PCOC - Spring 2020 - 17
Barrows reflects this sentiment, saying
it's critical to create a detailed plan for
all areas of your business. "When you're
doing a software conversion, you need
to understand how it's going to impact
all aspects of your business - not just
the administrative function," he explains.
"You have to understand how it's going
to affect your billing, the sales cycle, customer interactions, HR and payroll. All
these things are heavily affected, and you
need to be very aware of how they are
impacted so you can plan accordingly."
If you're planning to roll out new software or devices, get ready to face a
barrage of resistance from your staff
members. Even with the promise of
higher business revenues and more
efficient business processes, employees are rarely excited to hear about a
major technology conversion.
"Unless you are the owner or the
president, most people only look at how
a change will affect their particular job,"
Brayton points out. "They don't tend
to be super concerned with how it's
going to benefit the company three or
five or 10 years down the road, or how
it's going to affect recurring revenue
and customer retention in the long-term.
They're concerned with how it's going to
affect their routine. So, when you throw
new technology at them, you're going
to get quite a bit of resistance."
How can you handle this pushback?
One way is to encourage employees to
experiment with the new technology.
"Everybody has a different way of learning, different job responsibilities associated with the technology," says Brayton,
"It's important to let them experiment
and encourage them to try different
ways to use the technology. When you
get a lot of people investigating all different areas of a technology, you can
get a lot more feedback and you can
help people do their jobs in ways they
wouldn't have thought was possible."
ETERMINE THE COST
Before you spend a bundle of money
on new technology, it's wise to calculate
your return on investment. After all,
incorporating the latest and greatest
pest management system alone will not
automatically drive your business to the
"Just by signing up for an operating
system, you're not going to guarantee
that it will offset costs," Barrows points
out. "You have to really own it, drive it,
understand it and utilize it effectively.
Execution is key if you want to grow your
business in an efficient, effective way."
For instance, let's say your business
mails out paper invoices to customers,
which costs you $10,000 a year. You're
considering investing $8,000 in an
operating system that will allow you to
send invoices via email. "So, you have
to figure out the cost versus the benefit," says Barrows. "Instead of sending
out $10,000 worth of paper invoices,
you effectively converted everyone to
email. Now you've just saved $10,000
a year by paying $8,000 for an operating system."
On the other hand, let's say you're
using and older pest control software
that you already paid for 10 years
ago. You're considering upgrading to
a cloud-based software that's going
to cost you $1,000 a month. "Well,
now you're paying $12,000 more than
you did last year," Barrows points out.
"Unless you're offsetting that additional expense by becoming more
efficient in your routes, billing, office
staff, etc. you're just going to run a less
When it comes to a technology conversion, preparation is key. When you
pour plenty of blood, sweat and tears
into the pre-launch process, it will make
things much easier down the road. "I'm
a huge proponent for putting in a lot
of hard work upfront," says Barrows.
"It's the measure twice, cut once kind
The more research, training and
preparation you invest before the conversion, the more smoothly the transition will go when the time comes. "This
will mean fewer customer and employee
issues - which are a lot more painful
to deal with post-conversion than it is
pre-conversion," Barrows adds.
HOOSE THE RIGHT
Before navigating the uncertain
waters of a technology conversion,
you'll need to choose a capable captain.
"You've got to have the right people
driving the ship," Barrows stresses.
"Execution is key, and you need someone who can take the reins and get
Brayton says it's generally best to
have one go-to person who is responsible for owning the new technology. "You
want employees to know there's one
person they can go to who knows it better than everyone else," he says. "And
if an employee asks them something
they don't know, they need to have the
time, motivation and comfort to go to
the manufacturer and get the answer."
PLAN A TEST-RUN
TAKE IT SLOW
Before you dive into the full conversion, take time to test the new technology. "If you can test either in a pilot
program or in a test environment, that's
ideal," Barrows explains. "When you
test before you convert, you won't overexpose your customer base and your
employees to the kinks and the bugs
that come along with a conversion."
Barrows says it's important to
make technology changes slowly and
deliberately. "You've just got to be
thoughtful," he advises. "You don't
want to change too much all at once.
Do a pilot program, then roll out the
larger program. Don't do too much all at
once - effective is better than efficient."
When it comes to a tech conversion, there's no such thing as too much
communication. "Communication -
with both your employees and customer - is key throughout the process,"
says Barrows. "Be thoughtful how you
communicate so no one is surprised.
Customers can handle a lot of change,
but not a lot at once; and they especially
don't like it when they're surprised by it."
SPRING 2020 | THE VOICE
PCOC - Spring 2020
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PCOC - Spring 2020
The Benefits of Being a PCOC Member
Details About the Future of Pest Control Expo
Surviving a Technology Conversion: 10 Tech Upgrade Tips for Smooth Sailing
Pesticide Research Must Stay Transparent and Independent
New Technology to Control Pests with Precision-Guided Genetics
NPMA Federal Update
State Capitol Report
Index to Advertisers
PCOC - Spring 2020 - Intro
PCOC - Spring 2020 - cover1
PCOC - Spring 2020 - cover2
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 3
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 4
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 5
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 6
PCOC - Spring 2020 - President’s Message
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 8
PCOC - Spring 2020 - EVP Message
PCOC - Spring 2020 - The Benefits of Being a PCOC Member
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 11
PCOC - Spring 2020 - Details About the Future of Pest Control Expo
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 13
PCOC - Spring 2020 - Surviving a Technology Conversion: 10 Tech Upgrade Tips for Smooth Sailing
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 15
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 16
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 17
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 18
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 19
PCOC - Spring 2020 - Pesticide Research Must Stay Transparent and Independent
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 21
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 22
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 23
PCOC - Spring 2020 - New Technology to Control Pests with Precision-Guided Genetics
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 25
PCOC - Spring 2020 - NPMA Federal Update
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 27
PCOC - Spring 2020 - Insurance
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 29
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 30
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 31
PCOC - Spring 2020 - State Capitol Report
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 33
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 34
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 35
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 36
PCOC - Spring 2020 - Marketing
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 38
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 39
PCOC - Spring 2020 - 40
PCOC - Spring 2020 - Firm Profile
PCOC - Spring 2020 - Index to Advertisers
PCOC - Spring 2020 - cover3
PCOC - Spring 2020 - cover4
PCOC - Spring 2020 - outsert1
PCOC - Spring 2020 - outsert2
PCOC - Spring 2020 - outsert3
PCOC - Spring 2020 - outsert4