A closer look at two of the winners from the 2015 Pest Manager of the Year Awards. 

Continuing our review of the 2015 winners of the Pest Manager of the Year awards, we highlight Queensland’s Pest Manager of the Year – Bob GunnTermite Solutions and the Pest Manager of the Year from Western Australia – Termitrust WA.

The AEPMA Pest Manager of the Year Awards (sponsored by BASF) 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 these winners, hopefully there will some learnings for all.

Bob Gunn Termite Solutions – QLD Pest Manager of the Year

Brisbane-based Bob Gunn Termite Solutions won the 2015 QLD Pest Manager of the Year, following on from their multiple awards in 2014 when they picked up three awards, including the National Pest Manager of the Year Award.

Shane Osborne from Bob Gunn (main picture, far left) said the awards mean a lot to the business. “What this means for the organisation, is that we’ve got some recognition in the industry. The whole team is very happy that we won. Our customers are also pleased that we’ve won the award – it has also bought in new customers who feel more confident in dealing with us, because of the award. So overall for the business and for our customers it was a great result.”

To a large extent, Bob Gunn won their awards in 2014 and 2015 because of their dedication to customer service. It sets them apart from the rest, something that’s well understood and firmly part of the company culture.

“Everyone can do a chemical barrier, but it’s how you do the chemical barrier and explain it to the customer, along with the customer service you provide during and after the treatment. It’s not just meeting, but going past the customer’s expectation that is really important. Without our customers we don’t have a business.”

Like all successful businesses, Bob Gunn Termite Solutions is constantly looking for new ways to engage with clients. They now produce videos of pest treatments as a way of demystifying the process in the minds of customers.

“What the videos do is actually give people a physical picture of what we do onsite. If we are doing a chemical barrier, they can see us drilling holes and see what we do with our vehicles. When we are doing a termite inspection or bait treatment, they get an idea of what we’re doing – they can actually have a look and see us put the stations in so it gives them a bit of knowledge of what to expect and makes it a lot clearer for the customer.”

Termitrust WA – WA Pest Manager of the Year

Barry Price (TermiTrust technician consultant), Declan Porter (commercial manager WA)

The Termimesh national network began in 1992 with the launch of their innovative mesh termite barrier for preconstruction. Over the past decade, the network has diversified into residential and commercial pest control. They rebranded the business to Termi Home & Commercial and its pest control division was renamed Termitrust. Since then, Termitrust WA has steadily grown each year and is now a key provider in Western Australia.

Termitrust WA operations manager, Anthony D’Amico said, “Winning the Pest Manager of the Year is a tribute to the passion and commitment of our team and our common goal of delivering exceptional service to all our residential and commercial clients.”
We asked Mr D’Amico to share with other pest controllers some of key factors that led to the sustained success of Termitrust. Mr D’Amico said, “There is no single silver bullet to consistently growing your business in such a competitive and rapidly changing marketplace. We have however, core values which are critical to our success.”

The six core values for success:

Team culture. “We expect that staff, including managers, treat each other with respect and it’s constantly reinforced that each person is vital to the business’ success. That doesn’t mean there are no differences of opinion, but disagreements are resolved quickly with a team commitment to the agreed outcome.”

Staff development. “Our programs provide a thorough induction for new employees, structured training for new trainee technicians, ongoing cross training for both admin and experienced technicians, performance reviews and performance incentives.”

Team building. “We believe in team building activities outside of work. For instance, the business pays for a monthly group lunch, a ten pin bowling tournament twice a year and staff community sponsorships, like junior football. Our yearly calendar also includes a Christmas dinner party for all staff and their partners, and an Easter family event.”

The management team. “We have a small management team who take ownership of, and are very accountable for, the performance of their teams. They are also actively involved in budget planning, monthly business performance reviews, OHS and ‘tool box’ meetings and weekly sales meetings. These meetings focus on constantly improving the way we operate. Anyone bringing an issue to the table must also have a potential solution.”

Client retention. “We’ve been able to create a business on the backbone of clients that have been with us for a long time. Mums and Dads certainly are a large part of our domestic database and I believe our high retention rate comes down to the personal approach we take with them. We have a similar strategy for our commercial clients. In addition, our pre-construction team has very strong relationships with our builder clients from field level to management.”

Diversity of services. “We work on about a 50/50 split of domestic and commercial. Looking for new work wasn’t one of our biggest directions. Our focus has been on trying to diversify our services with existing clients.”
Termitrust WA is setting a great standard for the pest control industry and it’s pleasing to see the award means so much to the team at this innovative business.

Congratulations to Mr D’Amico and the team from Termitrust WA, winner of the Pest Manager of the Year – Western Australia.

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