By Diane M. Calabrese / Published July 2016
Standardization simplifies comparisons because it provides a baseline for beginning discussions. It makes it easier to communicate with colleagues, competitors, and customers.
Certification embraces standardization. Much of the early motivation for starting a CETA Certified Distributor program derived from the acknowledgment that standardization would benefit the entire industry.
“I was on the board of directors of CETA, years ago, when this was set,” says Roy G. Chappell, CEO of Chappell Supply and Equipment in Oklahoma City, OK. “We saw that there were a lot of distributors out there that didn’t have the experience needed…whether repair, sales, other…”
And the Cleaning Equipment Trade Association decided to meet the need. The CETA program was actually developed “prior to extensive federal regulations,” says Chappell. “CETA set up training programs for certification and recertification. In our industry, we pretty much have to train everyone because the industry is unique.”
Chappell’s company was the second to attain certification through CETA. Certification has always been and continues to be an integral part of doing business, he explains. “A lot of our customers require certifications—OSHA, First Aid,” says Chappell. “If they drive a truck, Texas requires a truck training program every month.” It does not end there. “The big companies have training programs and requirements so when you go on site, your team is aware of all that’s expected of their employees—and yours if they are on site too,” explains Chappell.
Expectations are not just set high after a contractual arrangement is made. Just getting an opportunity to submit a proposal to a large company will require that certain certifications are already held. Consequently, one of the most fundamental of the many benefits that accrue to CETA Certified Distributors is readiness to serve a larger customer base.
Chad Rasmussen, general manager of Royce Industries L.C. in West Jordan, UT, explains that certification can enable a company to distinguish itself. “We mostly use our CETA certification to set us apart from our competitors,” he says. Certification provides a way to convey seriousness of purpose to clients, for example. “We explain that being a CETA Certified Distributor shows a commitment from our organization to always work to improve and better meet their needs,” says Rasmussen.
In case we have readers wondering which company beat Chappell’s to the claim on first, we have an answer. “Alklean Industries Inc. holds the first certificate issued by CETA,” says Brenda Purswell, the president of the company based in Pasadena, TX.
“As soon as it was offered, we saw the value and rushed to complete the paperwork and get it in to the CETA office,” says Purswell. “We renew every year.”
The commitment to certification is something that just makes good business sense, explains Purswell. “We always want our company to be a leader and to be known as a professional company,” she explains. “We felt that becoming CETA certified was one step in that direction.”
The process of obtaining and then maintaining certification requires full engagement with the industry. “The criteria require you to attend educational classes and stay updated on all facets of running a professional organization,” says Purswell.
Like Chappell, Purswell points to the importance of certification in meeting the expectations set by large firms. “Without naming specific companies, most industrial accounts look for companies that are professional and that carry any certification related to their industry,” she explains. Thus, holding certification assists her company “in securing this type of customer.”
Not the first in the door, but just as enthusiastic about certification is Dennis Black, president of McHenry Pressure Cleaning Systems Inc. in Frederick, MD. “We did qualify soon after the program was created,” he says.
Going the distance to become a CETA Certified Distributor paralleled commitment to the industry, explains Black. “We were already involved with CETA, and to go the extra lengths to be certified seemed to be the thing to do. We see it as a symbol of our dedication, experience, and professional approach to our business and industry.”
Certification encompasses the philosophy that a business brings in and retains customers by consistently demonstrating its merits. It is a reward in itself, and yet, there are other rewards, too.
“We have had a few bid situations where we listed that we are CETA certified, which helps separate us from some of our competition,” says Black. “I believe it illustrates to our customers our commitment to business and that we have the knowledge and experience to better serve them. In other words, it has helped us earn business.”
How does a company begin the process of becoming a CETA Certified Distributor? Meet the minimum re-quirements (member in good standing, two years or more in pressure washing industry, at least one employee who has received factory/manufacturer training). Then, begin accumulating the 100 points required to become certified. Employees may also earn points, which become part of the distributor’s total.
There are three sources of points. Attend CETA-sanctioned seminars (five points each). Participate in factory or supplier training programs/seminars and/or accredited college or vocational technical classes (five points each); the maximum here is 25 points. Years of service of principal owner or manager earn one point per year; the maximum here is 25 points.
The foregoing outlines the basics enough to illustrate that distributors in good standing with CETA are already doing what it takes to become certified. For more information about certification and a copy of the certification qualification sheet, visit www.ceta.org. (Application fee for submitting credentials for certification is $25.)
CETA Certified Distributors agree to adhere to a code of ethics. The code outlines all that we hope every member of the industry meets each day.
The elements of the code include the highest standard of personal conduct, the promotion and encouragement of ethical standards in the industry, company loyalty, responsible action in meeting all laws and regulations, trustworthiness, cooperative spirit, honest communication, and a steadfast commitment to excellence.
As the list of CETA Certified Distributor members [see sidebar] grows, so too does the strength of the Cleaning Equipment Trade Association.
Congratulations to the CETA Certified Distributor Members
Absolute Pressure Cleaning Equipment Inc, Odenton, MD
Alklean Industries Inc., Pasadena, TX
All Spray Ltd., Swanton, OH
Always Under Pressure,San Jose, CA
American Cleaning Systems, Columbia, MO
Aqua Engineers, Austell, GA
Ben’s Cleaner Sales Inc., Seattle, WA
Bozeman Distributors, Baton Rouge, LA
Carson/American Equipment Co., Portland, OR
Chappell Supply of Texas, Rhome, TX
Chappell Supply & Equipment Company, Oklahoma City, OK
CTS Cleaning Systems Inc., Fayetteville, NC
Equipment Specialists Inc., London, OH
Etowah Chemical Sales & Service, Inc., Atlanta, GA
Etowah Chemical Sales & Service Inc., Birmingham, AL
Etowah Chemical Sales & Service, Inc., Chattanooga, TN
Etowah Chemical Sales & Service, Inc., Gadsden, AL
Etowah Chemical Sales & Service, Inc., Knoxville, TN
Etowah Chemical Sales & Service, Inc., Mobile, AL
Faitella Enterprises Inc./The Paint House, Ft. Pierce, FL
Great Lakes Cleaning Systems Inc., Grand Rapids, MI
Hi Pressure Cleaning Systems Inc., Houma, LA
High PSI Ltd., Glendale Heights, IL
Hotsy/Carlson Equipment Company, Austin, TX
Hotsy Pacific, Modesto, CA
Hy-Flo Equipment Company, Pittsburg, KS
Industrial Equipment, Chico, CA
J. Prosser Enterprises Inc., Miami, FL
Lowery Distributing Inc., Plainview, TX
McHenry Equipment Inc., Frederick, MD
Power Cleaning Equipment Inc., Florence, AL
Pressure Systems Inc., Phoenix, AZ
R.J. Bowers Distributors Inc., Rockford, IL
Royce Industries LC, Boise, ID
Royce Industries LC, Denver, CO
Royce Industries LC, Las Vegas, NV
Royce Industries LC, Utah
Sande Equipment Company Inc., Monterey Park, CA
Steam Cleaners, Inc., Fresno, CA
Tulsa Cleaning Systems, Tulsa, OK