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InsightsPest Control ServicesOptimize Your Pest Control Spend: Bridging the Gap Between Procurement and Quality

Optimize Your Pest Control Spend: Bridging the Gap Between Procurement and Quality

Keith RobinsonJune 28, 2021Read time: 3 min

To effectively manage the pest control category, you must find ways to bridge the gap between Procurement and Quality.

If you are tasked with managing pest control spend for a food processing organization, you likely experience pushback from internal stakeholders as you pursue cost savings opportunities.

Consider this: You have reviewed your pest control contracts and familiarized yourself with incumbent and other viable suppliers. You identify several areas of potential savings and subsequently launch an RFP. The results come back looking promising—but your incumbent is the least competitive of the proposals. At minimum, you would like to leverage the other proposals to pursue direct negotiations with the incumbent…and you might even consider a switch if those negotiations bear no fruit.

You are doing your job.

And just at this stage in your process, the Quality department steps in, defending the incumbent and raising concerns that a supplier change could jeopardize audit performance. You are losing your leverage already, and you haven’t even engaged the incumbent yet.

Since indirect spend categories like pest control and sanitation have such a significant impact on annual audits, without Quality's endorsement of a project in these areas, it is unlikely your savings initiative will yield the intended results.

As a result, you must bridge the gap between your department’s ambitions and the Quality department’s commitment to the highest food safety standards.

It is easier said than done. And often, category managers will stand down at the first sign of internal resistance, adopting the path of least resistance and moving along to look for other opportunities.

But it does not have to be this way. There ARE strategies that can help Procurement resources win over their teammates in Quality and leverage this solidarity to gain company wins. And almost always, these wins can be attained without undesirable supplier transitions.

Negotiating better costs and terms with the strength of solidarity between Procurement and Quality is just the first step. Some of the biggest recent wins for our clients have come after new and better deals went live by making small but impactful tweaks within their incumbent supplier programs, adjusting frequency of services and better formatting for seasonal programs based on the specific target pests. These sorts of program optimizations can drive meaningful savings without compromising quality (indeed, often improving it).

Savings opportunities in pest control programs tend not to be 8-12%, but rather 20-50%. So, while the category dollars may be relatively small, the savings wins can still be significant. In order to achieve these, though, solidarity between Procurement and Quality is critical.

Keith Robinson

Keith Robinson

Keith joined Fine Tune in 2019 after spending nearly 30 years in the pest control industry. Previously, Keith worked 17 years at Terminix and built and sold his own PC company. Most recently, Keith served as VP of operations, training, quality assurance and food safety at ABC Home & Commercial Services. In that role, Keith led all commercial pest management operations in north Texas, east Texas and Oklahoma. A Board Certified Entomologist, he developed and rolled out food safety programs for national chain accounts across the United States. Today, Keith oversees Fine Tune’s pest control services offering nationwide.

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