Employee Spotlight: TPP Welcomes New Addition to Leadership Team

by Newsbites Staff on September 22, 2020

Craig Dumstorff

Vice President of Information Technology (IT)

We are pleased to announce that Craig Dumstorff joined TPP in September as our Vice President of Information Technology (IT).  Craig brings with him more than twenty years of extensive and broad-based experience in the IT space, including six years at the executive leadership level focusing on high growth organizations.

Craig’s primary focus will be on the development and execution of a comprehensive IT strategy that enables scalable growth for TPP.  Craig’s passion and enthusiasm for building winning teams will play a vital role as he places an emphasis on leading a high performing team, creating efficient processes, and delivering transformational technology solutions.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or requests for specific sales support: success@thirdpartypet.com

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Newsbites StaffEmployee Spotlight: TPP Welcomes New Addition to Leadership Team

Third Party Pet Received One of the 2020 Best Workplaces in Chicago by Great Place to Work® and the 2020 Stevie® Award for Great Employers

by Newsbites Staff on September 15, 2020

Naperville, IL – It has been a stellar year for Third Party Pet.  Third Party Pet not only won for the second year in a row one of the best places to work, 2019 and 2020, but also received the Stevie Award for Great Employers.

2020 Best Workplaces in Chicago

Great Place to Work has named Third Party Pet as one of the 2020 Best Workplaces in Chicago. The ranking considers over 27,000 responses from Chicago area employees. Great Place to Work, a global people analytics and consulting firm, evaluated more than 60 elements of team members’ experience on the job.

These included the extent to which employees trust leaders, the respect with which people are treated, the fairness of workplace decisions, and how much camaraderie there is among the team. Rankings are based on employees’ feedback and reward companies who best include all employees, no matter who they are or what they do for the organization.  Third Party Pet took the 32nd spot on the list.

“Third Party Pet is proud to be recognized by our people for creating one of the best workplaces in the Chicago area. Since implementing our Culture Crew Employee Committee program, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of employee engagement,” said CEO, Mike Isaac.

The Best Workplaces in Chicago stand out for exceling in one of the nation’s most competitive marketplaces.

“Best workplaces like Third Party Pet have built powerful foundations of trust and human connection to help carry their organizations through stressful and uncertain times,” said Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work. “This gives companies on this list a powerful opportunity not just to do well for their people, but to do well for their businesses and for Chicago.”

The Best Workplaces in Chicago is one of a series of rankings by Great Place to Work and Fortune based on employee feedback from Great Place to Work-Certified™ organizations.

Third Party Pet also was ranked as a Best Workplace for 2019 by Great Place to Work and Fortune.

The Stevie® Award

Third Party Pet was also named a winner in the Employer of the Year Stevie® Award category in the fifth annual Stevie Awards for Great Employers.

The Stevie Awards for Great Employers recognizes the world’s best employers and the human resources professionals, teams, achievements and HR-related products and suppliers who help to create and drive great places to work.

Nicknamed the Stevies’ for the Greek word meaning “crowned,” the awards will be conferred upon the winners during a virtual awards ceremony on November 5.

More than 700 nominations from organizations of all sizes were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of HR-related categories, including Achievement in Workplace Safety & Compliance, Employer of the Year, Chief Human Resources Officer of the Year, Human Resources Team of the Year, Employee Relations Solution Provider of the Year among others.

More than 90 professionals worldwide participated in the judging process to select this year’s Stevie Award winners.

“In the fifth edition of the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, the judges were impressed by the Stevie winners who – during the crises we’ve confronted this year – continue to dedicate each day to making the lives of their employees and teams better through training, software, work-from-home plans, and more.   We are pleased to celebrate them in 2020 and look forward to what they will accomplish in 2021,” said Maggie Gallagher, president of the Stevie Awards.

