BASF Reorganizes U.S. Specialty Products Department
Research Triangle Park, N.C. — BASF recently announced it will take its distinct businesses within the U.S. non-crop markets and merge them into one unit. The primary businesses, known as Pest Control Solutions and Professional Turf & Ornamentals, and secondary businesses, including Professional Vegetation Management and Market Business Development, now will collectively be known as the BASF Specialty Products Department (SPD). Each market will continue to be served, but BASF will do so as one business unit led by Jan Buberl, director of Specialty Products.
“Having these businesses come together as one strengthens BASF and its commitment to the specialty markets, and the acquisition of Becker Underwood underscores a continued commitment and investment to grow,” said Nevin McDougall, senior vice president, North America, BASF Crop Protection. “The new SPD unit will be built to last for the long term, while meeting the needs of customers in these markets.”
“We are merging the businesses to stay ahead of the curve of the industries we serve,” added Buberl. “As the T&O and Pest Control markets move closer together, this merger puts us in a position to better serve our customers.” Buberl said discussions about a possible reorganization began last February during a strategic review of the firm’s specialty chemicals business. To position BASF for the future, executives asked themselves several questions, he said, including: “What can we do better in the future to address our customers’ needs? How can we make sure we stay ahead of the curve? How can we address these needs from an organizational process?”
Buberl said BASF executives discussed a number of industry trends that were key factors in their decision to move ahead with the reorganization, including: (1) “ongoing consolidation” at all levels of the industry; (2) increased generic pressure in both the pest control and T&O markets; (3) a pest control marketplace that in the current economic climate will be challenged to return to pre-recession revenue levels; and (4) a “blurring” of the specialty pest control and landscape markets as PMPs and LCOs search for “alternative revenue” streams to fund growth in the years ahead.
“There is a good recovery in the marketplace, and we are very happy to see that, but it is very clear that the marketplace after the recovery will never be the marketplace prior to the crisis,” Buberl said, “so we have to prepare ourselves for the future.”
While Buberl said BASF has done “an excellent job” defending its intellectual property in the pest control industry, where fipronil, the active ingredient in its Termidor Termiticide/Insecticide went off patent in 2010, “we have similar challenges down the road” on the T&O side of the business, with a key active ingredient to go off patent in 2015, Buberl said, “and we want to prepare ourselves to…have the same success story on that side of the business.”
Buberl said end users of BASF’s products and services also are feeling the effects of a stagnant economy. “The pie is not getting bigger for our customers,” he said, so it’s up to BASF to develop innovative technologies that will help PMPs “capture more of the pie” or achieve operating efficiencies that will have a positive impact on their bottom line, one of four key “pillars” of its go-forward strategy, including: (1) bringing innovations to market that will take 30 to 80 percent of PMPs’ termite and GIC labor costs out of the business; (2) reducing callbacks 15 to 20 percent through innovations in the firm’s general insect control product line; (3) bringing one or two new products to market every year; and (4) continuing to support the industry via groups like NPMA and PPMA.
Another market trend that prompted the reorganization was the “blurring” of the PMP/LCO marketplace in several regions of the country, according to Buberl, including the Gulf Coast, Florida and West Coast. He cited Massey Services as a prime example of a company with a strong presence in both the pest control and turf and ornamental markets, a trend that is likely to continue in the years ahead. “We want to be prepared to steward all these markets in the right way because the old structure we had in SPD was a silo structure” he said, that wasn’t particularly conducive to serving these hybrid companies.
“We want to be close to the end user to create demand for our product, but also be close to our end users to understand…their needs,” Buberl added. BASF plans to meet those needs by consolidating its R&D activities in Research Triangle Park, and by leveraging the intellectual capital acquired in its recent Becker Underwood purchase, a global product supplier. While Becker Underwood’s core market is agricultural chemicals and biological seed treatments, “there are some unique delivery technologies we see in the Becker Underwood franchise that could be very, very beneficial” for the pest control industry, Buberl said.
Key changes related to this reorganization include the business manager roles of PCS and T&O being dissolved and consolidation of the PCS and T&O marketing departments. Dan Carrothers, formerly PCS business manager, and Brian Lish, formerly T&O business manager, assume the new roles of SPD marketing manager and strategic account manager, respectively. Both Carrothers and Lish will report directly to Buberl, as will Jim Derbyshire, an industry veteran who will serve as national sales manager for the combined portfolio.
