|Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the 2012 Republican Party Vice-Presidential nominee, will be speaking at Legislative Day.|
While the goal of those attending NPMA’s 2013 Legislative Day remains the same — to raise awareness with their legislators about issues impacting the pest control industry — what’s different about this year’s event is that there are real opportunities to make inroads thanks to a new-look Congress.
The 113th Congress includes a U.S. House of Representatives with one-third of its 435 members having less than three years experience. In 2010, 96 freshmen were elected, followed by the victorious campaigns of 84 newcomers last November, totaling 180 new members the last two election cycles. The Senate has seen similar turnover, with 12 new senators being elected in 2012 on top of 13 freshman senators that won election in 2010. Also, many of the House members elected in 2010 and 2012 will soon chair key subcommittees that have jurisdiction over issues that impact the professional pest management industry.
“We have an increased opportunity to establish relationships with people who will, in just a few years, hold major positions of influence,” said Gene Harrington, director of government affairs for the National Pest Management Association.
Harrington added that there also is a generational shift in Congress. Long-serving members such as Ted Kennedy, Arlen Specter, Bob Dole and Daniel Inouye are gone. In fact, only one member of Congress (Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J.) served in World War II.
“It’s a new day for Legislative Day, too,” said Harrington. “For those who attended Legislative Day in the past and were frustrated by their visits, they should know that there truly are opportunities with this Congress, but Bob [Rosenberg, NPMA executive vice president] and I can only do so much. We really need Legislative Day attendees to extend our [reach] to places we don’t have the time and ability to get to, and establish relationships.”
In addition to developing these relationships, Legislative Day attendees will be raising awareness about the following issues impacting the pest control industry.
PESTT Act. Legislative Day attendees will be asking their legislators to support the PESTT (Pest Elimination Services Transparency and Terminology) Act. Introduced in the House late last year by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) and Rep. Kurt Shrader (D-Ore.), the legislation aims to limit USDA-Wildlife Services competition with the private sector for rodent, nuisance bird and wildlife work.
The issue stems from a 1987 law that authorized USDA-WS to work at non-agricultural settings. Although the main intent of the legislation was to permit USDA-WS to control birds at airports and engage in rabies control initiatives, the language was written very broadly. Today, there is virtually no type of nuisance bird and wildlife management work that USDA-WS does not perform — regardless of whether area businesses also provide the same services. The only type of work WS is not authorized to perform is “urban rodent control.” That term, however, is not defined in statute or regulation.
Harrington said PCOs have long complained about these types of conflicts.
Ohio County Moves Forward with New Pesticide Use Measures
In April 2012, the Cuyahoga County Council passed pesticide use restrictions that apply to the county’s 66 buildings (including interiors), their lawns and the wide swaths of open space at Whiskey Island and the Cuyahoga County Airport.
While these type of ordinances are not out-of-the-ordinary, what is unusual is that Cuyahoga County (which includes the city of Cleveland) has taken the next steps by implementing the ordinance and contracting with a pest control company that undoubtedly bid the work at a much higher cost (because of the pesticide use restrictions).
According to Gene Harrington, director of government affairs for the National Pest Management Association, “The Cuyahoga County issue was interesting because (a) they were willing to pay the increased costs; and (b) it was so broad. What usually happens is that when local governments pass these types of ordinances they get ignored or never implemented, but in this case Cuyahoga said, ‘We’ll go ahead and pay many more times what a normal pest control contract would be.’” Additionally, council approved a partnership with the Cleveland arm of Emerald Cities, a Washington, D.C.-based group that promotes environmentally friendly initiatives. — Brad Harbison
Mike Givlin, vice president, North American Bird Program, The Steritech Group, said, “They are a regulator that also competes head to head with us. It is incredibly hard to get business or maintain business when the regulator is also providing the service. It is an inherently unbalanced playing field.”
For example, Givlin said Steritech might handle an account’s pest control services, but USDA-WS will be under contract for the bird work. Steritech would have a difficult time outbidding USDA-WS, a not-for-profit service organization.
