David Gay, national president of AEPMA, advises pest managers that good time management pays dividends at this busy time of year. 

A New Year, and with the Christmas break behind us, most member businesses will be busy, and wondering how they will fit everything in!

It’s a time of year when clients seem to be more demanding and even the most grounded staff can get ‘rattled’ by the increased pressure of the summer heat, long work days and a seemingly impossible amount of work to complete.

As employers, we often expect too much from field and office staff through this time of year, so it’s important to ‘stop and take stock’ of both your own welfare and that of your staff because this is the time mistakes that could be disastrous happen. The wrong house is sprayed, or a sub-floor is not properly inspected due to ‘running behind’ and other avoidable careless mistakes may occur that can be costly for the business in both revenue and reputation.

It’s also the time when many businesses can gain new customers and meet their growth goals by offering exceptional service and ‘fitting’ those urgent jobs in when a competitor can’t do it.

2014 has clearly been the year for acquisitions in the Australian pest management industry with some major and strategically significant acquisitions by the large multi- national pest managers. At the other end of the spectrum, many small and family businesses have been bought and sold or handed down to family in planned succession.

What does all this mean?

Well, simply that the industry is healthy and attractive to investment based on average returns, stable regulation of our industry, and a consistent consumer economy that continues to buy the services offered by the Australian pest management industry.

At AEPMA we expect that consolidation and acquisitions will continue, however, the biggest challenge in this space appears to be the lack of interest from potential businesses to sell at this time.

2015 will be another year of progress for AEPMA with many of the projects we are involved with getting additional resources directed toward them. Examples are the continuing work with our Codes of Practice, the completion of the national competency and assessment criteria, and our Pest Manager of the Year Awards.

We also look forward to this year’s Risk Management Conference on the Gold Coast by Rapid Solutions. We expect a great turn out this year by the Australian pest management industry and AEPMA members supporting this long-standing industry event.

On a not so favourable political note, recent elections in Victoria see a change in government to Labor. This means that the existing parliamentary exemption (conditional) use for glue boards to control rodents in food manufacturing facilities will cease by the end of 2014, and is most likely in place as this article goes to print. Whilst this does not affect many pest managers in Victoria, it may have ramifications in other states as the ‘ban glue boards’ movement gets momentum from this now imminent total ban in Victoria.

We will wait and see!

Until next issue.

David Gay, National President, AEPMA