BASF reorganizes, merging Professional Turf & Ornamental with Pest Control Solutions

January 10, 2013 -  By

BASF_logo150RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C–BASF is merging its U.S. non-crop market segments. The primary businesses known as Pest Control Solutions (PCS) and Professional Turf & Ornamentals (T&O), and secondary businesses including Professional Vegetation Management and Market Business Development, will now collectively be known as the BASF Specialty Products Department (SPD). Jan Buberl will lead the unit as director of specialty products.

“We are merging the businesses to stay ahead of the curve of the industries we serve,” said Buberl in a press release. “As the T&O and Pest Control markets move closer together, this merger puts us in a position to better serve our customers.”

Additionally, the move was prompted in part by a trend toward pest control and lawn care companies “moving closer together” in terms of their service offerings, Buberl told Landscape Management.

“Companies are looking for additional revenue streams after the downturn in the economy,” he said, noting BASF sees the pest/lawn crossover primarily in the Southeast, West and Gulf Coast.

Another consideration for BASF is “post-patent events,” as the company has several active ingredients in the pest and turf markets that already have gone or will be going off patent within a few years, prompting competition from generic manufacturers.

“We’re already in a full post-patent event for Termidor on the pest control side, and we have been for three years,” Buberl said. “We’ve successfully maintained and managed that active ingredient by bringing new innovation to that product.”

It’s similar on the turf side with a post-patent event approaching in the fungicide category. “We want to proactively apply a similar innovation strategy there,” Buberl said.

Key changes related to this reorganization include the business manager roles of PCS and T&O being dissolved and consolidation of the PCS and T&O marketing departments. Dan Carrothers, formerly PCS business manager, and Brian Lish, formerly T&O business manager, assume the newly created roles of SPD marketing manager and strategic account manager, respectively. Both Carrothers and Lish will report directly to Buberl.

In addition to a strategic account sales structure and approach, SPD sales also includes an inside sales force and a traditional field sales approach that’s divided into three regions for both key businesses. Three regional sales managers overseeing these territories will have both T&O and PCS field sales representatives reporting to them and those sales reps will remain dedicated to the respective markets they serve. Both the inside and field sales teams will be led by Jim Derbyshire, national sales manager, who also will report to Buberl.

With this merger comes the move of the PCS business, currently located in St. Louis, to Research Triangle Park, N.C. The new SPD business structure will be in place by March 31.

“Having these businesses come together as one strengthens BASF and its commitment to the specialty markets, and the acquisition of Becker Underwood underscores a continued commitment and investment to grow,” said Nevin McDougall, senior vice president, North America for BASF Crop Protection. “The new SPD unit will be built to last for the long term, while meeting the needs of customers in these markets.”

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About the Author:

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

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