The production and packaging of food products is a highly competitive industry that demands the most stringent standards of quality and hygiene.
In this environment, contamination of food from even minor pest activity is simply unacceptable. As a result, food manufacturers have the critical need to remain vigilant and maintain careful records to ensure and demonstrate that pest activity is not having a negative impact on their standards — or those of their customers and auditors.
Traditional paper-based methods for documenting pest control activities often result in cumbersome log books containing a voluminous number of documents, including inspection tickets, inspector recommendations, chemical specifications and authorized product lists and inspector certifications to name a few.
Because of the sheer size of these paper-based logbooks, it can be difficult to find particular documents needed for an audit, as well as to systematically track actions taken as a result of inspection results and recommendations. The process is further complicated when multiple site locations are involved, which is often the case for larger companies or those that experience unplanned growth. Additionally, the possibility exists for documents to be misplaced or destroyed.
At the heart of an effective integrated pest management program is the interaction and cooperation that takes place between the food manufacturer and the pest control provider, which is one of the main reasons that moving from a paper-based logbook to an online pest management system can deliver huge benefits.
Fortunately, new communication and document management technologies today are changing the way pest control programs are managed in the industry. Implementing an online pest management reporting system can go a long way to enhancing an integrated pest management program and reducing the burden of maintaining pest control records.
Significant benefits of online reporting
With an online pest management system, a pest control technician logs the results of an inspection and any recommended remedial actions electronically at the end of a site visit. That information is recorded and visible immediately by the food processor on an easy-to-read dashboard. Pest activity and the nature of any service applications can be highlighted by location and the system can incorporate tracking of all inspection recommendations and actions subsequently taken concerning them.
Significant benefits of online pest management include:
Accurate, detailed records of pest activity
Dashboard reports identify detected pest species, locations with high levels of activity, and site plans with complete activity history. Instant access to key information is enabled with a pre-populated and personalized dashboard, reporting on single or multiple locations depending on your business needs. From the dashboard you can view site summaries, manage recommendations and pest activity, and create proactive email alerts for recommendations.
Recommendations to help improve your pest management program
An online pest management system will help you proactively manage improvements to your program by monitoring recommendations from the technician. The user can document actions taken on structural, sanitation, or other types of recommendations provided by technicians that become a permanent, time-stamped record that can positively affect the third party audit experience.
Interactive site plans to demonstrate your pest management coverage
Site plans can display all the devices and inspection points throughout your site, graphically showing your defenses against pest infestations. Interactive site plans can highlight areas with a history of activity, assisting with the identification of risk areas.
Customized charts can assist you in identifying pest trends
Knowing your pest management risk is a crucial step in preventing pest problems. Having the ability to view, monitor, and report on pest activity and recommendations is critical. This capability will allow you to create and customize graphical outputs of pest activity trends, providing you with a clear view of how improvements in operational processes have impacted pest activity.
Reports that deliver data directly to your inbox
Tailored reports showing your pest activity, recommendations, and material usage, can be automatically generated and emailed directly to your inbox. You can also schedule exports to be run at various intervals, whether daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly, ensuring that you are always up-to-date with the most critical details impacting your account.
Multi-site tools to help you manage your entire pest control program
In multi-site applications, look for tools that identify each registered site in your program with pest problems or recommendations across your entire property portfolio. Easily navigate between each worksite and create customizable reports that collate data from each of them into a single document.
Proof of service
The Proof of Service Report captures all visit details a technician records during a visit. The Proof of Service Report can be maintained and viewed online at any time.
Access information on pest activity 24/7
Whether in the office or on the move, an online pest management system can be accessed whenever you need it. Solutions are available that include a smartphone app to view pest activity as well as review and interact with recommendations when you are away.
Getting the results you want
Having data about your pest control program organized—and at your fingertips—in an easily retrievable online database is not only a convenience; it can enhance the management of the pest control program in your facility as well as make your audit experience much more seamless. Leveraging technology to have vital pest control information available on demand, rather than manually maintaining a physical logbook, will save time, reduce the risk of incomplete recordkeeping and help you collaborate with you pest control provider to achieve a successful pest control program.
Chad Gore is Regional Technical Director at Rentokil North America, one of the world’s largest pest management companies. J.C. Ehrlich Pest Control (www.jcehrlich.com), Western Exterminator (www.westernexterminator.com), and Presto-X Pest Control (www.prestox.com) are all part of the Rentokil family of companies in North America. For more information, visit www.rentokil.com.