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Newsbites StaffThird Party Pet Received One of the 2020 Best Workplaces in Chicago by Great Place to Work® and the 2020 Stevie® Award for Great Employers

What Will The 2020 Holiday Season Look like for Pet Retailers?

by Lisa Fimberg on September 14, 2020

Let’s face it…2020 will be a year to be remembered!  The Covid Pandemic has had an emotional and economic impact on just about everyone.   Many retailers and small business owners were hit the hardest having had to close their doors for months.  Even today some are only open for curbside pick- up.

The pet industry, however has had a silver lining.  With so many Americans converted to working from home, numerous sought out companionship.  For the first time in years, puppies and kittens have been in such huge demand – wiping out most shelters, breeders, and retailers.

2020 – A Holiday Season to Remember

Pet retailers can continue to flourish this holiday season given pet owners’ furry family members (new and existing) will be included on their customers holiday list.

Christmas 2020 could turn out to be better than previous years.  Many families have turned vacation or travel budgets into home improvement or family gifts / enjoyment options.  And with many consumers being very mindful in supporting their local and small businesses, it could be a great end of the year for brick and mortar pet retailers.

Start Planning For The Holiday Season Now

Typically, the end of October is the start of the holiday buying season for most consumers, so it is always best to start planning now.

Below are some suggestions that you can implement to increase sales this holiday season:

Decorate your store

As in other years, it’s important to decorate your store for the Holiday season.  Getting customers in the festive mood will encourage generous purchases of treats, toys, or bones for their furry friend.  Holiday music always helps consumers get in the spirit.

Consider having a holiday launch sale

If you put some of your most popular items on sale, it could be a great way to launch the holiday season.  You might even have a special holiday section for the toys and treats that are holiday branded.

Make every walk-in or scheduled appointment count

When a customer stops by your store to play with or a purchase a puppy or kitten, make the visit count!  Take advantage of the extra in-store time by making sure your employees are ready to share and promote the holiday specials and favorites.

Promote the new puppy or kitten essentials

When a customer does buy a puppy or kitten, make sure you are well equipped in any of the puppy or kitten accessories: food, a bed, toys and even a crate for a new puppy.  The basics are always good sellers and are essential.

Display your best selling products

Only you know which products are selling the best at your store and these products should be on display and visible for every walk-in appointment.  You can add a little extra festive feel to your best selling products to make them stand out more.  Consider a strand of Christmas lights or end cap signage to highlight these products.

Use social media to promote your holiday sales

Your website should also advertise any of your holiday sales or programs that you are offering.  Use social media to continue to promote your products and the festive theme as you would in any other year.

The holiday season might look a little different this year.  But with the right decorations, holiday spirit and preparation, you can help your customers (and ultimately your store) enjoy and extend the good will to their beloved pets.

Looking for a little more insight or some help with planning a holiday promotion?  Contact your success team member (successteam@thirdpartypet.com) today for your personalized consultation!

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Lisa FimbergWhat Will The 2020 Holiday Season Look like for Pet Retailers?

How Pet Retailers Can Distinguish Themselves from Online Puppy Scams

by Lisa Fimberg on September 8, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a surge of puppies being purchased and adopted.  For the first time in years, many pet stores and breeders are in short supply of dogs.

With the high demand and relatively short supply for more puppies, the number of scams or illegitimate puppy breeders are proliferating, particularly on-line.  Most consumers are savvy enough to avoid these online scams, but sometimes the emotional desire to own a puppy can outweigh rational thinking.

This demand for puppies can be a boon to pet retailers because pet parents can meet, purchase, and take home the puppy of their dreams.

How Pet Retailers Can Distinguish Themselves from On-line Scams:

1. Promote Your American Kennel Club Affiliation

Consumers find great value in knowing they are working with a business that provides the AKC or Canine Partners program package through the reputable American Kennel Club.  Not only does this affiliation allow pet parents to have their new puppy properly listed, but they are joining one of the most renown and respected organizations.  The AKC affiliation will allow dogs and their owners to become part of the nationwide AKC voice championing canine health research, search-and-rescue teams, acceptable care and conditions for dog kennels and responsible dog ownership.