Dan Master, Critter Control of Greater Boston, related the following conflict: Master was called to remove 50+seagulls from the roof of a large retail store so the AC units could be serviced during a heat wave. Master called USDA-WS, which informed him that he would need a depredation permit, which would take 30 to 60 days, “but (the WS employee) could come out and pick up the eggs and nests on his ‘emergency permit’ for a fee (about $800),” recalled Master, who proceeded to pay USDA-WS the fee. Master has since applied for and received the permit. “When [the USDA-WS employee] called to tell me my permit was in, he said that if I wanted him to keep doing the depredation, he would do it for $200 a trip if it was on my permit. So, when they have a monopoly on the permit, they price gouge; when the job is open to competition, they are competitively priced.”
Harrington said NPMA has tried for many years to address these conflicts administratively with USDA prior to seeking this statute change.
The two key components of the PESTT Act are: (1) to define the term “urban rodent control”; and (2) to direct the U.S. Government Accountability Office (U.S. GAO) to write a report identifying activities WS performs that the private sector has the capability and capacity to perform and recommend ways to avoid competition between WS and the private sector, including further statutory changes.
Harrington said the original PESTT Act died when the 112th Congressional session ended, but Mulvaney and Shrader are expected to re-introduce the PESTT Act in February with additional co-sponsors.
Sulfuryl Fluoride Food Uses. Legislative Day attendees — specifically those involved in fumigation work — will again be making their representatives aware of what NPMA and others believe is U.S. EPA’s misguided proposed order cancelling the food uses for sulfuryl fluoride,
The product has come under attack from the activist group FAN (Fluoride Action Network), which has waged a lengthy campaign to remove sulfuryl fluoride usage in food-processing facilities, and in January 2011 EPA announced it was taking steps to begin a phased-down withdrawal of sulfuryl fluoride. But even U.S. EPA acknowledges that sulfuryl fluoride contributes no more that 2-3 percent of the public’s exposure to fluoride.
Harrington said that this issue is essentially in a “holding pattern,” as EPA is in the process of reviewing comments.
Paperless Reporting. In recent years, many pest control companies have gone paperless in order to save costs, increase efficiencies and promote professionalism.
A barrier PCOs have run into is that some states mandate they provide a hard copy consumer information sheet (e.g., pesticide records, use reports, consumer info sheets, etc. ) at the time of service, or after service. “A lot of these requirements were written in the 1970s and 1980s, before people could imagine the technology of today,” said Harrington.
The end result is that many companies have invested large sums of money to go paperless, yet they are unable to do so completely, because the state(s) they operate in have mandated they provide hard copies. Some companies have asked their state regulatory authority for clarification, but NPMA and its members believe this issue needs addressed federally. “At Legislative Day 2013, NPMA members will be seeking support from federal lawmakers for legislation that would permit — not mandate — pest control operators to convey and retain pesticide records, use reports, consumer info sheets or others, electronically.”
Featured Speakers. As in years past, Legislative Day will feature a top-notch speaker lineup, including Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the 2012 Republican Party Vice-Presidential nominee. Another featured speaker is Laura Ingraham, the radio host and political analyst. Her presentation is sponsored by FMC Professional Solutions.
Attendees will also hear from Chuck Todd, NBC News Political Director and Chief White House Correspondent. The political journalist, will provide his political perspective in a session sponsored by Dow AgroSciences.
For more information about Legislative Day visit www.npmapestworld.org.
The author is Internet editor and managing editor of PCT magazine.
Editor’s note: Suppliers, if you have a termite control product you would like to have highlighted in an upcoming issue, please send a press release and a high-resolution photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BASF Offers PMPs its Termidor Family of Products
BASF continues to expand its Termidor family of products — and the most recent addition is Termidor Foam termiticide/insecticide. Termidor Foam provides the same excellent control as other Termidor products, but in a ready-to-use foam, BASF reports. It’s ideal for spot treatments in wall voids and is effective on termites, ants and other listed pests, the manufacturer says.
Termidor DRY termiticide is another formulation that can be applied into active termite galleries virtually anywhere they are found. Its patented Microllose matrix encourages termites to ingest and spread the active ingredient to the rest of the colony via the “Transfer Effect.” This treatment option is effective on both drywood and subterranean termites. And, with approval for use “off-structure” in trees, decks, fence posts and more, it also extends growth potential for new and existing residential and commercial accounts, BASF says.
