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goforgreen2
08-19-2004, 11:12 PM
I went to Lesco yesterday and picked up about 15 bags of fert. and a jug of insecticide. When I received the bill and noticed a fuel surcharge of $2.40. When questioned, the asst. said it's a new charge automatically added as a line item for certain items. I then called one of my partners who went to another SC. and picked up roughly the same products, he wasn't charged. I have several issues with this; first, why charge us for the distribution to their outlets. They already charge for delivery, that's like going to a 7-11 to buy a coke and having it added to your bill. Secondly, why was it only at the one location. That company is really trying everything to chase away business

allstar
08-20-2004, 08:15 AM
I totally agree with you,green.Charges like that will only p#%s people off.

tremor
08-20-2004, 01:25 PM
This Green Industry into turning into a bunch of scared a pathetic group of unprofessional business people. Where are the leaders?

We (LESCO) have been charged over $710,000 (as of July 19th) in unrecovered fuel surcharges this year. This move might help us recover 30% of that.

It doesn't seem to matter what we do to cover rising costs. If we raised prices people would cry. If we charged what every other business is charged people still cry.

My wife laughed her butt off when I told her about it. She told me to get with the program & welcomed me to the world of business in 2004. She doesn;t have even a single vendor not charging fuel surcharges. Not even one. Every flat washer. Every magnet & dial case. Everything!

Then she asked me why a former associate/friend is looking for a job. His employer is getting out.

Check the headlines. Crude just hit $50 a barrel.

Instead of griping about rising prices, get your nerve up & do what everyone else in business is doing. Raise your prices too.

I left golf & started in Lawn Care 1983. Back then we charged $40 for a 4000 sq ft lawn.

Here we are 21 years later. The same 4000 sf lawn is still $40. But now we're paying $2.35 gallon for gasoline & paying labor about $6.00 an hour more. My house has almost tripled in resale value in just the past 10 years.

And in the same thread we're crying we can't raise prices!?!?!?

Did we get into business to make friend or money?

I had a guy tell me last week he can't raise prices to his "good customers". I told him in no uncertain terms that if they were "good customers", they would glady pay an increase so he could eat.

Wake up guys.

TSM
08-20-2004, 01:56 PM
i say this with 'eyes wide open'........we deal with several vendors, yet I hear this fuel surcharge only from guys who deal with lesco??

hers a quick and sort of related story. A couple of seasons ago we order 17 pallets fert/dimension from lesco. they truck it in from Ohio (we're in MA) When I was talking to the truck driver I asked him how many other stops he had between ohio and us. He said none...came all this way just for us. LOL
THEN, we had to wait for another truck to come from western MA (we're in eastern MA). This truck had the spider so we could unload our order. Now it gets funnier...the truck from western MA had 16 pallets (as i remember, give or take a pallet) of...yep you guesses it, fert/dimension that he was dilivering up to the cape cod area.

I dunno, i realize that i aint the sharpest knife in the kitchen....but does this make sence???
Now, IF they had a fuel surcharge (which they did not at that time) on my invoice, i would have denied delivery.


I'm wide awake

Geeze, anyone wonder why i feel they way i do about Lesco. If you still wonder why...i got plenty of other stories.

Chris Wagner
08-20-2004, 03:15 PM
My fuel surcharge was only $.32 for $78 worth of material including a gallon of millennium, some round-up, and one bag of fertilizer.

Seems like nickel & diming. I'd prefer to just see the cost including in the fertilizer itself. It seems less obtrusive there and most wouldn't notice it. When it's a separate line item, it just looks ridiculous.

turf hokie
08-21-2004, 04:42 PM
Here's was my issue. I was in LESCO the day after the surcharge was added..

1 Nobody gave us a heads-up that the surcharge was coming

2 Not all customers are treated equally. Lawn Dr received no surcharge (he showed me his invoice) which means I'm sure Scott;s and Trugreen aren't either......don't they get cheaper pricing than the average guy to begin with. No wonder the big guys can kill my prices.

olderthandirt
08-21-2004, 06:00 PM
tremor
fantastic post! theres a bunch and I dare say the majority of guy on this site that won't be around 10 yrs from now for the very reasons you stated. Yeah I'll hear it from a bunch of you but most have not been in the business long enough to go through a bad economy. If you do not raise prices to keep up with the cost of living you will be out of biz, its that simple, you might hang on a little longer than what I said but when its all over you will be closing up shop.

Mac

LwnmwrMan22
08-21-2004, 07:42 PM
I agree with Tremor.

HOWEVER, I also agree with Chris Wagner.

This is the exact reason I don't itemize my invoice.

I simply state on my invoice "Lawn Maintenance Payment for (month), payment #* of 6 for the 2004 season".