Buberl said the reorganization is not likely to impact the relationship PMPs have with their current BASF sales representative. “There may be some geographies…where we will…start to cross-sell some of these portfolios, but the majority of the salespeople will be dedicated to a specific (market) segment,” he said.
In addition to a strategic account sales structure and approach, SPD sales also includes an inside sales force and a traditional field sales approach that is divided into three regions for both key businesses. Three regional sales managers overseeing these territories will have both T&O and PCS field sales representatives reporting to them and those sales reps will remain dedicated to the respective markets they serve.
With this merger comes the move of the PCS business, currently in St. Louis, Mo., to Research Triangle Park. The new SPD business structure will be in place by March 31. Buberl said BASF will maintain its aerosol manufacturing facility in St. Louis, but about 30 positions in R&D, registration, marketing and commercial business will be shifted to North Carolina.
For more information, visit www.agro.basf.us. — Dan Moreland
‘The Pest Detectives’ Hits Virtual Shelves
Fairfax, Va. — The Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA) released a free e-book that teaches children about bugs, entomology and the pest management profession. The e-book, called “The Pest Detectives,” is written by Susan Caretto and illustrated by Colleen Madden.
The story follows the adventures of Millie, an 8-year-old budding entomologist, as she solves real-life pest mysteries with her father, a PMP. Readers can join Millie as she shares stories of past pest investigations logged into her scrapbook, and as she embarks on a new case to determine the secret behind another character’s pest problem, PPMA said.
“Members of our industry can all agree on the importance of teaching children about the fascinating world of insects and the vital role pest management professionals play in keeping our families and homes safe from the property and health risks posed by household pests,” said Missy Henriksen, executive director, PPMA.
Author Susan Carraretto founded 5MinutesForMom, rated a Top Family Blog by the Wall Street Journal, with her twin sister Janice. “Creating this e-book in partnership with the Professional Pest Management Alliance has been a wonderful experience,” Carraretto said. “I wanted to write something my kids would enjoy reading and I love how the story and visualization of Millie came to life through the illustrations.”
“The Pest Detectives” is available for free on the PPMA-funded NPMA consumer website www.pestworld.org, Apple’s iBookstore, the Barnes & Noble Nook store and the Amazon Kindle Store. Paperback versions soon will be available.
PestWest releases ‘Filth Fly Control iBook’
Sarasota, Fla. — PestWest has released the Filth Fly Control iBook for the iPad and as a PDF. Written for a wide range of readers, including pest management professionals, this condensed informational document covers biology, species, monitoring, control and a larvae pictorial key. The iBook is designed to be used as a companion to the PestWest Training Manual and The Science of Flying Insect Control manual. The format incorporates videos, images and many interactive elements.
The Filth Fly Control iBook is available from iTunes. For more information, call PestWest at 866/476-7378 or email email@example.com.
EPA Agrees to Proposed Pyrethroid Language
Washington, D.C. — In 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency decided to limit the outdoor non-agricultural use of pyrethroids, because of potential impacts on aquatic species. The new labels began showing up earlier this year.
The new labels largely limited the outdoor use of pyrethroids to crack and crevice and spot treatments. NPMA, along with the Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials and the State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (an EPA advisory committee comprised of state regulators) recommended to EPA that the labels be further changed.
NPMA was advised in December that EPA has agreed to language proposed by the groups. The new language will allow PMPs to make outdoor applications beyond applications to cracks and crevices and spot treatments, provided the application is made through the use of a coarse, low pressure spray over a treatable surface (bare soil, lawn, turf, mulch or other vegetation) and not an impervious surface like a driveway or sidewalk.
The language should begin to appear on labels mid-year, NPMA says.
|Comings & Goings
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Bell Laboratories named Arnaud Del Valle Southern European manager. He will represent Bell products to the professional pest control and animal agricultural markets in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Turkey.
Neil Spomer, Ph.D., was recently named a field scientist for the Dow AgroSciences’ Urban Pest Management Business. In his new position, Spomer will support research for Dow’s Sentricon System, manage the Urban Pest Management Lab in Indianapolis and also will cover parts of the Midwest and East Coast as a field scientist for Sentricon.
In other news at the firm, Dow AgroSciences named Heather Kern product manager for its U.S. Pest Management sulfuryl fluoride business, supporting Vikane and ProFume gas fumigants. Kern will manage the marketing strategy, marketing research and communication plans for Vikane and ProFume.
Kentucky-based OPC Pest Control’s Don Partin, general manager; Brett Partin, training director; Patrick Hickman, service manager; and Kevin Mills, sales/marketing manager, each have earned their Associate Certified Entomologist credentials.
