Consistency counts for McNeely Pest training center

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October 31, 2017

The North Carolina firm ensures solid quality by focusing on employee training and growth.

The good news this year for McNeely Pest Control is that the firm is building a training center.

The bad news this year for McNeely Pest Control is that the firm is building a training center.

When Pest Management Professional reached out to President Scott McNeely in July, he was trying to get service quotes from electricians and plumbers.

“They don’t call you back,” McNeely told us. “We may be going to the bathroom in the woods.”

Scott McNeely has nearly four decades of industry experience.
Photo: McNeely Pest Control

Restroom facility planning aside, McNeely has been in the industry long enough — 37 years — to develop some very firm positions on what works and what doesn’t work in pest management.

“There is no silver bullet,” he asserts. “You just have to be consistent; tell people what you are going to do and then do what you say.”

McNeely says his employees are young, driven and his company’s biggest asset. “What we have tried to do is hit the right level of growth so we can financially support that growth internally, without seeking outside revenue,” he says. “We also try to manage the volume of growth so we can maintain a high quality of service and staffing.”

He likens the balance to a teeter-totter: “If we maintain somewhere between a 13 percent and 16 percent growth rate, we can maintain a modest level of profitability and still support our operations effectively.”

Now 59, McNeely has no trouble hiring — and retaining — millennials. His turnover rate is low, with 110 employees fanned out among headquarters and five branch offices.

“Other than Vice President Frank Fowler and a recently hired sales manager, most of our management staff is in its 20s and 30s,” he reports. “I worked with the Boy Scouts and youth groups coming up, and this is just a big extension of that.”

McNeely Pest Control currently offers the core services of general pest control, termite control and urban wildlife. It recently discontinued fumigation because of a lack of demand in the market. The company also offers such add-on services as gutter cleaning and crawlspace encapsulation as a natural progression of its core offerings. But standard treatments for such pests as mosquitoes and bed bugs are keeping employees busy.

“The bed bug issue is continuing to grow in the Southeast, though we no longer see explosive growth,” McNeely says.

In 1980, he graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in entomology and went to work for Wilson Pest Control. He opened McNeely Pest Control in 1999. By 2001, Fowler joined him and then, McNeely says, “We’ve always strived to work hard and work smart. And here we are today.”

Contributor Jerry Mix, a 2005 PMP Hall of Famer, an be reached at pmpeditor@northcoastmedia.net.

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PMP Editor-at-Large Jerry Mix can be reached at pmpeditor@northcoastmedia.net.

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