2. Promote your BBB account

Whether you are an instore or online retailer, linking your BBB account directly to your website is a sure-fire way to ensure that consumers can validate your business.  The BBB offers consumers 100% credibility that your business has been vetted by the most trusted consumer protection brand in the nation.

3. Encourage Credit Card Transactions

Pet parents may be more skeptical now than ever of putting money down on a pet they have never met.  For pet retailers who are promoting online sales or deposits, make sure to provide secure credit card transaction opportunities.  Requesting direct deposit, money order or wire transfer has been deemed “a red flag” by numerous reporting agencies and may deter consumers away from your site.

4. Offer a Warranty

Offering a warranty can be incredibly helpful and comforting to the consumer.  Not only do they have peace of mind if some unexpected health issue arises with their puppy, but promotion of the warranty online provides additional reassurance that they consumer is dealing with a legitimate business.    Having the medical records and the requirement to see a vet within the first 30 days of purchase will give consumers the additional assurance and comfort that their puppy has been well cared for.

5. As able: Advertise Appointments

Even though many traditional retail stores closed during the pandemic, pet retailers have been one of the exceptions and have been allowed to stay open.  This is extremely beneficial since pet owners who want to purchase a puppy can meet and play with the puppy that they are interested in buying.  Not only can they physically see the puppy, but pet retailers will have all the documentation to provide the customer with the puppy’s background.

6. Specific Breed & Request Available: Online previewing is still an option

When a customer wants to buy a puppy, they can still go to your website and see if the specific breed they want is available.   Once they choose their potential puppy, they can make the appointment to meet the puppy.  Many customers are looking for specific breeds and will not make a “random” trip to a location without knowing if the pup they are looking for is available.

Keep in mind, consumers are asking more questions prior to purchase than ever.  Let our team of experts help you craft the right campaigns and field consumer calls to help you stay focused on the core of your business.  Contact your Success Team Rep for more information today.

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Lisa FimbergHow Pet Retailers Can Distinguish Themselves from Online Puppy Scams

Employee Spotlight: Carly Valdez

by Newsbites Staff on September 8, 2020

Carly Valdez

Enterprise Account Manager

In August, we officially welcomed Carly Valdez as an Enterprise Account Manager at Third Party Pet.  Carly brings with her 15 years of account management experience in telecommunications.

Carly is also a certified dog trainer, AKC CGC Evaluator, and Canine Behavior Student.   Carly’s primary focus at TPP will be to build on our existing clients support and services as well as strengthening those relationships.  Her unique background and experience will not only help build new business but will give the success team a different perspective.  Carly will help expand the success team’s approach and services both internally and externally to benefit her team and our clients.

Please feel free to contact the Success Team with any questions or requests for specific marketing or client services support: info@thirdpartypet.com

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Newsbites StaffEmployee Spotlight: Carly Valdez

Employee Spotlight: Angie Luckey-Succes

by Newsbites Staff on September 8, 2020

Angie Luckey-Succes

Director of Call Center Operations

We are pleased to announce that Angie Luckey-Succes joined TPP in August as the Director of Call Center Operations. Angie has more than thirty years of Customer Service and Call Center operations experience in both the public and private sectors.  Angie’s customer service experience spans the entire client journey from back office functions, billing, customer retention, dispatch, logistics, order management, fulfillment, quality, sales, technical support, tele-sales, and even workforce management.

Angie’s primary focus is to bring her expertise and technology experience to help streamline the call-center operation processes.  Angie is an early adopter of new technology and will be utilizing her experience to help our call center representatives to be even more efficient which will benefit her team and our clients.  We look forward to seeing her suggestions and additions as she leads our call center teams at Third Party Pet.

