Copesan Partners learned of the disengagement of Western from Copesan on Friday afternoon (May 4). A press release was sent out by Copesan on Sunday morning (May 6).
“Leaving the Copesan network was a difficult business decision, having been a Copesan Partner since 1991,” said Michael Katz, president of Western Exterminator Company, in the press release. “However, after very careful consideration, we have determined that we want to refocus our service efforts on the Western Exterminator side of our business. This was solely a management decision for Western as we fully support the Copesan business model. We are committed to working with Copesan’s national clients and will do everything in our power to ensure a seamless transition.”
Katz told PCT that Western benefitted from its Copesan partnership in many ways, including having Western members serve on various Copesan committees. “When you are dealing with large national accounts, there are a lot of protocols to follow and I think we learned a lot about quality assurance through the Copesan network,” he said. “I think they have one of the finest technical committees in the industry. In a lot of ways it made us a better company.”
Despite these and other benefits Katz said it was a necessary business decision because being a Copesan Partner “was a difficult piece of our business to administer properly.”
News of Western’s disengagement from Copesan has once again stirred up the “Is Western being sold?” rumors in the pest control industry, to which Katz responded, “I don’t believe that is true. I have heard those rumors about our imminent sale for many years. You know, we are being sold to Terminix, we are being sold to Orkin. I don’t look at this action any differently. Looking at this action, I can see where people might think that, but people can think what they want. This was a business decision that stands on its own merits.”
In that same Copesan press release, Deni Naumann, president of Copesan said, “Our commitment to providing exceptional service and account management to our clients is and always will be our top priority. We are grateful that the Western team shares this same commitment and is dedicated to a smooth transition of service. We recognize that change in our service provider network may cause some uneasiness, however, Copesan has addressed similar challenges in the past and the end result is a stronger servicing network.”
When asked by PCT how other Copesan Partners would fill in the hole left by the departure of Western Exterminator, Naumann explained how Copesan’s national accounts are transitioned, “We look at our redundant service capability. So, in the case of Western, we will be making assessments as to who can provide the service portfolios; the capabilities we need, for our clients,” she said. “It’s always ‘Now that this need has arisen, what service capabilities address the clients’ requirements?’”
In the weeks ahead, Copesan will decide which firms (possibly a combination of both current and new Partners) are best suited to service Copesan’s national accounts. “The client touch points that we have, the electronic data, the various elements that we provide to clients, that’s what makes this a Copesan client,” Naumann continued. “We have our Partners who provide service at the location, but it’s to Copesan requirements and the clients’ requirements.”
One of the strengths of Copesan’s unique business model is its redundant service capabilities identified in its local markets. “All of our servicing Partners are committed to Copesan’s high-touch account management approach and quality service performance standards. We’re confident that our clients will continue to receive the best of care in their capable hands,” said Naumann.
Copesan will be communicating transition details to its clients as they are finalized. The transition is targeted for completion by Sept. 30, 2012
The authors are Internet editor and editor of PCT.