With the introduction of Termidor H•E High-Efficiency Termiticide Copack with Termidor HE Technology, BASF says it shows its dedication to making it easier for PMPs to be successful and profitable. Termidor HE Copack is the next generation of Termidor termiticide/insecticide. It expands upon the Termidor SC formulation by adding the BASF proprietary material that temporarily boosts the transport of the active ingredient within the soil. BASF says this translates to time, water and labor savings while still offering the protection of Termidor. For more information visit visit www.agro.basf.us.
Nisus Corporation’s Bora-Care Patent Granted in Australia and India
Nisus Corporation’s patent dealing with its Bora-Care termiticide product’s ability to prevent termite tubing on concrete has now been granted internationally by Australia and India, and is pending in Japan.
Dr. Ramsey Smith of Louisiana State University invented a new methodology to test this capability using treated concrete and the more aggressive Formosan subterranean termite.
“Bora-Care performed exceptionally because unlike other termiticides, the active ingredient is not broken down by UV light nor by the high pH of cementitious materials,” says Dr. Jeff Lloyd, corporate vice president of research and development at Nisus. “The non-volatile patent mixture of glycols also carries the active into termites’ tubes to target the pest during their tube construction.”
Smith’s research demonstrated that Bora-Care is an effective termite preventive treatment on non-wood materials such as concrete and brick; no other temiticide has been shown to have this ability, Nisus reports.
Following the discovery that borates worked as an effective barrier on non-wood construction materials, termite entry sites through bath traps and plumbing penetrations were added to the U.S. EPA-registered Bora-Care label, in addition to tubing on foundation walls. The label changes on Bora-Care were made at the request of the Florida Department of Agriculture to further improve the performance of Bora-Care and to protect consumers.
Contact Nisus at www.nisuscorp.com or 800/264-0870.
Oldham Chemicals Offers Any Type of Pre-Treat Rig
Oldham Chemicals Co. can design, build and test any size or type of pre-treat rig to fit your company specifications. The firm says it has many years of experience in designing and building rigs that will yield maximum output for huge, time-sensitive pre-treat jobs and also standard rigs that are needed for day-to-day pre-treat needs and also post-treat requirements.
Oldham’s equipment team can design fiberglass or poly tank configurations from 2,000-gallon to 50-gallon requirements. The firm has roller pumps, piston pumps and diaphragm pumps that will meet any job requirements. Oldham says it will support all repair and maintenance needs for as long as the rigs are used in the field. The firm has a complete inventory of Honda and Briggs & Stratton engines.
Oldham stands behind more than 45 years of supplying the professional pest control industry with personal customer support, the firm says. The distributor also has a complete line of termite guns, gauges, pumps and motors to keep termite technicians in business.
When Termites Attack Red Cross, the Sentricon System Responds
The Red Cross of the Chesapeake Region in Maryland is there for people in need — and the Sentricon System was there for the Red Cross, Dow AgroSciences reports.
When a Red Cross volunteer moved a refrigerator in the building’s warehouse, it exposed dangerously damaged floorboards. One volunteer’s foot actually went through the floor. Upon inspection, American Pest Management discovered a severe subterranean termite infestation.
“One of our volunteers actually stepped through the floor in the back of our building, which is where we keep all of our disaster supplies,” says Nicholas Geier, director of the Red Cross of the Chesapeake Region, which routinely provides disaster relief, blood drives, health and safety classes and more.
To help out, Dow AgroSciences offered to donate the Sentricon System and American Pest Management offered to donate its time to install it. A video was produced to document this installation. The video is available on the Sentricon YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/termitecontrol.
“We were made aware of the need for our services by the Red Cross and of their financial limitations,” says Paul Bergmann, director of administration with American Pest Management. “Once we inspected and saw the severity of the infestation, we knew that the Sentricon System was the right solution.”
American Pest Management installed the Sentricon System with Always Active technology. At the heart of the Sentricon System is a patent-pending bait material that termites prefer to wood, manufacturer Dow AgroSciences says. Termites continuously forage and discover the baited in-ground stations, feed on the bait and then share the bait with the colony. The active ingredient in the bait, noviflumuron, disrupts the termite natural molting process, which eliminates individual termites. Because termites depend on each other for survival, the entire colony is eliminated.
