Posts Tagged ‘phoenix pest control’

Simple metrics can put you and your company on the road to continuous improvement. Bulwark Exterminating’s Adam Seever shares how.

Business Sign X

Business Sign X (Photo credits:

Big firms save millions by reducing errors and waste through Six Sigma, Kaizen and Lean Management. But for small and mid-size companies, these principles can be hard to apply. It’s easy to get lost in the jargon, said Adam Seever, CEO of Bulwark Exterminating in Mesa, Ariz.
His suggestion? Keep it simple: Focus on measurement.

Commit to the power of metrics.

First, your organization must embrace three key values:

Hamilton path in graph. Arrow: edge of graph, ...

Hamilton path in graph. Arrow: edge of graph, Blue dot: vertex of graph, red arrows show Hamilton Path. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  1. Measurement is good.
  2. If it is measured, it will improve.
  3. If it is not measured, quality will not exist.

“You have to accept that measurement is necessary for improvement,” said Seever. “You may have great employees, but if the systems they work in aren’t measured, they can’t see how they’re doing compared with each other and you can’t see how the systems relate to the overall money-making capacity of the business.”

Take a reality check.

Get managers together and discuss what employees should be doing but aren’t. Write these “shoulds” down. “That’s a success in and of itself,” said Seever.

This process is all about discovering reality, which is “whatever your average employee is doing when no one is looking,” he said.

Here’s an example: You want your technicians to start the day’s first service in the first 20 minutes of the 8 to11 a.m. time block. Your average technician, however, isn’t showing up until after 10 a.m. Technically he’s not late, but delaying this first service can throw his entire day behind schedule.

Should you fire this employee? Give him more training? Neither, said Seever. “You just can’t throw the axe every time the average person isn’t doing what you want them to do,” he said. And lecturing is useless, especially when the employee is protected by the work habits of the majority. “They will not change. You will not find increased productivity,” he said.

According to Seever, “They’re not the inadequate one. You are.” When you have the mean of individuals in your system acting contrary to what the management team thinks should happen, that’s the fault of management not employees. The goals you’ve developed and the systems you built are insufficient.

Prioritize and measure.

rel-author-tagIdentify one or two of the “shoulds” and brainstorm how to measure them. Start with something you easily
can get your arms around.

“It’s a learning process for everyone in the company.” If you’ve collected people who like to ride the gravy train, there’s going to be friction. Bulwark Exterminating put GPS devices in service trucks to monitor when technicians arrived at their first call. A simple spreadsheet — check yes or no — recorded whether employees showed up in the first 20 minutes of the time block.

Do the math.

Calculate the economic impact if the majority of employees changed their behavior. This can be a little involved, but it doesn’t have to be overly complicated, said Seever.
What would happen if the average technician showed up 95 percent of the time in the first 20 minutes to his first appointment? How much more money per day would he generate if he could service more accounts by 5 p.m.? Would you have new capacity to handle emergency calls? Would customers be more satisfied?

Pay for it.

Develop a bonus system to reward employees who change behavior. Bulwark Exterminating found it could save $200 per month per technician if employees showed up to the first service call within the first 20 minutes. Technicians who do this 95 percent of the time get a $100 monthly bonus. The bonus helped employees accept the GPS monitoring.
Some business owners have a problem with splitting the difference with employees, said Seever. They figure, why should I pay them more to do something they’re already supposed to be doing?
“You are paying exactly for what your average employee is doing right now,” he explained. Say you have 100 employees and 70 are not doing something to your expectation. You can’t expect one of those 70 people to change when 69 of them are protected by the norm.The employees who do meet your expectation are getting robbed. “It’s all about putting your money where your mouth is,” he said.

This approach can make annual pay reviews obsolete, as salary and hourly wage increases are based on increased productivity. Without real measurement, annual reviews are subjective and vague, and metrics almost always prove managers play favorites, said Seever. The human element is important — Do customers compliment him, is he personable, does he smile? — but without real
measurements, how do you really know?

Watch culture change.

English: Bulwark Exterminating

English: Bulwark Exterminating (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eventually, employees will embrace the expected behavior. Almost all of Bulwark Exterminating’s technicians now show up to their first call as expected and receive the $100 bonus each month.
If you get the average to comply, it’s easy to isolate a minority 20 percent not meeting expectations and train or terminate them, Seever said.
This approach cannot be accomplished by one person, he cautioned. At Bulwark Exterminating, a team of believers makes metric-based management happen.

And don’t expect results if you merely have the “warm and fuzzy” need to make your financial statements look better. “That type of engagement in any program, especially in regards to metrics, won’t work,” he said.

