Online Technology Improves Operational Efficiencies

Online Technology Improves Operational Efficiencies

Today's technology gives PMPs the desired results in the time they need them.

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January 5, 2018
Edited by the PCT Staff

Online tools are so integrated into our everyday lives, both personally and professionally, we may forget the efficiencies they bring to our lives. The tools are simply expected to work and make our lives easier.

We’re all interested in running our businesses more efficiency. As Peter Drucker states, efficiency isn’t doing anything new, it’s doing it better. Greater efficiency translates into greater productivity. The same amount of time dedicated to tending to clients’ needs will advance your business more quickly than tracking expenditures and purchasing products. Automating repetitive tasks provides greater accuracy and up-do-date record keeping.

In our technologically connected world, we expect resources and tools to be at our fingertips when and where we need them. That’s efficiency.

“With most online tools, you don’t have to be tied down to your office. Everyone has a phone, so you can pull up the online tools in the field. You can access technology wherever you are. It can also improve response time,” said Ben Downard, president, Action Pest Services, Greenville, S.C. “Everyone wants instant results. It’s important for our company to be up-to-date so we can give customers what they need, stay on top of things, and work as efficiently as we can.”

PestWeb by Univar is an example of an online tool that can be used to increase efficiency for owners, manager, and technicians in the pest control industry. 

A dashboard of multiple online tools
Consolidating online tools in one location — a “dashboard” — offers greater efficiency. You can find multiple tools in one place. PestWeb offers product information, online purchasing, access to industry-required information, and technician training, as well as these time-saving functions:

  • Ability to manage users and permission levels
  • Access to all employee training history
  • Access to purchasing data
  • One-click access to invoices through the Purchase History section, to save you time
  • Collective invoices in one section to help you stay organized
  • Easy management of orders to help you budget better

Product information
“PestWeb is helpful when I’m looking at product information. If there’s a project and it’s after 6 p.m., I can go online to do a little research. It helps me to make a more informed decision,” said Tami Stuparich, ACE, co-owner of California American Exterminators, Boulder Creek, Calif., who also uses PestWeb to track purchases and technicians’ continuing education hours.

Online ordering
E-commerce continues to rapidly advance, making it easier for us to make any purchase online, no matter what device we’re using. Sellers must provide an intuitive, seamless purchasing experience, accompanied by other efficiency-creating tools, or risk the consequences of a purchaser leaving for another site to make the same purchases, with only a click or two.

“The person who does our ordering is out in the field a lot. He can use the online store at his convenience rather than having to call the order in,” said Cindy Schacht, manager/supervisor, Area Wide Exterminators, Inc., Stockton, Calif. 

Bobby Perry, direction of operations, Icon Pest Prevention, McKinney, Texas, shared that PestWeb’s online store saves him time by allowing his technicians to quickly check off items from a pre-approved product list or research and order other products. “Before PestWeb, I was spending time emailing order forms to the technicians, they’d check off what they need, send it back to me, I’d consolidate the order, and then send it to Univar. Now, after an order is placed I get an email to approve it. As a [PestWeb account] manager, I can see their order and can change the product or quantity. It’s saved me about four hours every month.”

Stuparich primarily uses PestWeb for purchasing and finds it helpful in managing her budget and track purchase trends. Downard added that using the online store, “frees up time to work with customers and potential customers, rather than using prime time to place orders.”

Quick access to label information
“PestWeb is good for label training. It provides ready access to labels so you can do a quick search, rather than having to thumb through binders,” said Downard. Having a single place to find labels is “absolutely a time saver.”

“The technicians are required to have information on the products they have on their trucks,” said Debbie Scott, director of safety and education, Advanced Integrated Pest Management, Roseville, Calif. They can print labels from PestWeb to easily assemble the information. “Everybody in the office has a password. Anyone can find and send a label to a customer if they need it. It’s very user friendly.”

Use every tool available 
“Two core values of our company are integrity and to be proactive in our approach. When there’s a resource like PestWeb, our technicians have access to very accurate and informative content, which makes them better trained professionals,” said Stuparich. She added that Univar has several other online tools to improve efficiency across the pest control industry. “Take advantage of what Univar offers.”