Two Partners: One Gold Standard
PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc. and Orkin Commercial Services Team Up to Tackle Pests
Fist pumps in the air, rounds of applause and echoing shouts. Is it a major sporting event? A rally? No, the sounds of jubilation are hundreds of PETCO associates celebrating a job well done. Working as a team, PETCO Distribution Center #198 in Joliet, Ill., and Orkin Commercial Services partnered to win a 2009 Gold Medal IPM Partner Award presented by Orkin, The IPM Institute of North America, and NSF Cook & Thurber.
As one of three main distribution centers for the leading specialty retailer of premium pet food and supplies, PETCO’s Joliet facility must ensure that disease-carrying pests don’t make their way inside. Orkin’s Gold Medal Protection – a comprehensive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program – helps PETCO prevent pest problems through sanitation, facility maintenance and other non-chemical options. In fact, PETCO employs Orkin service across all of its distribution centers and retail stores throughout the U.S.
A successful IPM program centers on a strong partnership between the pest management provider and a facility’s management and staff. At PETCO DC #198, Orkin developed an IPM program that has become the model for pest management in all of PETCO’s distribution centers. Additionally, Orkin’s Quality Systems team conducted IPM training for new PETCO associates and helped the team create new operating procedures.
To learn more about the award-winning partnership, we spoke with Atma Maharaj, director of logistics services and compliance for PETCO. Here is an edited transcription of that interview.
Why is PETCO Distribution Center #198 deserving of the Gold Medal IPM Partner Award?
“Our focus is on providing our customers with the best quality and freshest pet products – proactive pest management is a big part of that. We conduct independent, internal facility audits to measure compliance. Thanks to Orkin, every associate now receives formal training on our safety and sanitation policy, which, in turn, helps prevent pests. PETCO has a commitment to product safety standards at all levels in the organization – from a very engaged staff who take pride in their facility to company leadership willing to make the infrastructure changes necessary to achieve operational excellence. This enables us to follow through on any proactive IPM measures Orkin recommends.”
Why is IPM so critical to PETCO’s business?
“IPM’s focus on sanitation and facility maintenance preempts the need for chemical remediation, helping to protect the quality of our products. Orkin’s Gold Medal Protection provides the standard required to uphold operational excellence. It’s a tested, proven service that provides the level of detailed inspections necessary to maintain a controlled environment.”
How does each partner contribute to the pest management efforts at the facility?
“The Orkin staff works so seamlessly with PETCO associates at our Joliet facility it’s as if they are all part of one team. Using the services of an expert like Orkin enhances our associates’ ability to quickly recognize issues and respond appropriately. Orkin has a thorough understanding of our requirements as a food grade facility, and they immediately address any pest issues. Together Orkin and PETCO are committed to driving continuous improvements for all of our IPM processes.”
What results has your award-winning partnership achieved?
“All PETCO distribution centers participate in weekly calls with Orkin to report on a pest control checklist Orkin created. Collaboration between our different regions has driven improvements and formulated best sanitation practices for us. Orkin also provides excellent online reporting to track trends in pest activity and treatment that can be shared on the call. Our partnership with Orkin helps us to keep pests in their place and our products safe.”