Keith Walter loves everything about being an owner-operator with one exception: “The big companies can buy things so much cheaper than I can.”
That changed last year when he joined the PestPartnersSM 365 Program from Syngenta, a year-round rebate program that rewards pest management professionals (PMPs) for purchasing Syngenta products.
“The PestPartners program evens out that playing field. It is saving me money. That means I’m making more money,” said Walter, who operates Keith’s Pest Control in Bedford, Texas. The program is “a friendly nod to us little guys” and “that really earns a lot of respect from me,” he said.
“A lot of manufacturer programs cater only to those who are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars; this is an all-inclusive rebate program that helps everybody,” explained Eric Paysen, technical services manager for Professional Pest Management at Syngenta, North America.
PMPs earn cash back for buying any product in the Syngenta portfolio, including Demand® CS insecticide, Altriset® termiticide and Talon® Weatherblok® XT rodenticide.
HOW IT WORKS
First you have to qualify, and that’s easy. Participants only have to buy $200 in base rebate dollars (each product package is assigned a base rebate amount) during a seven-month qualifying period – October 1, 2018 through April 30, 2019 – to be automatically entered into the program.
Walter, who earned rebates at the entry or Partner level, saved $40 per bottle on Demand CS, alone, which he said made his participation “a no-brainer.” The more product you buy during the seven-month period, the higher the rebate you can earn all year long, said Marshall Gaster, market manager for Professional Pest Management at Syngenta, North America.
“It was easy to qualify because they do all the work for you,” said Walter. “Syngenta tracks product purchases through distributors compared to traditional rebate programs that are very coupon, buy-one-get-one focused with specific windows in which you have to buy,” said Gaster. “And it usually requires filling out forms and mailing in copies of receipts.”
WHO HAS THE TIME FOR THAT?
Seasonal programs can often be “a hassle” and “just one more thing to do” in the course of a busy day, said Tim Kendrick, technical director at Wayne’s Environmental Services in Birmingham, Ala. Syngenta has “simplified it to the point where it’s made my life easier,” said Kendrick, who has participated in the program since it was launched in 2015.
“We saw that we could do our rebate program differently and add value in a different way,” said Gaster. “The Syngenta approach lets PMPs get back to the real job of helping improve people’s quality of life, not waste time chasing rebates,” he said.
Syngenta sends out rebate checks twice a year, in August and November. While many PMPs use the money to offset product costs, others use it to reward employees, provide incentives or even take vacations. The rebates are “a meaningful amount” of money, said Larry Motes, director of operations for Gregory Pest Solutions in Greenville, S.C. “It does make a difference,” he assured.
HOW TO EARN MORE
A little planning can help PMPs earn bigger rebates. By knowing how much product you need through the summer months, you can make informed purchases to maximize your savings, said Gaster. Syngenta even offers an early order bonus to help PMPs increase their savings.
Last year, Walter looked at his weekly product use and planned out his purchases from there. He bought the master shipper of Demand CS and “I went through it pretty quick. I really should have bought two.” Still, he was able to buy more outside the qualifying period and get the rebate.
The PestPartners 365 website provides tools like online calculators and worksheets to help PMPs plan their purchases and determine rebate levels and earnings. If you create an online account, this data is stored to use in next year’s planning.
Syngenta territory managers also help PMPs maximize their rebates. “The support we get from Larry makes it so easy,” said Motes of his Syngenta partner Larry Stretz. Stretz “knows our business really well” and provides reports on product usage and rebate status so Motes can make solid buying decisions for the company, which participates at the Diamond level in the program.
STRETCHING YOUR DOLLAR
Paying for bulk product during leaner months is a concern for many PMPs, especially when that master shipper of Demand CS insecticide costs more than $2,000, said Walter. But with SummerPay™ terms on select Syngenta products, Walter can buy in October have until June 28, 2019 to pay it off, interest free. “I just make my monthly payments,” he said.
“You get great terms,” which is important even for larger operations, said Motes. “Every penny counts when you’re a growing business,” agreed Kendrick.
ICING ON THE CAKE
Of course, even an easy rebate program isn’t worth the effort without stellar products and support to back it up.
Syngenta makes “a great product. It’s priced well in the beginning but they’re still willing to offer incentives that mean something to us as a company. They understand our business and they know that cash flow is important to us,” said Motes. “When you talk about a partnership, it really is,” he said of the relationship with Syngenta.
Even more, PMPs value how Syngenta provides training for their businesses and the industry and how its people respond to their needs. “It’s good to know you’ve got somebody on speed dial that you can call and get answers” from immediately when you have questions or a pesticide-related issue as that is not the case with every manufacturer, according to Kendrick. “The service that we get through them is huge; the rebate for us is icing on the cake,” he said.
The PestPartners 365 Program “just makes too much sense not to do it,” added Walter. “I made the commitment and I’m glad I did. October comes around, I’m making the commitment again.”