“Knowing the Sentricon System is protecting our property 24/7/365, is a great feeling because we’re busy 24/7/365,” Geier says. “We know we can focus on our mission because we have the Sentricon System keeping our building protected from termites. It’s a win-win.”
For more information, visit www.sentricon.com.
CSI Announces EPA Approval of EP/IST Label Language for Dominion 2L
CSI recently announced that it has received EPA approval for the addition of Exterior Perimeter/Interior Spot Treatment post-construction termite treatment language to the Dominion 2L label. The addition of EP/IST termite treatment language allows PMPs the freedom to perform either a full conventional post-construction termite treatment or an EP/IST termite treatment, depending on the needs of their customer using Dominion 2L.
“The addition of termite treatment language to the Dominion 2L label is an example of how we at CSI strive to deliver what our customers truly want and need. We are proud to provide PMPs the highest quality liquid termiticide products available and to offer the market a true choice when it comes to product selection. We manufacture not only imidacloprid-based Dominion 2L now featuring the added language, but also fipronil-powered Taurus SC, the first post-patent fipronil termiticide available and are proud to share that our liquid termiticides are formulated and packaged right here at our state-of-the-art production facility in Pasadena, Texas,” said Curtis Clark, vice president of sales and marketing at CSI.
Many customers already have benefited from using Dominion 2L, CSI says. JS Pest, a pest management company in Las Vegas, has been using Dominion 2L for its liquid termiticide work for a number of years. Dominion 2L will enable JS Pest to offer more flexibility in their liquid termiticide treatments and tailor-fit their termite treatment options for its customers, the firm says.
“We’ve been a Dominion 2L user for some time now and have been looking forward to the EP/IST termite application option to be available on the Dominion 2L label. Now that it is, we have more flexibility and termite control options which allows us to offer even more value to our customers,” said George Botta of JS Pest.
Dominion 2L with the newly added EP/IST label language will be available immediately in all currently registered states (California and New York pending) via a supplemental label available on CSI’s website (http://bit.ly/VVYxIf).
For more information about Control Solutions and its products visit www.controlsolutionsinc.com.
Altriset offers PMPs an Innovative Chemistry
Altriset termiticide from Syngenta has been proven to provide outstanding efficacy when tested in different regions of the country, Syngenta officials report. In USDA Forest Service trials, Syngenta says Altriset has shown excellent performance for eight consecutive years in Florida, Arizona, Mississippi and South Carolina. (The lack of activity in control plots in Arizona prevents proper interpretation of results, Syngenta noted.)
When used in accordance with the label, Altriset quickly stops termite feeding within hours of exposure by causing muscle paralysis to termites’ mouthparts. As a delayed toxicant, exposed termites can still walk, groom and aggregate in groups for an extended period of time. These interactions enhance the spread of Altriset and increase the chance of horizontal transfer within the colony. Termites finally become lethargic and show signs of decreased coordination, resulting in mortality within several days.
With this mode of action, Altriset can control termite populations within three months, the manufacturer reports. Syngenta says Altriset delivers immediate structural protection and can provide residual protection for several years.
For more information visit www.syngentapmp.com.
Termatrac Boosts Homeowners’ Confidence in PMPs
Customer confidence and satisfaction is so high that PMPs using the Termatrac win 70 percent of their quotes, Termatrac officials report.
The Termatrac T3i was launched in the United States in 2011 and is enabling PMPs to accurately identify hidden live termite activity and other insects. Then, post-treatment it proves the treatment’s effectiveness. This proof is giving customers great confidence in the PMP knowing that their house is once again protected, Termatrac reports.
“Using radar Termatrac is the only device that detects termite movement through almost any building material,” said Termatrac’s Peter Baldwin. “That non-invasive level of detection allows for the most highly efficient targeting of termiticide applications possible.
“Homeowners get to see the hidden termite activity and location prior to treatment and after treatment see that they are gone,” Baldwin continued. “This also enables PMPs to increase their level of guarantee with total confidence and reduces callbacks and re-fumes.”