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Awhile back I participated in the Phoenix Warrior Dash, well that was tough enough for me. But a couple of my co-workers here at Bulwark Exterminating decided to do the Tough Mudder. Here is their video clip… produced by the Bulwark Exterminating Marketing Department.

Yes that was a Back Flip into that muddy water… Yes there were 1000 watts running through those wires, which caused Derrick to fall forward after loosing muscle control. Certainly not an event for the weak. Crawling through water filled tunnels. Swimming through ice cold water, chilled to the bone by dry ice. But apparently not too much for the Phoenix Scorpion Control team that kills the most deadly US scorpions you can find on a regular bases. Kicking butt and taking names.

Bulwark Exterminating… Hiring guys who aren’t your average pest control guy. You may call it over the top… I call Bulwark Extreme.

Thanks Team Bulwark for the awesome event and awesome footage.

Are you a Bulwark fan, customer, or employee? Want a sponsor for your local sports event? Contact me:

Bulwark Exterminating
40 N Central Ave #1400
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 652-2251

A Promoted Tweet on Pest Control term by an electrical company?

“Technology has to be invented or adopted.”  – Jared Diamond

Okay so this is a cool quote and all, but why?

Why would GE want to promote this tweet on the pest control stream? Where is the connection? Did someone just do some keyword research and find pest control related to technology?  Are exterminators a large consumer of light bulbs? Sorry, just not getting it.  Pest Control Technology… Hmmm…. I mean there is a pest control technology magazine. And I often feel that Bulwark Exterminating is becoming more of a technology company than a residential pest control service… but still not getting the full picture here.

I guess the plus side to this is that I am blogging about this simply out of awe. But does it make me more inclined to buy from the promoter of said tweet?

Pubcon-Pest-Control Guy -Austin TX

Image by Thos003 via Flickr

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So doing a search for pest control this past week I came across a new type of listing in the search results, one that had bullets and snippets:

Hmmm… very interesting. This is really a big bonus for Service Magic as their numbers show up in the snippet. Check it out, right next to bullet one, Bulwark Exterminating, you get a service magic line. That’s got to be good for them. Insider pages gets the added bonus of the stars, which really make an impression. Albeit, the black stars look a little more negative than the shiny gold stars we grew up with.

How does this happen?

Well if you want to add snippets and bullets to your search listings then you want to read the following article by Dr. Pete:

How Do I Get Google’s Bulleted Snippets?

Thanks Dr. Pete and SEOmoz for saving me some time.

And yes… I work for Bulwark Exterminating. Insect Control Phoenix anyone?

Hello, my name is Oxxxxx Mxxxxxx and I am a Internet marketing
professional. I had done a Google search under the keyword shade sails
arizona and had run across your website I see
that you are not listed on the first page of Google for your particular

I am not sure if you’re aware of why you’re ranked this low but more
importantly how easily correctable this is.

There’s no reason that you can’t have top three rankings for the keyword
shade sails arizona based on your website structure and content. You have a
very nice site…


Wow… I am not sure what I was thinking. How did I miss the fact that I don’t rank for shade sail Arizona? Maybe if I had know about this stellar keyword then I could of dropped in Bulwark’s address at 40 N. Central Ave, Suite 1400, Phoenix, AZ 85004 and added it to our local search terms. Thanks for checking on this for me. Not even sure that I really know what a Shade Sail is, but I am pretty sure that I will be ranking for it shortly. But I think it would be more valuable for me to rank for Phoenix Pest Control, since I am an exterminator. Or maybe even Phoenix Scorpion Control. …Although it would be nice to sell some shade sails to all of our customers so that our technicians could work under a shade rather than the 120 degree heat. But I don’t think that’s an easy add on for a bug control guy.

In more recent new from Phoenix AZ:

Introducing my latest video. Let me know what you think.

Bulwark Exterminating has done a lot of work to become proficient in the art of scorpion control.

Scorpions are common in Las Vegas, Austin, Phoenix, and San Antonio. They can also be found in Houston and Atlanta, but are less frequent in these locations. Fortunately, Bulwark’s pest control services cover all of these areas.

If you are in need of Phoenix Scorpion Control then don’t hesitate to call.

You can find reviews of Bulwark’s services by clicking here: Phoenix Scorpion Control

And so it began… My first ever warrior dash. I thought it would be cool to bring my iphone along on the run for some live action photos of the Phoenix Warrior Dash course it self…

Warrior Dash Starting Line Last Heat of the Day

Warrior Dash Starting Line Last Heat of the Day

Yes, my crazy little brother shaved his head… but just the middle of it. Yes… I am having second thoughts… Not really a fan of run, especially in the desert of Arizona with a bunch of dust and dirt kicking up in my face.

