Pest Control – By the Numbers.

Pest Control Technology Magazine gave the owner of Bulwark a quick interview about what makes Bulwark Exterminating’s company so different.  Here is what they reported:


Bulwark Exterminating, Mesa, Ariz.
At 10 years old, Bulwark Exterminating
is built differently than most firms. More
than half of employees’ compensation is
determined through statistical analyzes,
said President Adam Seever. They typically
make 30 percent more than the industry
average, according to Seever, due to
higher productivity and the company only
promotes from within, giving them “lots of
reasons to stick around.” Employees must
feel financially and emotionally respected
or they can’t respect your customers, explained
Seever. The company has 250
employees at 11 offices in seven states,
including five programmers to manage its proprietary software.

Why by the numbers?

Many companies look to accountants to manage by the numbers, these companies often fail. But  Bulwark’s numbers are not found on a typical accountants balance sheet.  Bulwark tracks all kinds of numbers that most never think to track. And with 10 years of tracking Bulwark can see trends.  So Bulwark takes these numbers, puts a real monetary value on the impact of these numbers and then reworks the system. For example, how much more productivity could a company gain if customer call backs drop by down by 10%?  That value is calculated, monetized and then redistributed to those individuals within the company that make it happen.  The bottom line is the company runs more efficiently, more productively, and those individual’s that make it happen are rewarded for their efforts.

What’s beautiful about this system is that everyone wins.  “Yeah, Right… that’s just too cliche.” True, it is hard to believe in systems that promise to benefit everyone. But back to customer call backs… If the tech does the job correctly and takes a little more time upfront, to save time on the back end, (time=$$$) then the client, the tech, and the company all benefit.  The tech gets a bonus for having a lower call back number.  The customer is happier that the problem is being solved and that they don’t have to call us back.  The company saves time, which equates to dollars. Plus, the tech, the customer, Bulwark’s office staff, Bulwark’s managers, and the rest of the tech’s team are all happier.  Not a bad system… if it works. Don’t worry works. Proven by the same numbers that we meticulously track.

And it’s truly numbers that everyone can hit.  Many theorize that you should just play your team with your All-Star performers.  “Manage your producers and showcase them.” The most common analogy following this line of thought is that professional sports teams rely on only their superstars to make it happen. Well, pest control is far from a fantasy football team, and frankly, Bulwark has always believed that everyone on the team should play.  So Bulwark doesn’t develop a matrix to benefit a few top performers. The owner will focus on what is going to make the biggest impact on all of Bulwark’s players.  It’s a win-win-win-win-win… get the point?

Find ways to incentivize performance. And better yet, find ways to improve so everyone wins!


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2 thoughts on “Pest Control – By the Numbers.

  1. Congratulations for the excellent publicity and even more so for the success that is well deserved.

    Can you tell me, how do you track follow-ups and retention in the real world situations where technicians team up and swap services due to illness, vacation, availability, etc? It is almost impossible to have a totally restrictive rule of one tech only to one customer. Customers like this approach until their tech is not available and realize that timeliness is at least as important. I would love to understand how your quantify this.



  2. Gerry,

    Thanks for the comment. Yes this is a very difficult thing to track and there will always be some exceptions to the rules. Retention goes with the main “owner” of the account. Yes there is overlap between techs on this one and everyone must realize that we still function and survive as a team that supports each other 100%.

    I believe “Follow ups” are what we term “Call Backs”… Sorry, you say Tomato we say Ketchup… So if you are speaking of follow-ups as a “call back”, meaning an extra service in between regular services, then that is placed on whomever last serviced the account. So if Joe is the regular tech, but Sam does his follow-up/callback then, Joe would take a hit on his call back ratio. If the customer calls back again prior to the next regular service, then Sam would take the next hit.

    Again your culture must be flexible and understand that there will be overlap. I would error on the customers side, meaning if the customer needs service sooner than Joe can get there then you send out Sam. Customer satisfaction takes precedence, at least in our culture.

    Hope that helps.

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