Baldwin says recent drywood research by Dr. Brian Forschler of the University of Georgia and Robert Hickman of BASF supports the accuracy of Termatrac. “The termite detection radar verifies treatment success,” Forschler says. “The Termatrac enhances the credibility factor for PMPs. Every serious professional should consider having one.”
For more information, call 310/242-5854 or visit www.termatrac.com.
WallSensor Detects Termites, Rodents, Water Dripping and More
WallSensor is a small, battery-powered, wireless sensor that detects termites and other in-wall threats, and sends out alerts via email and smartphone push notifications.
WallSensor runs on a five-year standard battery and has a stethoscope microphone. Users sink a hollow screw that comes with each sensor into wallboard, and thread the microphone into the hollow screw. The unit is hung on the protruding screw.
The sensor’s microphone scans in all directions, with a 20-foot range on average, the firm reports. WallSensor can discern insects, rodents and the sound of dripping water inside walls, the firm reports.
WallSensor was developed by Joe Korakin, a wireless sensor and acoustics engineer with a background in audio processing. For more information, visit www.wallsensor.com.
Bayer Offers Special Savings on Premise With Promotion
Environmental Science, a division of Bayer CropScience LP, is offering a “Buy Two, Get One Free” promotion on Premise 75 WP, its non-repellent termiticide. Through Sept. 30, PMPs who purchase two cases of Premise 75 WP will receive one case free.
Premise 75 WP is a non-repellent termiticide that has been proven to be effective in treating dampwood, drywood and subterranean termites, as well as other wood-infesting insects, Bayer reports. Termites tunnel into treated areas and become exposed to the active ingredient, imidacloprid.
Premise 75 WP has a less than 1 percent retreat rate, the manufacturer says. Additionally, Premise 75 WP features water-soluble packets that allow for easy mixing, while reducing potential exposure risk for pesticide handlers.
For more information, visit www.backedbybayer.com, or call a Bayer customer service representative at 800/331-2867.
Transport Mikron Insecticide for Long-Lasting Termite Control
An advanced, non-repellent liquid insecticide formulation from FMC Corporation, Transport Mikron insecticide, provides fast-acting, long-lasting control of termites, bed bugs, ants, crickets and more than 30 other pests, including pyrethroid-resistant pests, according to the manufacturer.
FMC reports Transport Mikron is effective against all three genera of termites, Reticulitermes, Heterotermes and Coptotermes. With its improved knockdown speed, lasting residual and good resistance management properties, Transport Mikron often eliminates all termite activity within 30 days of application, the manufacturer says. The product works well in large spray rigs, including those with in-line dosing systems.
The solution stability of Mikron ensures that PMPs deliver the same concentration of active ingredient from the first application to the last, FMC says. This even dispersion also ensures the uniform distribution of material on every square inch of application surface. In addition, Transport Mikron is a clear formulation, which does not stain or leave a messy residue, FMC reports.
For more information, visit www.fmcprosolutions.com.
Enclosing Crawlspaces a Profit Center for PMPs
A key profit center for crawlspace business is gaining termite accounts after you enclose a crawlspace, according to Crawlspace Depot. While PMPs are in a crawlspace, it’s easy to also do a borate-based “green” termite treatment as part of the process, then install termite-resistant insulation board, the manufacturer reports. This delivers long-term termite protection on every home, generating annual revenues for years to come with termite renewals, Crawlspace Depot adds.
Pest control companies can apply an EPA-registered borate-based liquid termiticide directly to wood, concrete and foundation penetrations to eliminate wood as a food source and to create a continuous barrier that termites cannot cross. Treated wood also is protected against carpenter ants, wood-destroying beetles and decay fungi.
Insulation helps keep crawlspaces dry, clean and comfortable. However, insulation is susceptible to termite infestation and can trap moisture. Crawlspace Depot says it offers the first termite-resistant expanded polystyrene insulation designed for basements and enclosed crawlspaces. This insulation board has 3 mil poly on both sides to prevent moisture and vapor penetration. It is a cost-effective, durable, and energy-efficient solution for all types of insulation applications. The boards have been thoroughly tested, are safe for handling and are noncorrosive, the firm says.
For more information, contact Crawlspace Depot at www.crawlspacedepot.com or at 888/331-9991.
