PCOC - Summer 2015 - (Page 17)

What Do PMPs Want from suppliers? 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 (www.campbugstopper.com). 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 17 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 and others. * 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/ distributor. 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 you need. * 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 these experiences. 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@ bugstopper.com. 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. http://www.bugstopper.com http://www.bugstopper.com http://campbugstopper.com/ http://pcoc.org/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PCOC - Summer 2015

President’s Message
Martyn’s Corner
Presidential Profile
Best Practices for Exterior Bait Stations
What Do PMPs Want from Suppliers?
Federal Update
Insurance Stop the Madness!
State Capitol Report Legislature Outlook: Loud and Busy
Firm Profile Green Dog Pest Service
Index to Advertisers
Advertiser.com

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