Granted I do only commercial, and everything is on a flat fee for the year, unless it's an added sell, say killing some moles or spraying some trees which we had tent catepillars here a couple of years ago.

If I were Lesco, I'd just tack .10 / bag or whatever.

I had a $.78 surcharge on a $310 invoice the other day. I don't get it, just charge me $311 and don't put the surcharge in.

I'm not looking that closely to see if my pallet of whatever at $7.54 comes out to $285 plus 6.5% sales tax equals the total, but I do notice a line item that says $.78 fuel surcharge.

Guess I'll have to start charging like the phone company too.????

BladesAway
08-21-2004, 11:19 PM
I agree with adding the surcharge to the initial cost. Out of sight out of mind...

James Cormier
08-22-2004, 07:38 PM
Originally posted by turf hokie
Here's was my issue. I was in LESCO the day after the surcharge was added..

1 Nobody gave us a heads-up that the surcharge was coming

2 Not all customers are treated equally. Lawn Dr received no surcharge (he showed me his invoice) which means I'm sure Scott;s and Trugreen aren't either......don't they get cheaper pricing than the average guy to begin with. No wonder the big guys can kill my prices.


I agree with tremor, and understand what turf hokie is saying.

Lesco seems to be getting like a car dealership, the better negotiator you are the better prices you will get. I dont like that.

I must be a good negotiator because IM not getting any surcharges, The day I do, I will be calling valley green.

I went to my lesco rep this winter and asked for prices, I agreed to them and I expect them to Honor there written quote. the day they dont, I will look else where.

I would never raise my customers prices during the season and expect them not to cancel.

goforgreen2
08-23-2004, 10:28 AM
I should have premised the fact that I am a former Lesco SM and have seen this company take a nose dive. It's true that Scott's and TGreen will not pay these fees and that it will be passed to the rest of us. I think my biggest point of contention is the inconsistancy as far as the charges were applied. And again, I spent fuel going to their place of business to purchase.

tremor
08-23-2004, 05:03 PM
gfg2,

I know for a fact that TG & the other National Acct's are paying the Fuel Surchrages just like you. It took longer to start at the point of sale because it was thought appropriate to notify them in writing first.

My largest acct's are also paying the Surcharge. My biggest was even surprised we didn't start sooner. That purchaser has been seeing fuel surcharges tacked onto truck & equipment purchases all year. The quoted prices were locked & firm until steel went up. So that's when the "Steel Surcharges" started. Then fuel started to creap into the picture too.

I guess if clients who purchase more than $1 Million per year can see the login in this, so can most anyone else. But then some of them also have the nerve to pass it along to their clients. Thye key is in the bidding & contract writing in the off-season.

Try this: "We________(contractor) reserve the right to recover any extraneous & unforeseen expenses not evident at the time of this contract in the way of surcharges to recover these expenses which are beyond our control.. This may include but is not limited to fuel & other energy related surcharges....etc"

We know full & well that you're picking the product up. But in some cases, that 50 lb bag you're picking up could have as much as $1.80 in freight to get it to the store where you picked it up. If that figure was $1.50 earlier this year & we held the price per bag, then we're losing $.30 on each bag that we weren't bugeted for.

We have raised the price of fertilizers when the raw material costs went up. This is logical & every one of our colleagues & competitors have done the same thing. But freight related fuel surcharges aren't really not expected to be permanent & therefore cannot be fairly recovered in the price per bag.

Here's how we can fix the whole situation.

Write, call or email your State Senators, Congresspeople, Reps, etc. Tell them you feel the United States is too dependent on imported energy & you want our domestic petroleum reserves in Alaska, Texas, & the Gulf opened up for production. Then it won't matter that China's appetitie for peroleum based energy & consumables has increased as much as it has.

Two thoughts by the same cool dead guy:

....it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.....


Mankind are governed more by their feelings than by reason.

--Samuel Adams

I think what Sam was saying is that as Humans, we are inclined to act more on emotion than logic. And even if just a few illogical & emotional cry-babies start wailing loud enough, then the DOE is going to have to listen.

That is after all why these massive petroleum fields lie untouched. A very vocal minority has made a lot more noise than those of us who pitch a fit for about 20 seconds over the price we pay at the pumps, then go about our day never giving it another thought.

TSM
08-23-2004, 06:38 PM
Originally posted by tremor

Write, call or email your State Senators, Congresspeople, Reps, etc. Tell them you feel the United States is too dependent on imported energy & you want our domestic petroleum reserves in Alaska, Texas, & the Gulf opened up for production. Then it won't matter that China's appetitie for peroleum based energy & consumables has increased as much as it has.

Two thoughts by the same cool dead guy:

....it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.....


Mankind are governed more by their feelings than by reason.

