How the Right BI Tool Turned an Exterminator into One of his Company’s Most Valuable Assets
Jun 9, 2020
Meet Forrest Gordon. In 2015, he was working as an exterminator for a mid-sized pest management company. Today, he’s a leading BI Analyst for Anticimex, one of the largest pest control companies in the world, and responsible for training other BI analysts across the Northeastern US. With little more than an associate’s degree in Engineering, Gordon doubled his income in just five years by becoming an expert in ad hoc reporting, rendering him indispensable to his employers.
It was after working in the field for a year and transitioning to McCloud’s accounting team that he had his first encounter with ad hoc reporting. At the time, McCloud managed its fleet and operations using a web-based application called PestPac, and PestPac had just launched Report Writer, a white label implementation of Exago BI.
“My manager went to a conference down in Florida and met one of the lead guys who handles the Report Writer aspect of PestPac,” says Gordon. “She brought back just enough knowledge for me to hit the ground running.”
Gordon slowly began to explore Report Writer and respond to reporting requests from other departments. Before long, the company had created an analyst position for him that “it didn’t really know it could fill, or had a need for, until we really started digging into the data.”
Because Gordon developed a fluency in Report Writer, he was able to answer narrow, context-specific questions like, “Hey, what’s our pricing looking like on these?” or, “How effective are the services we are performing?” even though PestPac hadn’t anticipated them with its canned reports. Not only that, but the types of requests his coworkers submitted often revealed opportunities to streamline workflows. “Sometimes the end result is just the report people are looking for,” says Gordon. “But a lot of times, it actually gives me data that I can then use to automate another part of someone’s job to make it easier.”
Gordon estimates that insights and efficiencies afforded by his 750 reports and dashboards have saved McCloud on the order of tens of thousands of dollars per year.
The efficiency improvements didn’t stop there. Gordon used Report Writer to recreate spreadsheets that “looked so bad in Excel that no one could use them.” He also used it to facilitate market penetration analyses, pulling up location data to figure out which of the company’s sectors were most profitable. He automated reports that had been created manually and used the solution to predict project cost and duration.
But the greatest and most demonstrably valuable innovation Gordon brought McCloud via Report Writer was auditing.
“In our system,” explains Gordon, “we have these things called service setups, which basically create tickets prompting service specialists to perform services at a client location. There are two types of service setups: Invoiced and Production. Production just gives credit to the service specialist for being on site; it doesn’t send an invoice to the client. In cases where we only bill the client once per year, we use a Production setup to reflect the service specialist’s activity on non-billed visits. In one case, we found a client who had the wrong setup type and, as a result, wasn’t being billed.”
Little errors like this had been piling up for years. With the help of Report Writer, Gordon created a dashboard auditing 4,000 weekly tickets for a dozen different clerical issues, dramatically improving the company’s ability to bill accurately.
Gordon estimates that insights and efficiencies afforded by his 750 reports and dashboards have saved McCloud on the order of tens of thousands of dollars per year. And that, he says, is a conservative estimate.
Report Writer enables a single person to have a profound impact by being both powerful and easy to use. “It took me a few weeks to become proficient at using the solution and only a few months to feel completely at home in it,” says Gordon. With that proficiency, he was quickly able to furnish his company’s niche reporting needs, setting many of those reports to run automatically at regular intervals.
After serving as McCloud’s data analyst for two-and-a-half-years, Gordon moved to American Pest, where his duties expanded to include importing and cleansing data from acquired companies as well as training other analysts. He was also charged with selecting and grooming a successor, as he was expected to quickly ascend to a role with parent corporation Anticimex. This came to fruition a little over a year later when, in October 2019, he was promoted to Data Integrity Analyst.
Gordon now oversees six different pest management platforms operating on PestPac’s Report Writer. “It’s a big job to verify and clean up data and processes so that you have data you can use and compare easily between platforms,” he says. Like American Pest, Anticimex flies him out to its various branches to lead on-site analyst training sessions, but the most rewarding part of his job is finding simple solutions to data processing inefficiencies that have been plaguing companies for years.
Exago BI’s power and usability has enabled employees like Gordon to build their careers around the solution. “Without Report Writer, I wouldn’t be a data analyst. Every position I’ve had as an analyst is due to my experience with Report Writer specifically.” Through PestPac, Exago BI has had a lasting impact on pest control companies both in the United States and abroad, saving organizations both time and money through ad hoc reporting.
To see Exago BI in action, join us for an overview of our ad hoc reporting capabilities on Thursday, June 18th at 3 PM (EST).