ProFoam Platinum Celebrates 10 Years
ProFoam Platinum, a foaming agent from NPD Products, is more relevant today than when it hit the marketplace a decade ago, the firm says. Today, topics like water conservation, directed treatment and a concern for the environment are all being discussed. These are direct benefits of using foam technology and ProFoam Platinum, NPD Products says.
Ten years ago, Michael Howe, president, NPD Products, said he was cautiously optimistic about his formula, ProFoam Platinum, which he adds was the first non-repellent foaming agent available for the industry. “With new non-repellent chemicals coming to market, I knew a non-repellent foaming agent was an ideal strategy to incorporate into an IPM strategy, but I wasn’t sure if the marketplace would readily embrace foam applications over standard topical liquid treatment,” Howe said. “It didn’t take long to see that ProFoam Platinum had many ambassadors. There were and are people in the industry, government and universities, who saw and continue to see the wisdom in incorporating a non-repellent foam strategy. In certain applications, foam is superior to liquid only. Foam travels, moving into all areas, under concrete slabs, cracks and crevices.
“Nothing else stacks up like ProFoam,” he added.
PMPs can celebrate ProFoam Platinum’s 10th anniversary. Do so by sending your two-minute video, showing off how you “foam it up.” The best video wins a free Herman HE. For full contest details visit www.npdproducts.com/mediazone/contest-herman.
Dr. Claudia Husseneder of the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center’s Department of Entomology was announced as the winner of PCT’s 11th Annual Best Pest Photo Contest. Husseneder won with a photo of the horse fly, Tabanus turbidus. She wins $500 from PCT.
Some of the comments from our judges included:
“Great perspective and very sharp. Great composition.”
“Detail is amazing! I love the shadow as well. I feel like he (she?) is looking right at me with those textured ‘eyes.’”
“Love how you can see the detail in its eyes.”
“Captures the striking color differences in this pest. Whether it was intentional or not, the shadow gives it a cool effect.”
Husseneder, whose present research focus at LSU is on Formosan termites, noted that horse flies are members of the “daylight vampires” roaming Louisiana looking for blood.
“About 100 species are pests of livestock in Louisiana,” she said. “This particular species (Tabanus turbidus) usually has no appetite for humans. However, its ‘fangs’ (mandibles) looked sufficiently intimidating through the macro lens that I was awfully glad when it left my leg for hairier pastures.”
Husseneder becomes the first two-time winner of PCT’s photo contest. She took home top honors in 2009 for a photo of a southern carpenter bee.
|Kevin Kordek, president, A-Active Termite and Pest Control, said, “The experience taught me a lot about myself and to think more about the why behind my decisions.”|
The old saying is quite simple: Give a person a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a person how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Syngenta Turf and Landscape has provided the fishing poles, hooks and bait for their customers and offered professional business coaching to help them better prepare their businesses for long-term success. And that’s a “catch” no one will throw back.
When AdviCoach’s Randy Moser and Dr. Mark Zajac approached Syngenta with the idea of providing pest management and lawn care professionals with business coaching services, Syngenta saw a unique opportunity to help customers improve their business performance.
“We wanted to offer a service to our small and mid-size customers who don’t always get a chance to participate in this type of program and who would get the most benefit from it,” says Dave Ravel, head of sales for Syngenta Turf & Landscape North America.
Ravel says Moser and Zajac helped profile potential candidates for the program, a process that requires a significant time commitment and willingness to be coached.
“It is a different approach that requires a greater level of engagement. It’s not for everyone,” says Ravel.
When compared to traditional consultants who come into a business to identify issues and may or may not be asked to stick around to correct them, business coaching is a long-term proposition.
“We are there for the long run working side-by-side with the owner asking questions and encouraging them to go further,” says Moser. “We help get the alignment right, communicate the vision and develop the game plan but the client does the work.”
The AdviCoach approach helps companies identify blind spots and potential trouble areas, educates business owners and key managers in “best business practices,” and holds organizations accountable for their performance.
What are small to mid-size pest management professionals missing in their businesses that coaching can help?
“Many PMPs are working in their business and not on their business,” says Moser. “We coach them to look objectively at how their business is structured, how it operates, and serve as a resource for them to bounce ideas off of.”
