It has been a busy couple of months, with another successful Rapid Solutions conference and the annual Pest Manager of the Year Awards 2017 taking place on the Gold Coast.

The busy season is fast approaching, with pest managers around the country preparing for their phones to start ringing off the hook. It’s a great time to be a part of the pest control industry, something I was reminded of a few weeks ago at the Rapids Solutions Conference on the Gold Coast.

The Rapid Solutions team at did a fantastic job of creating a positive and forward-thinking atmosphere that seemed to spread like wildfire among the attendees. It left me, and others I’ve spoken to, feeling confident about the future.

We at AEPMA were lucky enough to host a session where we could talk about the future of the pest management industry and also field questions from delegates in a Q&A format. Some of topics that were discussed included:

  • The acquisition cycle we have been involved in – the implications of this and the significant opportunities that will open up for small and medium-sized businesses, especially in terms of specialised service offerings
  • Compliance and reporting – quality management systems will become the norm when dealing with commercial clients; labour costs will likely increase, productivity may decrease
  • Codes of practice before the ACCC – why we did it and what it might mean
  • Marketing – especially within the digital space; how it is used for lead generation; awareness of potential disrupters e.g. an Uber-type app offering home services
  • Technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) – how it might affect our businesses e.g. commercial clients using connected devices in rodent stations
  • Training in the industry – what we as an industry can do to make it better.

Training was the discussion point that seemed to strike a chord with many pest managers.

I agree with most of the people in the session that something needs to be done about it; it starts with us all understanding what improvements are needed, how the system will work, and what we want out of it. We will need a clear, documented roadmap if we can be expected to get it right.

This is what we at AEPMA have been busily working on in the background. We have been talking with key figures in training and with industry leaders from small, medium and large businesses about how best to write a ‘Code of Practice for Training in the Pest Control Industry’. It’s our belief that most of us try our best in this area and are perhaps falling short because we need clearer guidance.

The establishment of a code of practice with training at its centre means the hardworking, honest pest managers who are struggling to meet an appropriate standard will improve in their work. With AEPMA’s support, real change is possible in this area, and will gain momentum.

Once again, the Pest Manager of the Year Awards were a great success. The gala dinner was a real highlight of the conference and it was great to see the best of the best in the industry being rewarded for excellence. Seeing past winners such as Competitive Pest Services interacting with the newly crowned Laguna Pest Control shows how pest managers are growing their businesses by forging links with each other. Our best people are becoming industry leaders, recognised both here in Australia and further afield, and it is an honour to pay tribute to them at the awards. On behalf of the industry, I would like to congratulate all of this year’s finalists and winners.

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

I wish you all the best and trust all is going well within your business.

Vasili Tsoutouras

AEPMA President

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