BASF’s Pest Control Solutions And Professional Turf & Ornamental Divisions To Merge

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Crop protection giant BASF announced it will take its distinct businesses within the U.S. non-crop markets and merge them into one. 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 to the marketplace as the BASF Specialty Products Department (SPD). Each respective market will continue to be served, but BASF will do so as one business unit led by Jan Buberl, director of specialty products.

“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,” says Nevin McDougall, senior vice president, North America, 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.”

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

About 30 marketing, regulatory and research and development personnel have been offered opportunities to move from St. Louis, Mo., to join the team at Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. The moves will be phased in throughout 2013.

Tom Hill, BASF communications manager, says a primary benefit for customers in all of these markets is being able to develop and bring new products to the marketplace faster.

“In the long-term, we expect to be able to bring innovations to the market faster,” Hill says.  Also, instead of it just being a fungicide that keeps the downy mildew off of impatiens or thrips out of the greenhouse, we’ll be able to look at other options for making that innovation more than just a pest-solving problem. It could solve another problem for a grower ― maybe it’s water use of labor efficiency.

“By leveraging more brainpower that’s sitting together rather than operating in silos, we can work better on solutions that are greater than just eradicating a pest. Will we be able to catch lighting in a bottle the first time out? Probably not, but we’ll be able to work smarter and faster.”

Hill says customers won’t notice any difference because there is no change to the sales focus.

Key changes related to this reorganization include dissolving the business manager roles of PCS and T&O 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 Jan 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 is 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 will also report to Buberl.

With this merger comes the move of the PCS business, currently located in St. Louis, Mo. to Research Triangle Park, N.C. The new SPD business structure will be in place by March 31, 2013.

For more information about the Specialty Products Department visit Agro.basf.us.

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