But the race begins. And I mean a lot of dirt… About a half a mile into the run we hit our first obstacle.

Warrior Dash Walls

The first obstacle were some over under walls. They added barbed wire for a little flare and to discourage people from just jumping over the under parts… And nice kilt.Next up were the desert hills.

Up and down mounds of dirt, about 10 to 15 foot drops and inclines. Yes, they pretty much looked like more dirt.

Warrior Dash Tire Course

Climbing on cars

Curious who took a marker so they could write on the junk metal.

 If you look closely these contestants are not really doing the old high knee tire relay that you would do in gym. They are merely walking on top of the tires. I wonder how many people bit the dust trying to run through these tires. The tires lead up to the Junk Yard… Which meant scrap metal cars. Kind fun actually running on top of a car.

After the car dump there was to be a river run… but not to many rivers actually flow in Phoenix AZ, so no wet and wild water run. There was an uninteresting repel point. Although I did see a man slide down the boards on his butt. OUCH. Then the hay bails was next. By this point in the day they were pretty soft. Next time I will have to just leap off the top to the soft patch below, should save me at least 2 seconds.


Cargo Net Climb

Cargo nets are always so tricky. You look at one and say what’s the big deal, it ‘s just a soft ladder to climb up. Well soft ladders require you to balance, and when there are a few other swing that net with you, not so easy.

It really gets tricky at the top of the cargo net. Balance, small beam, and kicking over… with all the other warriors throwing off your groove, not so easy. And be careful, you could end up digging your nails into that top board, only to find some splintery visitors under your finger tips. Yes, splinters under the finger nails, NOT COOL.

Well I won’t bore you to much more. 3.5 miles is a long run. They threw in a horizontal cargo net later, and a bungee spider web. The flame jump wasn’t all that jump through flames would seem. It’s hot! Which is not fun when you are hot and sweaty after 3 miles of running. The final strech is the MUD PIT, with barbed wire again for flare and to keep your face in the mud. This mud was not so soft and squishy. Try mud with rocks and sticks in it. Yes, it will cut your knees up if you are wearing shorts and crawling through it. So best to actually swim it if you can.

Not nearly as fun as it appears here.

Yes… I Survived the Warrior Dash!… But my iPhone almost didn’t.

I had a zip lock for my iPhone to go through the mud pit, but it didn’t quit hold. When I pulled it out to check on it, the screen was reading an error could not find. I immediately powered it off. Then I pulled it out and wiped it down. I tried to turn it back on in a couple of hours… No luck. So I tried the rice in a bag trick. Still no luck. Then someone said to do a rice in bag in freezer then in full sun.  Amazingly it worked.  Although now my iPhone’s top button does not work so I can’t power it down… don’t tell the flight stewardess.  It also makes it annoying when I want to take a screen shot. But hey, we are not all meant to be warriors.

This is your Phoenix bug guy signing off. If you need Phoenix Bug Control, don’t call me this weekend. I still need to recover.

Ants are an increasing problem in many US cities. The weather fluctuations often cause short bursts of ant problems. But beyond weather, there are also many new threats on the ant scene. Rasberry Ants have introduced a whole new level of terror as they spread like a plague across Texas and into other Southern states. Argentine ants continue to build their family ties. They are a family of ants that do not compete with each other, thus the family that stays together conquers the world together. And most ant problems are made worse when they are attacked by poorly equipped homeowners. An ant colony will bud, spread out, and bunker down when the colony is attacked. Often, homeowners believe they have been successful with their can of bug spray because the ants will disappear for a time. Well they may disappear but they are not gone. Even if you killed off every ant you saw, the bulk of the ant colony will remain safe and out of fire. Only 20% of the ant colony every leaves at a time. So the would be do-it-yourself pest controller kills off some of the forgers. The colony goes into submission. Rebuilds. And one month later the home owners beloved house is invaded again, by the same colony.

Yes. Ant control is usually best left to the professionals.

The ants are coming this year, as every year to Southern California. Due to the heavy rains we had this past winter, ant colonies are expected to have grown larger than prior years. But with drought plans restricting water usage, I am sure that those ants will be marching indoors this spring and summer, making homeowners crazy as they wake up to a breakfast table full of ants, or come home for dinner, only to find that ants beat them to dinner. W … Read More

via Hearts Pest Management Blog

Social Content is now hitting the first page of Google… in Beta.

