate customers as to why they should hire a professional cleaning company that operates in an ethical manner and complies with applicable regulations. Consumers need to understand the training and education professional companies give their employees to insure their home will be cleaned properly and provide a healthy living environment.
As ARCSI moves into its second decade, the third tenet, advocacy, will become an integral part of our programming. It will be the association’s challenge to move beyond reacting to issues at the local, state and federal level, and take a leadership role in shaping the discussions on laws and regulations that impact how our members do business. If health and environmental concerns lead to legislation and regulation, members will be looking to their trade association for guidance and direction in communicating their message to lawmakers. At the end of the day, the reason for our association is its members. They are the driving force behind what we do and how we do it.
Ernie Hartong has served as the Executive Director of ARCSI since 2009. His background includes 25 years of association management as well as jan-san sales. For more information about ARCSI, click here.