The AEPMA Pest Manager of the Year awards are annual awards with a variety of categories. Entrants are assessed on a number of criteria with winning pest managers needing to exhibit excellence in a number of areas. By showcasing the 2015 winners, hopefully there will some learnings for all.

Quality Pest & Weed – Pest Manager of the Year – Less than 5 Employees

Mark and Fiona Sheppard (pictured above) run Quality Pest & Weed Solutions in East Perth. The business is unique, combining ‘hands on’ pest management with a registered training organisation and a consultancy business offering specialist pest management advice.

Mr Sheppard believed his background in competency- based training is a good fit. “It’s very rewarding to be able to train people in a number of things, whether it be government agencies in pesticide safety, pest control licensing, or for product stewardship.”

Of course the pest management side of the business is important and there is a strong focus on quality. “Our focus has always been on the commercial side of the business – trying to provide a quality service, that’s why we named our company Quality Pest & Weed Solutions. We’re not looking to be the biggest, but one of the things we always try and focus on, is trying to be the best.”

An early lesson that they had to learn, was managing the rapid growth their business was undergoing. “We were getting a lot of referrals and opportunities, the business grew very quickly. We found that we lost control of what we named our company, which was Quality Pest & Weed Solutions. We got very excited about the growth and lost focus. So we decided to restructure. We decided to downsize and just stay with our core clients, the majority of whom we’ve had for more than ten years.”

This doesn’t mean that there is no future planning. Mr Sheppard said, “We always need to sit back and look at our company and ask ‘OK, are we happy? Are we doing the best we can?’ We need to develop and quality improve every single week.”

Over the next six months they are going out to see their clients. They don’t want to lose that personal touch or that old fashioned service, which they’ve built their reputation on.

Congratulations to Quality Pest & Weed Solutions, winner of the Pest Manager of the Year 2015 – Less than 5 Employees.

Specialist Termite Control, Pest Manager of the Year – Specialised Business Area

Specialist Termite Control is based in Melbourne and covers the city districts and some regional parts of Victoria. They have now won Pest Manager of the Year in the Specialised Business Category for the second year in a row.

The business has seven specialist technicians, one trainee and three office staff. Company directors, Tom and Rob Boschma, say the business is unique in that specialist staff members are given a great deal of autonomy when it comes to the service that is provided to clients.

“From the very first moment the technician arrives on the doorstep of the client, they’re responsible for the work and for the relationship with that client and the specification for the type of work that is to be carried out there,” commented Rob Boschma.

Tom and Rob Boschma, Specialist Termite Control

“We spend a lot of time with training and there’s definitely some principles and guidelines that we do insist on, but really as to the type of product they will use, the amount of labour that goes into it, even the costings – that’s all left with them. So in a sense what that means is that our clients get the kind of service you might expect from a ‘one man band’, but they have the support, structure and technical skills of a medium sized business.
“When our employees do well then our business does well and there is a bonus system that will reward them for that.”

Rob believes that their positive attitude comes largely from a culture of professionalism developed by the businesses founder, Tom Boschma, and their policy of mainly employing new specialist staff from outside the industry, to ensure they’ll grow within the company’s unique culture.

“We have employed people from other companies, it is a bit of a shortcut, in that they come with a licence and training, but inevitably they’re not really trained in the way we would like to do things and it can be difficult for some to change and adapt to our methods. We’ve found that the guys we’ve trained from scratch, the quality of work is a lot more positive.

“We have been lucky enough to have won this award for two years in a row now and are very excited to be acknowledged by our industry again and hope it vindicates the decision of many of our customers to choose one of the best. Thanks to our staff and clients for making it happen.”

Congratulations to Specialist Termite Control, winners once again of the Pest Manager of the Year award in the Specialised Business Area.

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