Latest UK pest control and management news for professionals

09 November 2021

President's viewpoint: I like technology. But I prefer people.


My dad was an IT technician and, as a young(er) man, I always quite fancied the idea of being an IT consultant. That’s where the big money is, or so I thought.

However, he was quick to point out how fickle technology can be. It moves quickly, and by the time you’ve learned something, the next thing is just around the corner.

He was always far more enthusiastic about my chosen profession than his own; “There will always be rats and mice, Phil. Always.”

Technology allows us to offer new services, get closer to our clients, train our staff quicker and connect with people we can’t meet for coffee. It opens doors for us to automate monotonous tasks and systemise our practices to benefit our customers.

But it can also hide us behind a screen, disconnect us from our customers, or create a barrier between us and our curiosity.

As with all things, the use of technology needs to be balanced.

Someone at PestExtra asked in the little questions box: “Will we all have to be IT engineers to work in pest control?”.

I’m sure they were being a little tongue-in-cheek, but I think that points to a real fear that people have.

Smart traps, client portals and digital risk assessments are quickly making their way into our sector – so much so that this issue of PPC is themed around this situation.

Since my last foreword, and at the time of writing, BPCA has had two successful in-person forums and one board meeting.

I’m incredibly pleased to see people getting together and getting (sanitised) hands-on with events again. I love that members are joining 300 at a time to our digital events, but there’s something very special about sharing ideas in person.

With 2022 looking like it’s going to be a bumper year for human interactions, I want to personally invite you to get involved (if you feel ready to do so, of course).

With 11 Forums scheduled around the country, PestEx is returning, and our 80th birthday celebration is beginning to take shape; it’s never been a better time to get to a BPCA event.

You might even find that new piece of tech that inspires some business growth.

My time as BPCA president is slowly drawing to a close. I’ve got a PestEx, a couple of Board meetings, an annual report, a birthday party and an AGM to go.

Thankfully most of these things will be in-person, pandemic-permitting.

It’s been a learning experience for me and, while my time as a BPCA volunteer is far from over, I do want to reflect on how much I’ve learned from my peers.

I’m a bit grumpy that Covid has stopped us getting in a room together as much as I’d have liked. It’s in those real rooms, with real sandwiches, where the critical conversations happen.

Being on the Board has made me think more strategically about my own business.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love sales calls and problem-solving with a technician.

But as I reflect on my time as a director of BPCA, I know I need to get more hands-on with our strategy to help Countrywide grow.

Realisations like this come from talking to other small business owners at BPCA events. I’ve never left a Board meeting or a Forum without feeling at least a little inspired to make a change in my own company.

So, if you can, get in those rooms. Have those conversations. Enjoy those sandwiches. Come to an event or volunteer for a committee.

You won’t regret it.

We’ve got plenty to celebrate together. So until next we meet... stay safe!

Philip Halpin
BPCA President

PS Also, I just wanted to shout about BPCA winning the Association Excellence award for ‘Best Lobbying Campaign/Advancement of a Cause’.

The work we did together to campaign for key worker status shows what happens when members pull together for the common good.

Congratulations to all BPCA members – you’re part of an award-winning association that drives excellence in pest management. We should all take some pride in that.


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