AEPMA Presidents Report September 2013

Now that Spring is finally with us, our pest management season is off to a start. Many Pest Managers around the country are optimistic and enthusiastic about the season, especially after, for many, successive quieter than average Summers.

Continuing low home loan interest rates, along with investor confidence now that the election is over, and we should have political stability for at least the next four years. Hopefully this will kick start the domestic building and renovating sector that much of our industry relies upon and is a good indicator of how the domestic economy is really performing.

At national office, the business of administering AEPMA is running smoothly and to plan. Our biggest internal task for this last 12 months has been the new website and industry” hub” that will merge all of our associated websites and online assets into one place that is easier for consumers and Pest Managers alike to find and use. The hub will also create more value for AEPMA members by allowing them to find information on industry issues or events fast, book and pay for everything from membership to events and conferences online using credit card facilities; create accurate company profiles for consumer services and sales leads, along with clearly identifying members as businesses that operate to the highest levels of professional industry standards and integrity, and that have the backing and resources of a national organisation for technical support, dispute resolution and consumer protection through mandatory insurance and compliance to the industry operating code of ethics. This can be summed up to consumers as “Buy with confidence from an AEPMA member”, a stark contrast to the old industry image of the past.

The new “clean, safe, reliable and professional” image of our industry did not just happen by itself. It’s been, and continues to be, a long slow path with many miles yet to go. However the ground we have covered is clearly a joint venture between AEPMA and our associate members, along with professional members working together and generally all getting along. The recent Rapid Solutions conference on the Gold Coast was testament to this behaviour.

Our industry is lucky to have Pest Managers, suppliers and manufacturers all putting in an effort to make the event a success. The speaker line up that Rapid Solutions delivered this year was new, relevant, interesting and professional, with many delegates commenting “I could have watched that speaker again,” or “He was so interesting, I wish he had more time.”

This last Rapid Solutions Conference is clearly up there with some of the best pest management conferences or events Australia has produced. But in saying that, and not taking anything away from the organisers of the event – so it should be – because we are a professional industry with a professional association (AEPMA) that is non-political and non-commercially influenced and now have many, many years working together to better this industry. One of the things that we often forget is that the speakers we invite to speak at our events have influence outside of our industry or amongst our customers. As an example, a speaker on food safety, or someone from a government organisation, or a consultant to the food industry or fast food outlets. Fortunately in recent times I believe our industry has presented ourselves in a professional manner in which the events are organised, the quality of the speakers, the design and layout of the trade exhibits, but mostly and importantly as how the delegates interact with invited guests, down to how well everyone is dressed. Gone (thankfully) are the days of Pest Managers attending events in work clothes and dirty boots. So all those that have attended pest management industry events in the last few years deserve to be congratulated and reminded that you are a part of making this industry better. For those that don’t attend events or are not members of AEPMA, let me remind you – you’re freeloading.

Until next issue.

David Gay, W.R Gay Pest Control