My Social Circle - My Social Content

Searching the net today for my placement and competitor comparison I found a spammer, so I logged in to vote the guy down. Of course, I have often wondered what that little voting button really does for me. Well, I don’t believe it does much to try and vote spammers off the first page of google. It seems totally ridiculous that a wordpress blog with no content and a huge banner image stating “Rent this Domain” ranks on the first page simply because of an exact match. But that’s off topic. So here is the big news….

My Social Circle – My Social Content

Ranking number 10 on the first page of google is “Social Content”. Your Social circle and social content are created by users you have associated with in your gmail account.  Or users in your twitter account that you’ve associated with your profile.  You can login into your social network and see where the data is coming from.

Your friends vote on pages they like.  If that page is associated to your search then those positive votes are shown on the first page of the SERPS.  Check out the image above for the google search results on “Pest Control Mesa“.  How nice.  My friends are making recommendations for me and I didn’t even have to ask them.

Side Note- Recently heard that 64% of housewives look to friends for recommendations on services…. not sure how accurate that is but it sounds pretty close. =)

So I pulled up my wife’s gmail account…. Did a search for “Pest Control Phoenix” and got this in my social section:

So how does this work?  Well since I happen to know the guy that created the top link, I also happen to know that he voted up that content.  So all those votes that you can add for a website that seemed worthless… ???

What does this mean for SEO?

Fewer first page positions. The organics are down to 9 positions of organic content to fight for on the first page of google if the googler is logged in.  And just an FYI for the SEM team… Positions 7 through 10 get about the same number of clicks as all of your PPCs.  So yes, that number 10 spot still holds value.  My fellow partner in crime said, “So how do we get our results to show up there?”  The answer: “GET SOME FRIENDS.”

Google wants real users.  They want real people.  Google began by building the a machine that did all the work for them.  Now they have such a huge array of products that they use live “Human Testing.”  Login, plugin, and let google tap your brain through your little fingers.

Google is going to rule the World Pinky.

Give them free stuff, like free cheese sitting on a mouse trap. Free email. Free blog space.  Free photo space.  And once they are plugged into the matrix we’ve got em.  And the beauty of it is that they won’t want to leave!

…..And that my little friend Pinky is how google is going to Rule the World.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Matt Cutts for fixing your google maps! (Not sure if he deserves all the credit but he was the google employee that reassured me that this would happen).  I must say that I am very optimistic about google maps and the direction they are heading.  Here are a couple of things you may want to be aware of when it comes to the future of google maps:

1st and most important…

Google Map extends to service areas of businesses!

This is the best news I have had all week!  In fact, Matt Cutts and Google will be receiving thanks in my Thanksgivings celebration this week! I had the pleasure of addressing my concern to Matt at Pubcon two weeks ago, thanks to an introduction given by Kate Morris, an SEM Gem.

Matt essentially admitted that google was cleaning up the mess it had accumulated from mining the information that was out there for local search. He assured me that the most recent update in the google maps was that they were now pushing their own information for the map results, not 3rd party info.  I mentioned my concern in that the current maps only showed listings within the actual metro city and that this was not reflective of the service areas of many service companies, (cough “Pest Control companies” cough). Matt assured me that they were aware of this and that they were working to correct this….

Two weeks later I get this…

Phoenix Pest Control Map by Google Maps

Phoenix Pest Control Map in Google Maps

So if you notice the map title “Pest Control near Tempe, AZ” … Go through the results and you will notice that the first listing “A” falls right on the town of Tempe.  But “C” Bulwark Exterminating is not within the Tempe city limits… Awwesoooome!

Again… Tempe results show Bulwark Exterminating… not in Tempe… Actual address…

Bulwark Exterminating – Phoenix Pest Control
10401 N 91st Ave, Peoria, AZ 85345

Two weeks ago this search would only give results in Tempe.  Now it gives results of companies that service Tempe but don’t fall within Tempe, AZ.  Thank you Google! FYI I have only experienced this phenomenon in the Phoenix area. But I have high hopes that this will roll out to our cities.

2ndly an update for the San Fransisco maps…

Google is currently beta testing their google maps for advertising:

Future of Google maps

Search done for San Francisco Attorney

Good? … possibly. What if I were already in the top 7, would I get charged for the click? And when they click on the map the sponsored listings no longer show.  The down side I see to this is that the sponsored listings don’t show the reviews. Reviews are huge for CTR.  I would prefer the sponsored list show my reviews and take you to the google review page. But as I have not tested this yet, I really have no constructive input. Just making you aware of what is on the horizon. Great thing about the internet is that you can always test… the bad thing is that you are always testing.

So as always… “The Future is so Bright that I’ve go to wear shades.” (Yes I am singing in my head.)

What a great day!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!