Pest control has essentially been around since there was agriculture. The industry has been a guiding force in keeping us safe. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) public health officials attribute the quality of life we enjoy today to three things: better vaccines and pharmaceuticals, better sanitation and better pest control.
Seven to eight percent of the general population is allergic to cockroaches however studies of inner city children in Atlanta with chronic wheezing and runny noses revealed that 44 percent of this specific demographic are allergic to cockroaches. Recent surveys have determined that cockroach allergens are the number three contributor to children’s asthma.
Common pests today include termites, mice, rats, spiders, cockroaches and a variety of bugs and insects. Wildlife -- birds, snakes and squirrels (think 'critters') -- can also factor into the equation.
All that to be said, while there is no shortage of pests, there is also no shortage of pest control providers. Given this, how can pest control providers ensure they are offering the best services in the marketplace?
The answer is leveraging technology to best service customers.
2014 State of the Industry Report, Ann Nagro, a contributor to Pest Control Technology (PCT) Magazine, says that pest control professionals have some major hurdles to navigate -- mainly the economy, fuel costs and employment challenges. Pest Management Professionals (PMPs) "are increasingly focused on profitability and selective about who stays on the books" Nagro notes. She also notes that thirty-six percent of 323 respondents noted that fuel costs were the single biggest business challenge from the past year.
Lastly, Nagro points out that mobile technology is the future of the industry. "From devices to apps, mobile technologies will transform how PMPs operate… new technology is 'critical' for growth."
Today, company leaders across the pest control industry as well as many others have shifted their thinking from just having a 'mobile strategy' to a 'mobile first' strategy. Smart phones and tablets have perpetuated this approach and companies are looking to be more nimble and efficient in the field. The cloud has accelerated the mobile first strategy because not only can you grab more data from the field but you can also store it easily and create workflows from it. With the speed at which data can be transferred and the ever-improving network coverage, more and more capabilities are emerging around the cloud... especially as it pertains to photo documentation.
Pest Control companies are in a unique position to take advantage of new technology offerings and particularly leverage capabilities of smartphones and tablets, specifically as it relates to using photos to increase sales. Instead of relying solely on their sales personnel to generate revenue, they can now leverage their technicians who own the relationships with customers. Equipping technicians with tools on their tablets and phones will enable them to bring any issues to center stage when they sit down at the 'kitchen table' to recap the visit with the home/business owner after inspecting a property.
Technicians are your eyes in the field. They have access to homes and offices. Empower them with new tools and technology to improve their photo documentation so they can present their findings in a user-friendly manner, and ultimately better serve both your clients and your business. Leveraging technology is critical for growth for pest control providers.