PCOC - Summer 2015 - (Page 17)
By Jeff Annis, CEO,
Advanced Services Inc.
First a little about me. I am a second generation PMP. I grew up with
a father who started his own company in 1954, and he operated that
business until his death in 1974 at the age of 54. I first got involved with
the industry as a child going to the Georgia Pest Control Association
Summer Meetings as a family vacation opportunity. Beginning in 1976,
I spent time helping my mother operate the company following my father's
death. It was during this time when I began to work with the suppliers and
manufacturers in regards to getting supplies and other help from them.
In 1985 my family sold the family business. I worked for the new owners for one
year and then moved on to work for a startup
company in the fall of 1986. Later, I bought
that company. Since inception, we have
grown that brand, Advanced Services Inc.
(www.bugstopper.com), from zero to $4 million a year without buying a single company
along the way. We did it the hard way by
growing one customer at a time. I now spend
most of my time assisting PMPs and other
businesses grow and prosper through my
teaching & training firm, Camp BugStopper
As a true "mom and pop" operation in
the early days, our family business' working relationships were very personal. The
same principle applies today to most of the
smaller companies. We regarded the key
manufacturers' and suppliers' reps as valued
partners in our success. They looked out for
us as if we were their only customer. I still see
this kind of relationship in my current company, even though we are a much larger entity.
What fuels the relationship now is essentially the same as it was in the 1970s, 1980s
and beyond. This is the case even though the
consolidations within the chemical industry
and the distribution business has been significant. These business conditions has led
to a commoditization of the supply industry
with which we deal.
Also, as so many of the smallest firms are
acquired by the large local and regional competitors, the landscape has changed to make
it where there are fewer small companies.
Now, more than ever, building and maintaining that customer satisfaction for the PMP is
www.pcoc.org / Summer 2015
so important to the supplier. When thinking
about what the PMP wants, here are some
keys to keep in mind:
* Instant technical help as needed.
* In-house training from the representative
themselves for the staff.
* On-line re-certification training resources
such as provided by Univar, Residex
* Fair and equitable pricing.
* Accurate invoicing, take credit cards, allow
for extended payment terms when needed.
* Prompt shipping, low cost or free shipping.
* Allowing for returns if necessary.
* Advice that has the interest of the PMP at
heart, not just the profits of the supplier/
The big four features that PMP' want are
still the same today as when I entered the
industry. 1) Effective products that are easy
to use. 2) Convenient ordering systems so we
don't have to maintain too much inventory on
hand. 3) Priced so that we can make a profit on
our services. 4) Be there for the PMP is something goes wrong or extra service is needed.
To get along with your manufacturer and
your distributor, I have the following suggestions for my fellow PMPs.
* Spend quality time getting to know your
reps so they know what you do and what
* Have honest discussions about money -
how you will pay - when you will pay.
* Call them and discuss when things go
wrong and you cannot pay your bill.
* Ask for help from them and then ask
for more if needed. They want to help
and they want to earn your trust through
It is my mission in life to help other
business professionals obtain the success
I have been fortunate enough to experience. For free help, email me at bugbiz@
Jeff Annis has been a
serial entrepreneur since
1974 and is the CEO of
Advanced Services for
Pest Control in Augusta,
Georgia. He is also
a trainer for Camp
Bugstopper, a branch of
the company that trains all aspects of how
to succeed as a PMP, from CEO and leader
team training to field training in technician
skills and sales.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PCOC - Summer 2015
Best Practices for Exterior Bait Stations
What Do PMPs Want from Suppliers?
Insurance Stop the Madness!
State Capitol Report Legislature Outlook: Loud and Busy
Firm Profile Green Dog Pest Service
Index to Advertisers
PCOC - Summer 2015