Opportunity: Business & Commercial
Ecomist franchisees keep your customers – and your reputation – safe
Ecomist’s local franchisees provide a highly-recommended pest management system for business of all kinds
ave Gerrie describes himself as an ‘observational biologist’. An Ecomist franchisee for over 20 years, he says that understanding the lifestyle of pests and rodents is fundamental to what he does. ‘You have to know about their life cycles, habitats, when they’re active, what they like, what they eat and where they shelter. Once you know all that, you’re in a position to make a real difference,’ says Dave. ‘That’s why we don’t just talk about “pest control” – instead, what Ecomist offers is an integrated system of pest management which aims to prevent problems occurring, rather than fixing them after an infestation has happened. If you see a cockroach, it’s bad news – if you see a baby cockroach, you’ve got problems! ‘For anyone running a commercial kitchen, it’s like a form of insurance – food safety regulations require you to have a pest control plan to maintain your Food Hygiene Certification, which is quite a complicated thing to prepare and manage. Rest homes, child-care facilities, cinemas, banks and all sorts of other operations also have similar needs. We can do that for our clients and, as qualified pest managers, we have access to professional products that are much more effective than the DIY stuff and considerably reduce the time frame to solve problems.’ As a result, Ecomist has national contracts with some very well-known companies, including Restaurant Brands (who operate KFC, Pizza Hut and Carl’s Jr.), Domino’s and St Pierre’s, which means plenty of work for franchisees all round the country.
Keeping people and premises safe The core of the Ecomist service is a programmable aerosol dispenser which delivers a product featuring chrysanthemum daisy-based natural pyrethrins to control insects. Franchisees install the dispensers in businesses and then keep them stocked with a regular servicing call cycle. That gives them the chance to inspect the premises for any other issues, then take immediate action using their pest management training and other products such as barrier sprays, insect grenades and more to resolve the problem and keep the businesses and its customers safe.
And it’s not just commercial customers; Ecomist dispensers are popular with domestic users for controlling flying pests, and can also be used to dispense odour neutralisers. Ecomist offers a range of 35 different fragrances created by a French parfumier, including some well-known scents. Customers can order products online via the Ecomist website, and orders are fulfilled by franchisees in their own exclusive territories. This provides steady and recurring income while allowing franchisees to develop ongoing relationships.
New Zealand owned and operated Ecomist is very much a New Zealand brand. It’s a division of Rotorua-based Damar Industries, which manufactures the Ecomist aerosol products locally. ‘That ensures continuity of supply while controlling costs for clients and ensuring profitability for franchisees,’ says Ian Robertson, Ecomist Group General Manager. ‘The combination of a New Zealand supplier with a localised service network of franchisees who each have a vested interest in their own businesses has led to very high customer satisfaction levels. Last year, a survey showed that our clients gave us a Net Promoter Score of 70. That’s world-class – most companies look to achieve 40 or more. And, to confirm that, the same survey showed almost 60 percent of leads came via word-of-mouth as clients recommend us to their friends and colleagues. Building those relationships is an important part of what our franchisees do.’ Dave Gerrie: ‘The business has got more and more interesting’
Growing demand all over Dave Gerrie is one of those relationship builders. Ecomist’s current Franchisee of the Year, he joined the company 20 years ago as a distributor before it was restructured as a franchise. ‘It’s gone from strength-to-strength ever since,’ says the North Shore and Hibiscus Coast franchisee. Dave had a background in sales and marketing with a major multinational, but he’d reached a stage in his career where the next move was overseas and that didn’t appeal to him as father to a young family. Instead, he decided to make money for himself rather than working for someone else. ‘Initially, the business was all about selling dispensers, but it’s got more and more interesting
Franchise New Zealand
Year 30 Issue 02