Sherwood Chemicals has once again given a few lucky pest managers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of operations at its manufacturing plant in Thailand.
The Sherwood Chemicals Bangkok factory tour for Australian pest managers has become a regular event allowing Sherwood to showcase its product development capabilities and quality standards. This year was the tenth anniversary tour and combined with attendance at the FAOPMA – Pest Summit conference in Chiang Mai, it certainly made the tour itinerary worthy of this significant anniversary.
It’s been 21 years since part of the former management team of Shell took over the Shell range of consumer and professional pest products and formed Sherwood Chemicals. With John Ralph (managing director, Sherwood Chemicals Australia) joining the business in 2006, a strategy was developed to build the Sherwood Chemicals reputation as a world-class research and development formulation facility. Integral in the implementation of this strategy was to target a perceived gap in the market – quality formulations using existing actives, developed specifically for the pest control market.
With a focus on formulation development and quality, showcasing these attributes to Australian pest managers has become a key element in building the reputation of Sherwood Chemicals in Australia and Southeast Asia.
“The objective of the tour has always been to demonstrate that Sherwood Chemicals is more than just a generic company – we are specialist formulator, carrying out significant formulation research, extensive product testing and manufacturing under stringent quality control,” said Mr Ralph. “By bringing customers to Bangkok to see our development and manufacturing processes first hand, it gives them an extra layer of confidence in our products, that the performance they see in the field arises from significant research prior to launch and quality control during manufacture.”
The Sherwood tour included visits to the research and development laboratories, quality control and production lines, so pest managers could get an idea of the whole product development process.
2018 was the second tour for Josh McIntosh from All Pest Solutions in northern NSW, having visited in 2017 as well. “The tour is the first time I’ve been taken behind the scenes by a chemical company, to see how products are developed and made. Having come last year, I was very impressed and so was pretty keen to bring the boys along this year to get that knowledge as well.
“Seeing the testing on the products and quality control, seeing the procedures they have in place, it’s very impressive. I also enjoy seeing the research that goes into developing a new product. We hear about research and development, but to see it first hand, and appreciate the level of testing that’s involved and used to register a product, it’s pretty cool.
“It all goes towards increasing our confidence in the products. We have great feedback from the guys about the Sherwood products and are certainly confident in the products they have in the marketplace,” concluded Mr McIntosh.
The tour party this year consisted of 13 pest managers from across Australia. This mixed group is seen as one of the side benefits of the tour. “With pest managers invited from across Australia, the tour provides a great opportunity to share their experiences, learn from each other and build relationships, said Mr Ralph.
Over the years the factory tour has morphed into a study tour to provide a broader educational experience. By combining this year’s tour with the FAOPMA – Pest Summit conference in Chiang Mai, the tour group had the opportunity to experience the broader Asian pest control industry and pick up learnings from the wide range of expert talks on offer… and take the chance for a bit of relaxation.