Harnessing digital and data to drive productivity and growth
Rentokil Initial is the world’s largest pest control and hygiene & wellbeing company, with 58,600 colleagues and operations in over 90 countries. Their mission is protecting people, enhancing lives, and preserving the planet.
The company wanted to create operational efficiencies and automate processes to improve customer experience and reduce costs. It had significant levels of data at its disposal but wanted to use it more effectively to drive decision making and support the development of services.
Our work with Rentokil Initial began in 2016, when we started developing a cloud-based platform to collect, analyse, and share performance data to get real-time updates on infestations.
We’ve since expanded our work together, partnering to drive improvements to Rentokil Initial’s customer experience and developing an acquisition playbook to ensure continuity between platforms and technologies as it acquires other businesses. In 2022, Rentokil announced the completion of the acquisition of Terminix a successful company with a two-billion-dollar turnover.
- Developed an award-winning Internet of Things (IoT) cloud platform that allows real-time data to enable Rentokil Initial to make critical business decisions.
- Enhanced business productivity by designing and introducing new global business systems leveraging cloud technology.
- Launched a new customer relationship management and case-working platform that enabled reductions in call times and new-hire training time, as well as improved customer service.
- Designed, implemented, and launched a new self-service application to the North American residential market. This allowed 24/7 self-service capabilities, a reduction of thousands of call centre hours, and significant improvements in customer satisfaction.
Using data to improve and expand services
Our partnership with Rentokil Initial began in 2016 when we were introduced by our partner, Google, to develop a connected cloud-based pest control platform.
At that time, Rentokil Initial had begun to manage pests using units fitted with sensors, which transmitted a message whenever a unit was triggered or needed maintenance. The challenge was that the volume of data coming from the units was significant. To solve this, our team built and launched a new Google Cloud-based platform in 12 countries that allows Rentokil Initial to monitor units and to collect, analyse, and share data in the cloud to get real-time updates on any infestation, 24/7, and so offer a better service.
This first Internet of Things (IoT) technology project gave Rentokil Initial the opportunity to move to a new service model, placing data and cloud systems at the heart of the business. What began as a data project has evolved over seven years to encompass business transformation and change management, cyber security, and agility initiatives.
Embedding agile ways of working
The early success Rentokil Initial had as part of the IoT platform rollout was enabled by the introduction of agile ways of working. Initially this meant incremental technology releases that could rapidly deliver benefits to Rentokil Initial’s workforce using cloud-based applications. For example, monthly sales reports used to take 16 days of manual effort to produce; now that data is available automatically. Building on the success of the IoT team’s ways of working, we designed and implemented a new agile operating model across the global technology team, and we are now supporting group marketing and innovation functions.
Managing the challenges of expanding through acquisitions
Part of Rentokil Initial’s growth strategy is to acquire small ‘bolt-on’ businesses. In 2021 and again in 2022, the company acquired over 50 businesses. To support these acquisitions, we developed an acquisition playbook to assess the technology and security risks and support rapid migration to Rentokil Initial platforms once a deal was complete.
One of the challenges this rapidly growing business faced was consolidating and modernising the different channels of contacting customers to deliver a consistent experience. We worked with Rentokil Initial to design a proof of value for a new customer platform to improve customer service and reduce costs. We built the platform, known as the self-service portal, within five months using scalable Google Cloud services to enable US-wide rollout should the initial deployment be successful. Post-launch, the Rentokil US business saw that the platform massively reduce inbound call volumes, saving millions, and dramatically improving customer satisfaction. With one eye on the future, Rentokil Initial and our team can now iterate functionality rapidly based on customer insights in a cycle of continual improvement.
Becoming the world’s largest pest control company
In 2022 Rentokil completed the acquisition of the Terminix business which has made the joint business the largest pest control business in the world. The benefits of this acquisition are heavily linked to the combined North American business integrating rapidly and combining the best of both businesses to win even greater market share.
In support of this initiative, we have helped design the target processes for the integrated business ensuring leading-edge capability from Terminix is available to Rentokil customers and vice versa. Our digital engineering teams have been rapidly building new functionality into existing systems and scaling new platforms to bring these new processes to life.
The integration of the Terminix business has been facilitated by Rentokil being a truly cloud-based truly digital organisation. By designing and introducing new global business systems using cloud technology, we have enabled Rentokil Initial to rapidly scale, cut operational spend, and enhance business productivity.
Our partnership over the last seven years has significantly rationalised and streamlined Rentokil Initial’s business processes and operating model, improving productivity, accelerating growth, and decreasing costs.