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Pest Control Services

InsightsPest Control ServicesWhen to Negotiate Your Pest Control Supplier Agreement

When to Negotiate Your Pest Control Supplier Agreement

Keith RobinsonNovember 13, 2020Read time: 3 min

Did you know that the bulk of pest control supplier revenue is made during the spring and summer months when pest incident rates are high?

Accordingly, this is also a time when pest control customers see their spend increase, drawing attention from ownership-minded category managers and P&L owners. It is therefore no coincidence that new agreements are often executed within this spring/summertime frame.

But negotiating these deals during the active season brings two major obstacles into play:

  1. You are attempting to leverage a supplier during a period of high demand
  2. You are often facing pushback from (and lacking solidarity with) site-level contacts, whose primary concern is the immediate threat posed by seasonal pests

Unfortunately, like many of our clients, you do not always get to choose when to work on this category;  you may be pushed up against a contract expiration or dealing with an urgent issue that must be addressed during active pest months.

When this happens, do your best not to fall victim to the relentless pressure of the supplier to quickly execute a new deal. Many of these agreements are multi-year commitments, so any deal you hastily make now will, unfortunately, be one you live with for several years.

Substandard service can also throw you into a negotiation at any time of the year, and this, too, will sometimes be unavoidable. We always recommend if you have a bad service provider or an irreparable issue—regardless of the time of year—that you make a change. When you and your team have lost confidence in your provider’s ability to perform, or when you feel your employees, operations, and/or products may be at risk, a better partner is needed.

However, if you can negotiate in the fall or winter, you are more likely to find yourself in the driver’s seat during the process.

Your locations will likely have more time to assist with the project, and with insect pressure substantially decreased, your current provider will lose much of their bargaining power and leverage.

Thus, program modifications and cost savings initiatives, including necessary supplier transitions, are easier and more effective if implemented during the non-active pest season.


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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