Atrix International has enlisted Patrick Callahan, president of C3 Group, to help capture more market share with the company’s Immediate Containment HEPA Cartridge Filter systems, the firm reports. Atrix manufactures three models of HEPA vacuums and accompanying filters that are rated to pick up viruses, bacteria and lead dust.
Jason Dixon was recently promoted to manager of Truly Nolen’s Orlando Commercial Division. In his new role, Dixon will oversee all aspects of Truly Nolen’s day-to-day technical management.
Dr. Michael R. Linford announced his retirement from TPE Associates/ThermaPure. The company said throughout his career, Linford helped usher in the use of portable heaters and heat treatment to the industry. Linford plans to remain active in the pest control industry.
Ed Bredemyer has been named area manager for Bayer Environmental Science’s professional pest management business in Texas, New Mexico and Utah.
Keith McCormick was named general manager of A-Active Termite and Pest Control, Virginia Beach, Va., and also was elected to the Virginia Pest Management Association’s board of directors in November.
Assured Environments President Andrew Klein has joined the Copesan Board of Directors. Assured Environments, New York City, has been a Copesan local service provider since 2004, and became a shareholder in 2006.
Traci Thornton was named director of marketing for Massey Services, Orlando, Fla.
John M. Steenstra, of Rose Pest Solutions, Grand Rapids, Mich., earned his ACE credentials.
Lee W. Crump, chief information officer, Rollins, was selected as the 2012 Georgia CIO of the Year Award winner in the Global category. Casey George, president of the Georgia CIO Leadership Association, said Crump’s innovative use of technology to provide business value and support of the organization’s mission stood out among other applicants.
David E. Stone, of Adam’s Pest Control, Medina, Minn., recently earned his ACE credentials.
NPMA to Host Bed Bug Forum
Fairfax, Va. — The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), in collaboration with the Illinois Pest Control Association (IPCA) and the Greater Chicago Pest Management Alliance (GCPMA), will be host a national bed bug forum in Chicago on April 9.
“Companies from around the Chicago region and across the country have been working hard to develop bed bug control strategies. Understanding the need for even higher education, we have created a meeting designed to provide pest management professionals with the information they need from the legal, technical, business, and customer-oriented perspectives,” said Bob Rosenberg, executive vice president of NPMA. “This forum moves beyond the bed bug basics and focuses on the current climate of bed bug control and what to expect in the near and long-term future of this pest.”
“Our members understand the need to provide the best service experience possible when performing bed bug treatments,” said Tim Baietto, IPCA president. “Therefore we want to ensure that we are providing the best education so they have the tools, knowledge and resources available to make correct decisions in daily operations.”
According to Jeff Beallis, president of GCPMA, “As trusted professionals, we strive to offer the best education to assist our members in their quest to reduce, prevent and eliminate bed bugs from causing a negative impact on people, property, health and businesses in our region.”
This conference will feature industry experts as well as vendors from across the country that will be showcasing the newest technology in bed bug control.
Truly Nolen Reports More Customers Buying Services Online
Tucson, Ariz. — Truly Nolen reports the number of customers who used its web-based buying system more than tripled from 2010 to 2011, and doubled again in 2012.
The company said it expects this trend to continue as it launches a redesigned version of its online buying website in early 2013.
“We’re taking our e-commerce to the next level on tablets and other mobile devices,” said Michelle Nolen Senner, director of marketing and advertising. “While the system behind the scenes is quite sophisticated, we’re working to make sure customers’ online buying experience is as seamless as possible.”
The new system will allow Truly Nolen to respond to customers more quickly and efficiently, and will guide customers through the best solution to eradicate a particular pest problem, the company said.
“We’ll have answers to basic questions before we even step into a home, such as if they have any children or pets, what type of foliage is near the house and where exactly is the problem,” Senner said. “By the time customers call us, they are looking for quick solutions and with this information, we’ll be able to provide that.”
Learn more at www.trulynolen.com.
Univar ES Announces Launch of PestWeb.ca
Austin, Texas — Univar Environmental Sciences recently announced the launch of www.pestweb.ca, Canada’s version of Univar’s U.S. resource PestWeb.
The launch of PestWeb.ca will provide Canadian pest management professionals with a Canada-specific site that offers access to innovative tools and resources. Univar said the new site is designed to help PMPs succeed and is an informative resource built specifically for the Canadian market.
