13 September 2017

Engagement? Mission: possible.

President foreword | PPC88 September 2017

New BPCA President Tom Holmes introduces himself and his perspectives on our industry and association...

Before we begin with the traditional foreword, I thought it would be worthwhile giving some background, to those of you who may be asking ‘Who is this guy, from an M&D Member company, who has been entrusted as the Association President?’

Well, in truth, having joined what is now Pelsis in 2000, it took me many years to prove that I wasn’t just a product engineer, who happened to be working in the professional pest control industry, but rather I was part of that industry, and therefore I had a part to play (perhaps even a duty?) in driving it forward. As the penny dropped, I realised I had stumbled into an industry not without its challenges, but boasting good, hard working and passionate people and, in general, with a real desire to professionalise and celebrate what we do well. OK, I’ll have a piece of that.

With that background in product design I like things done right, to understand ‘why’, and then create great solutions to problems, both big and small. My wife will tell you that the passion for ‘doing it right’, means I hate doing half a job, whether that’s as Club Secretary at the cricket club I play for, or building the perfect Lego model with my two and four-year-old sons. That said, I’d rather try, and fail, than not try at all – standing still rarely brings success, however comfortable it may feel.

How can working for a manufacturer and distributor be the right background for a President? Well, there is a precedent, and the last ‘M&D President’s’ time in post remains highly respected (Martina Flynn). In leading the product development activity for Pelsis, engaging with pest control technicians (and where appropriate, their clients), is crucial. This includes getting people to buy in to new product ideas, but also, it’s where I get to hear what does and doesn’t work, what the problems are, and often, how best to solve them. We’ll come back to that idea of ‘engagement’ later. And I firmly believe that if we can get the right people involved in shaping the direction of the Association, with the right range of skills, to focus on the right things, then we can move forward together. And that’s what I intend to do – get the right people together.

So, to business.

The first cycle of audits to the EN16636 standard is done (page 16). Our new website is up and running (page 18). The Trailblazer apprenticeship standard has been approved (page 29). We’ve had major successes battling for continued biocide use, we’re winning national awards, we’ve got well over 100 CEPA Certified® members, and member numbers have never been so high.

And, what now?

Even when things are going well, it’s worth taking a step back and really look at what you’re trying to achieve and why. Needless to say, in this fast-paced environment, the landscape is constantly changing around us.

As an Executive Board, we’ll be revisiting our strategy, with a critical eye and making sure it’s well focused on delivering an association well-placed to support all of our members (irrespective of size, category or location) as that landscape we talked about, continues to move around us all. The very structure of BPCA is under discussion – and the aim is to give members even more opportunity to get involved in driving the future of the Association, and the professionalism of the sector. While we’re at it, let’s shout about what we do, and how BPCA servicing members stand out from the crowd a bit more too – surely your customers want to hear about that, don’t they? Engagement. That’s the word for my term in office.

After all, what’s the point in having an association of unrivalled experts if we’re not getting around the table to talk to each other?

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Tom-Holmes-headTom Holmes
BPCA President, Head of Durable Product Development, Pelsis Group

15 September 2017  |  PPC88

Source: PPC88

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