Moser says the discovery process can be quite revealing both personally and professionally for the owner.
“Owners sometimes don’t know the real reason ‘why’ they do things a certain way, even if they are successful doing it,” says Moser. “They also don’t always understand what the differentiator is for their company versus the competition.”
A Coach’s Advice for Achieving and Measuring Success
There are as many different approaches and opinions to successfully managing a business as there are businesses to be managed. More often than not, what works best are approaches rooted in the basic fundamentals and complemented with a healthy dose of common sense.
Randy Moser of AdviCoach coaches business owners and managers in a variety of industries. He advises his “students” to be aware of the following danger zones that can spell trouble if not given the proper attention:
This is when Moser and Zajac steer the owners’ focus to working and implementing a strategic plan that mandates accountability from top to bottom. The plan is not a multiple page, single spaced behemoth but rather a one page, 11- by 17-inch piece of paper that prioritizes short- and long-term objectives.
“We ask them tough questions and in turn want them to ask themselves, ‘Why am I doing things this way and what do I need to change,’” says Moser. “We try and get them to ask those questions before they make important strategic decisions.”
What do pest management owners receive for their time? According to Zajac, it is a chance to release the potential that lies within them. Potential they may not know was there.
“It’s natural for people to limit themselves to what they know in the present, and they end up putting themselves in a box,” says Zajac. “The coaching process aims to get them outside the box, change their perspective, and realize their full potential.”
Zajac says every participant’s end goal is different. Some are looking for improved profitability, others want better operating systems, and for others it is the ability to better manage their time so they can spend it with family or on other interests.
A Doubting Thomas. When Syngenta approached Kevin Kordek, president of A-Active Termite and Pest Control in Virginia Beach, Va., with an offer to work with a business coach, the usually positive, outgoing Kordek was skeptical.
“Our company was successful without a business coach,” says Kordek, a past president of the National Pest Management Association and the pest management industry’s representative on the Governor’s Commission on Agriculture in Virginia. “I didn’t think we were a candidate for the program.”
The reaction Kordek, who studied entomology at James Madison University and who worked his way up the pest control ladder from technician to owner, had was not uncommon for many small business owners who feel they have their finger on the pulse of their business.
“The experience taught me a lot about myself and to think more about the why behind my decisions,” says Kordek.
Kordek and Moser agree there is a fine line in coaching between asking a question and issuing a challenge, and that finding a common trust and respect is a must.
“The first thing Randy Moser asked me was, ‘Kevin, do I have your permission to coach you?’” says Kordek. “That set the tone and became a relevant part of the process as we went along.”
One of the first items on Moser’s coaching agenda was helping Kordek develop and implement a living, breathing strategic plan that included a formalized sales program.
“We had a strategic plan but it lacked accountability,” Kordek says. “Randy worked with us to develop a plan that was written in our own words and has immediate accountability to it.”
The plan was introduced to the entire company so all employees knew the plan’s goals and how they were going to achieve them. With 90-day benchmarks in place, Kordek and the A-Active team can measure their progress more frequently and carefully than in the past.
Kordek says the coaching experience, which he continues to do and in which he is enrolling other A-Active managers, taught him not only the importance of managing things but in leading people.
“There were a lot of positive changes in the company during the first six months after we rolled out the new strategic plan,” says Kordek. “It got the juices flowing.”
According to Ravel and Moser, the response to the program has been very positive, and tangible benefits have been realized by both Syngenta and the participating company.
“By helping our customers grow and better align their business, we are then in a position to grow our business by providing them with additional product solutions and support,” says Ravel.
Moser says suppliers that provide programs such as business coaching like
AdviCoach add significant value to the end user in a time when competition from traditional legacy and post-patent suppliers continues to be fierce.
“Marketing is all customer-centric and if you can help a customer grow their business through a program like this, they realize the value you bring to the table and people buy on value,” says Moser.
Ravel says Syngenta is currently evaluating the program and hopes to continue offering it to customers in the future.
“It allows us to invest in our customers on a personal level as well as in their business, and that is good for everyone,” says Ravel.
The author is a frequent editorial contributor to PCT magazine. He can be reached at email@example.com.