Features on the site include: the latest industry news, events and information; product information and promotions; product ratings and reviews; and links to help with control techniques and pest-related issues. For French speaking customers, the site offers a translation feature.
“Customers in Canada have told us they want more information, so we developed pestweb.ca specific to their needs,” said Karl J. Kisner, vice president of marketing. “We’re pleased to expand our services and resources to better support our Canadian customers.”
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Green Tech Termite & Pest Control, Palm Harbor, Fla., was the recipient of the 2012 Small Business of the Year award, presented by the Greater Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce. Owner Frank Nabozny said the award “means so much to me and my employees. We take pride in what we do and strive to keep our customers 100 percent satisfied so that they will tell their friends and family about us.”
Critter Getter Pest Control, Mesa, Ariz., was selected for the 2012 Best of Mesa Award in the pest control category. The award program honors the achievements of local businesses throughout the Mesa area.
Reynolds Pest Management, Port Saint Lucie, Fla., received the Angie’s List Super Service Award for pest control. The firm said the award was a symbol that Reynolds Pest Management is dedicated to providing the best pest, rodent, termite control and lawn care services.
Dublin, Ga.-based Allgood Pest Solutions recently acquired three firms: Pied Piper, Charleston, S.C.; South Georgia Termite & Pest Control, Douglas, Ga.; and James Aiken Pest Control, Augusta, Ga. Allgood said the acquisitions mean the firm will add more than 10 jobs to manage the increase of more than 2,000 new customers.
Allgood was also recently named one of the eight best places to work in Georgia by Georgia Trend magazine.
Eight branches of Western Pest Services, based in Parsippany, N.J., received a 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award. Branches in Washington, D.C.; Fairfax, Va.; Richmond, Va.; Virginia Beach, Va.; Wilmington, Del.; Shrewsbury, N.J.; West Orange, N.J.; and Baltimore, Md. received the award.
New Jersey’s Hoffman’s Exterminating has acquired Luvin’ Bugs Termite and Pest Control, Exton, Pa. Luvin’ Bugs was started by Bryan Levengood in 2002. Both parties described the acquisition as a “win-win.”
Truly Nolen, Tucson, Ariz., received an Angie’s List Super Service Award. Michelle Nolen Senner, director of marketing and advertising for Truly Nolen, said the company was humbled to be acknowledged as a leader in quality service.
Knockout Pest Control, Uniondale, N.Y., recently acquired Q Exterminators of Centereach, N.Y. Arthur Katz, president of Knockout, said the acquisition is a great fit. The company serves counties throughout the state of New York.
ServiceMaster Names New TruGreen President
Memphis, Tenn. — The ServiceMaster Co. announced in December that David Alexander has joined the company as president of its TruGreen subsidiary. He will report to ServiceMaster CEO Hank Mullany. Alexander replaces Gary Brackett who resigned on Oct. 9 less than a year after taking the job.
“We’re excited to welcome Dave to the ServiceMaster family of brands,” said Mullany, who had been serving as interim TruGreen president since October. “He has an outstanding track record of executive leadership in customer service, operations, supply chain and driving revenue growth. He’s a high-energy leader, a strong communicator and passionate about developing high-performing, diverse teams.”
Alexander joins TruGreen from Citi Trends, a publicly traded urban retailer based in Savannah, Ga. with more than 5,000 employees, 500 stores and three distribution centers operating in 29 states, where he most recently served as CEO.
Previously, he was a retail consultant for London-based Apax Partners after serving two years as chairman, president and chief executive officer of privately held Portrait Corporation of America. Prior to that, he served in a variety of executive roles, including president and chief operating officer, over a 10-year career at Family Dollar Stores.
“Getting TruGreen on track and restoring consistent growth and profitability to the business is one of our top priorities in 2013,” Mullany said. “We’ve made good progress in the past two months as we’ve reviewed and made significant improvements to our sales, marketing, staffing and operations strategies.”
Orlando’s Massey Services Introduces My Massey iPhone App
Orlando, Fla. — Massey Services has launched My Massey iPhone/iPad app. The app provides customers with options for managing their Massey account, make payments, check upcoming appointments, submit service requests (including sending photos for a quick diagnosis), review service history and check account balances.
“We listened to our customers’ feedback and developed a tool that provided an easier, more convenient way for them to manage their account,” said Tony Massey, president and COO.
The free My Massey iPhone app is available at Apple’s online App Store. Massey team members also have been provided with collateral materials that provide customers with quick access to the app through a scan of a QR code.