Please feel free to contact the Success Team with any questions or requests for specific marketing or client services support: info@thirdpartypet.com

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Newsbites StaffEmployee Spotlight: Angie Luckey-Succes

Separation Anxiety in Dogs When Pet Parents Return to Work

by Lisa Fimberg on September 4, 2020

One of the benefits of the Covid 19 Pandemic has been the number of puppies and kittens that have been purchased.  It certainly is understandable. What better time to bring a new furry family member home when pet parents really have the time to bond and train their puppy or dog.

While this surge in puppy ownership has been a big win for both pet retailers and breeders, what happens to dogs and cats when pet owners return to work?  In fact, many states will lift their work-from-home restrictions soon and many pet owners will return to their offices.   Even the kids may return to the classrooms in the fall.

When pet owners do go back to work, the cats and dogs will be left alone all day and can become anxious or depressed.  This is when separation anxiety can really kick in, even for the most the temperate pets.

While dogs and cats will adjust to the change, it might take some time.  It is very common for any interruption in a dog or cat’s schedule to lead to emotional stress.

There are many ways you can help your customers to ease the transition and lessen their pets’ separation anxiety.

What can stores do to assist customers with this transition?

  • In store signage/collateral for tips on handling the back to work transition (see below for our suggestions)!
  • Food puzzles, toys, or bones are a great distraction for dogs. Make sure to have toys, puzzles, and chews in stock Even better, create an end cap “Back to Work” end cap section that showcases products that can help ease this transitional period.
  • Is it time for a friend? Many pet parents may be considering bringing home pup #2.  Studies show dogs are social animals and prefer to be part of a pack.  Consider advertising for or creating a “Little Pupper” (#2) discount.
  • Promote health and wellness in your leash and harness section. A tuckered out pup is generally less anxious one.

Separation anxiety is a reality among pets and can become an issue if not treated from the start.  However, with some practice exercises and toys, or natural aid products to keep their dogs and cats busy or calm, pet parents can feel comfortable leaving their pets’ alone.

And just remember our Solutions.pet agents are here to help.  Our agents are trained to assist with all types of customer questions regarding pet behavior.  We can help take the burden off your shoulders and help your customers with not only separation anxiety in their pets, but any other issue your customers might have!

Here are some tips to provide pet owners:

If you’d like to order copies of the above for in-store branded collateral, please contact your Success Team rep for more details!

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Lisa FimbergSeparation Anxiety in Dogs When Pet Parents Return to Work

American Pet Ownership: COVID-19 Shapes the Market

by Roxanne Conrad on July 9, 2020

Unless you’ve been hanging out under your fake rock display, you’re already aware that COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on the American economy. What may not be so clear is the future impact and shape this will have on the pet industry.

While many businesses were facing potential extinction, the pet industry received an unforeseen surge. Americans flocked to their neighborhood pet stores, shelters and breeders seeking out new furry family members. With the increase in pet ownership on the rise, so too has been an increase in all pet related products.

Predictions and Forecast into 2021:

Ref: www.packagedfacts.com/Pet-Outlook-13135569

Looking for a bit more specific insights in tailoring your approach for your consumers? Feel free to contact our success team for personalized options!

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Roxanne ConradAmerican Pet Ownership: COVID-19 Shapes the Market

Flagship AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day

by American Kennel Club on July 9, 2020

Each September, the American Kennel Club hosts AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day to educate first-time dog owners about the responsibilities of dog ownership and help current owners enhance their relationships with their pets. Owning a dog has endless rewards, but it’s important to be aware of the responsibilities that come along with it.

In an effort to protect the health and well-being of the exhibitors, volunteers, and attendees amid the COVID-19 pandemic, AKC’s flagship Responsible Dog Ownership day, sponsored by AKC Pet Insurance, will be a virtual event in 2020! Join the American Kennel Club on September 17th for a virtual day of training tips, Trick Dog demos, virtual Canine Good Citizen testing and more. Check back for more details, coming soon!

Source: www.akc.org/sports/responsible-dog-ownership-days/flagship-akc-responsible-dog-ownership-day

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American Kennel ClubFlagship AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day