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AEPMA president Vasili Tsoutouras reminds pest managers about the value of being a member of the organisation. 

With the end of financial year we reflect on the year we have had, the wins and losses, the challenges and opportunities. Our market is changing from a company point of view, with acquisitions of the small, medium and large, and from a customer point of view with their ever-increasing intelligence, driven by a modern world where information is at their fingertips.

It’s my belief that the pest control industry, both AEPMA members and non-members alike, have never been better represented than the way we are now, through our National Office, working parties and volunteer external committee representatives. The opportunities that exist in our businesses, for career development and for the association have never been better.

We have made a bold move by looking to have our Codes of Practice recognised by the ACCC. Once recognised, we will have a set of best practices controlled by us, the pest managers of this nation, and not by builders or other associations. It simply does not make sense to have other organisation telling us how to protect homes from termites when we have to answer to the customer if termites gain entry and cause damage. We will keep you informed of the ACCC ruling.

There is always much debate on how to advance the industry and there has been much discussion in relation to the ACCC submission. Much of the discussion on Facebook pages was healthy, robust and gave me faith and energy in our actions, but there was some that was untrue and unhelpful. It is important to emphasise again the AEPMA supports the industry; members and non-members, big business and small. In my time, I have never once seen a board member, working party member, volunteer or the National Office act to benefit one part of the market over the other. They have all tried their hardest to do what’s best for our industry and treat every company equally. It is one reason why each firm, whether they have one employee or hundreds, has one vote and all must be listened to.

Before writing this article, two nonmembers called the National Office and I had the opportunity to speak to them to answer their queries and also get feedback as to why they weren’t AEPMA members.

One pest manager was from country SA, new to owning his own business and needed advice on the new AS3660.1– 2014. I was happy to help him and after discussing the benefits of joining AEPMA and the activities we carry out on his behalf, I am proud to say he’s now going to become a member.

The other pest manager was from Victoria. He was a lapsed member, but had actually joined the American NPMA (the US pest managers association), as he knew he should be a member of an appropriate association. After discussing his concerns, I believe he will once again become an AEMPA member. But that’s not my point. My point is that we care and represent you all – the National Board members, state branch representatives, volunteer external committee representatives and National Office will take time to listen to you. We will help you, member or not, because we care about what we do, why we do it and where we are going.

As always I look forward to reporting our progress in the next issue on all things happening at AEPMA.

Until next time, I wish you all the best and trust all is going well within your business.

Vasili Tsoutouras
AEPMA President