Robert's Rants
Robert's Rants
A personal blog on the Canadian pesticide industry and other pet peeves and interests

Products, products, products…or why we need a bigger warehouse!

So as promised in my last post, let’s take a quick look see at one product type or category just to see how diverse this little mouse catching job is.

There are 4 main ways to control mice, besides ensuring they don’t enter the property.  Buy a cat.  Catch them on glue boards.  Use rodenticides. Or trap the little buggers.  And here you can use snap traps for an immediately lethal solution, or use live traps.

Those in the Industry are familiar with the product category known as “multi-catch” mouse bait stations.  Simply put a trap designed to catch more than one mouse, as a live trap.  Mouse walks in….can’t get out.   His friend Bill joins him…and so on…and so on.

This “concept” was started by Victor (now Woodstream) with the Victor Tin Cat. Isn’t that a great name!  Tin Cat…lets you know right off the bat what you’re buying.

Of course since then more companies have jumped on the concept and we have a plethora of products in the market.   I’ve taken the trouble to list out the ones we have available below, and yes we have these in stock (and I’m even missing some I bet).

  • KNESS SLIM KETCH (NEW) – So new I named it myself

If you follow the link below, you should come upon our web page with some, not all, of our various rodent bait stations.

Now here’s the kicker…

Take the list above and multiply it by the following “options”:

Clear lid or solid lid

Black, or white, or unpainted (galvanized)

And what have you got?  The list above turns into 45 different products!!!!!!

Maybe you want them private labeled with your company name or logo?

All based on one concept.  All available, in stock, ready to go.

So ask me….”Which one works the best?”

To be truthful I can take any of the traps in just about any of the combo’s and make them work.

So why do we stock so many?  That’s a great question.  Maybe we don’t have to BUT, my customers want variety and each has a different preference…and my customers come first.  I can sell the benefits of one over the other, the price points, or other small differences, and drop some of the lines.  But if I can make them available, then why not?

So my actual and personal preference?   If I had to choose?  Forced at gun point?

That would be….

Products, products and more products. How much is too much, and which is the “right” one to sell.

This is a bit of an intro or overview that is intended to lead into another discussion on product offering and why Gardex sells the line that we do.  In paraphrasing our Mission, our intent is to best meet our customers’ needs that will lead to their further success.

We are now going through the dreaded exercise of upgrading our “system”, which as everyone knows is never an easy task.  By the word “system” I am referring to the major computer programming that links all of our transactional processes together that simply allows us to do business. Processes such as:

  • Purchasing and supply side.
  • Historical use and consumption.
  • Inventory management and forecasting.
  • Order placement, entry and fulfillment.
  • Shipping of outgoing orders, receipt of incoming goods.
  • Customer data and records, billing, pricing and terms.

When doing this exercise one of the first things we have investigated is our range, or product offering.

After several months of effort, it comes down to the fact that we are selling thousands of customers thousands of various stock keeping units (SKU’s) and at all times of the year.

I was a bit overwhelmed to find that Gardex actively purchases 1,965 SKU’s, and when breaking that down from master cases to cases or individual items, the number of products we actively manage is closer to 2700 items.

Some 980 SKU’s are stocked in our 4 warehouses at all times.

When I look at those numbers I always ask myself the same question…”Robert, are you nuts or something? Why do we carry so many products?”

When I mention this to customers they can’t believe the number available.  Especially since the average Pest Management professional “thinks” they only purchases 20 – 30 items.

So why are we stocking so much?  Because each of our customers has a different need, different preference and different means of how they conduct business.

Simply look at controlling one little mouse as an example.

Gardex offers 10 different bait stations to hold one of 12 different rodenticide baits. We carry 8 different multi-catch traps (Ketch-alls, Tin Cats) 10 different type of glue boards (freezer, unscented, peanut butter, cherry etc.).  And what else, oh, 6 different snap traps, from the old wooden ones to the new plastic jaws of death.  That covers most.

So which is the right way to control this one particular mouse?  I think that’s the question we can’t answer outright, as there are a lot of options that will all work.

Every method or product may be the right one for that particular moment, even if solely based on the customers’ need and preference.

So do we make everything available, to meet each of your preferences and likes?  Maybe, maybe not.

There is a need for us to give more support to certain products over others, and with justified business sense for both Gardex and the customer.  And a time for the customer to make choices on several different aspects on a product other than simply price.

Stay tuned as I try (big emphasis on “try”) run through a simple product review on choices and options of one product category.  We may all learn something, especially me!