Strategic Partnership Leads to Double Win for Petco & Orkin
On the outskirts of Chicago, an unassuming warehouse hums with the whir of conveyor belts and the beeping of forklifts. It is an ordinary day, but this is no ordinary warehouse. Petco Distribution Center (DC) #198, in Joliet, Ill., sets the gold standard in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for all of Petco’s distribution centers. This standard has led to the facility’s second win, and for Petco Regional Distribution Center (RDC) #499, in Aurora, Colo., a first win in the Gold MedalTM IPM Partner Awards presented by Orkin, The IPM Institute of North America and NSF International.
As a leading national pet specialty retailer with more than 1,000 stores across the country, Petco puts a premium on keeping pests away from their products. Orkin Commercial Services’ Gold MedalTM Protection – a comprehensive IPM program – helps Petco prevent pest problems through sanitation, facility maintenance and other non-chemical options.
To learn more about this “golden” partnership, we spoke with Mark Hilborn, Vice President of Logistics for Petco. Here is an edited transcription of that interview:
Why is Petco deserving of the Gold MedalTM IPM Partner Award?
“Over the last four years, Orkin has helped us implement a tremendous IPM program. We started with DC #198, and rapidly put IPM standards in place in all 10 Petco distribution centers. Modifications included changing the physical structure of the facilities, raising products six inches off the ground, sealing cracks and crevices, and establishing a white line program to keep products 18 inches from the exterior wall. Orkin helped us change the culture so that all of our DC associates understand the importance of the IPM program and are committed to its success.”
Why is IPM so critical to Petco’s business?
“Food safety is the cornerstone of our operation. While we distribute pet food, our facilities follow the same food standards used for human consumable products. IPM plays a critical role in ensuring a safe, quality product, and we leverage our Orkin relationship for food safety initiatives with our stores and vendors. Orkin’s Gold MedalTM Protection program provides the service, documentation, detailed inspections and audit preparation we need to meet food safety standards and customer expectations.”
How does each partner contribute to the pest management efforts at the facilities?
“Orkin’s technicians are constantly working with us to educate our staff, maintain our sanitation program and make recommendations on how to improve our IPM program structure. Every DC associate is responsible for maintaining their facility’s cleanliness by following a “clean as you go” philosophy, and supervisors are assigned a section of the distribution center and must notify Orkin immediately if they see evidence of pest activity. Additionally, all Petco distribution centers hold regular conference calls with Orkin to discuss any issues, improvements and best practices.”
What results has your award-winning partnership achieved?
“Orkin has helped our facilities achieve sustainable, continuous improvements. Neither DC #198 nor DC #499 use chemical treatments or baits inside the facilities, and both use organic cleaners. This green approach to pest management has helped us work toward realizing Petco’s vision of “Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World.”