In all likelihood, ‘they’ would probably agree that thirteen years is a Long time in pest management. And, ‘they’ would probably be right … as ‘they’ are about many if not most things.
But thirteen years and counting is how Long it has taken one of Sydney’s more progressive pest managers to investigate, analyse, select, deploy and start to develop an internet based business and data management system.
Shane Clarke, who owns and manages Pestforce out at Round Corner in Sydney’s north west, took over the family business from his father, Max, in the early 1990s.
Today, Pestforce employs more than a dozen technicians and office staff and, as it has for more than 30 years, operates out of an aging timber framed fibro clad house in sprawling outer suburbia. ‘The biggest threat to this business is and always has been the Toss of our data base … our goldmine … from fire,” Shane said.
Today, hard copy versions of Pestforce’s customer files … documenting every inspection job and report since before 1980 … continue to take up two rooms full of filing cabinets.
Before he finally decided on a new “relatively revolutionary” data and business management system in early 2010, Pestforce’s digital database – a supplement to his paper files – was a DOS-based spreadsheet. “The old system served us well for a Long time. We knew if we got a call from a customer we’d last serviced 20 years ago, we’d be able to dig out what ever it was we found and what we did at the time, before we went back to see them,” he said.
However, the paper and DOS-based system was becoming increasingly inefficient, fragile and risk-prone.
Since 2002,Shane had made a point of catching up with and talking to Kevork Temisgian and his Temisoft team at major pest management industry conferences around Australia. “Kevork never pushed himself or his ServicePRO software at us. He simply kept us up to speed on what they were developing,” he said.