--Samuel Adams

I think what Sam was saying is that as Humans, we are inclined to act more on emotion than logic. And even if just a few illogical & emotional cry-babies start wailing loud enough, then the DOE is going to have to listen.

That is after all why these massive petroleum fields lie untouched. A very vocal minority has made a lot more noise than those of us who pitch a fit for about 20 seconds over the price we pay at the pumps, then go about our day never giving it another thought.

I am in TOTAL agreement on the issue of domestic reserves and the dependentcy of foriegn oil.

But my other thought is this (and since i presently do not spend any $$$ with lesco maybe i shouldnt say anything...but i do have an opinion) the same cool quote from Sam.......
"it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds....."

this sentiment will/might work with government...might it not also work when dealing with fuel surcharges at lesco????

Every spring, some time in March, i meet in person or on phone with several salepersons. I ask them to quote me for product for the season. Every company i deal with is happy to do this, Lesco never did, they would qoute me a rnd 1 product cost but thats about it. I am paying the same cost that was quoted to me back in March with these other companies. No price increases, no surcharges, no dilivery charges. Will their prices get higher next season?, I fully expect them too.
I, like most, send out renewal letters to our customer base in January. This letter states what services we have them scheduled for, services we recommend they add on and price for each service along with a prepayment discount offer. I, like most, will need to figure in, based on history, a price increase. We also have the option of keeping prices the same and take a hit on our NET.
We have done both. We have raised, and we have not raised and took a hit on net. These decissions are made by watching the economy, compitition and other factors realated to the cost of running a business (fuel is one of those costs).

To tack on a price increase through a surcharge...well yes, it is understandable to any business person, but I, and it looks like others, dont like it.

tremor
08-23-2004, 08:35 PM
How many other items that pertain to the lawn care business can you get a firm cost for 12 months? Labor? Gasoline? Insurance? Electricity? Taxes? Copier papaer? Pens & pencils? Replacement cost of trucks?

Is there any other item that we buy in the course of the year that an LCO can put a gun to the salespersons head & expect him to hold a price quoted in January firm until November? No.

There isn't one other supply element that a business person might patronize any where near as stupid as a fertilizer salesperson as far as I am concerned. It embarasses me sometimes to be associated with these morons.

And we wonder why the investment community doesn't take the Ag-Chem industry serious. Where else do idiot corporations sell their wares for their invoiced cost & hold a note open for upwards of 90 days all in exchange for what amounts to a 10% rebate check in December? Any low grade investor can turn better margins doing night trades in the part-time.

And the scariest part is that even though most ag-chem turned Pro-turf suppliers go under or move on in less than 10 years, there's a small army of new idiots that will line up at your door to do it all over again next year. LOL

I suppose if we filled the bins with raw material (Urea, DAP, & MOP) once a year & built off those contents all year, then we'd be able to quote for the season too. But when we blend & ship in a week what some blenders do in a year, we're refilling those bins at whatever commodity price prevails on that day. True, we do lock buy contracts on volatile commodities for as long as 6 months (fixed forward commidity) sometimes. But that's about it. And we use serious quantities of Natural Gas to make Poly-Plus out of those raws. No one in the green industry has any influence or baqrgaining power over gas prices. So if we have to pay an increase, there's no one going to stick a quote in my face & change the way we cost the product. The cost to build changes every single day.

Believe me. Not one single customer of ours locks more than 3 months on fertilizer. Seed costs change twice a year, but the market value changes several more times than that. I can & do lock 10-12 month chemical pesticide quotes because these costs are static with the sole exception being freight.

Fixed costs on daily traded commidities. Orange Juice & Milk too? That's funny.

TSM
08-24-2004, 08:12 AM
Originally posted by TSM
To tack on a price increase through a surcharge...well yes, it is understandable to any business person, but I, and it looks like others, dont like it.

thats all i'm saying.



by calling your compitition 'idiots' because you simply disagree with the way they run their business.......or by implying that lesco is better because they sell/blend more in a week.....quite frankly, i dont get it


put your lesco cheerleader's pom poms away for a moment.


TG/CL serves more lawns than any LCO out there. Does that make them better?

tremor
08-24-2004, 08:56 AM
This isn't about TG nor any other "big company". It isn't about who grows better lawns. It's not about who's slow release Nitrogen is always on or off spec. It's not about being better in any way at all.

It's just about being professional in business.

I think we're missing my point here. Orange Juice & Urea are both commidities right? Right.

When a person or company has purchased a commidity it is theorized that they are either planning to make something out of it or hold it until the value has increased. Buying low & selling high is a snappy good way to make money for doing almost nothing. Even Hillary Clinton knows about this & she would rather be a Socialist.

Check this out:

http://sites3.barchart.com/pl/vsn/quote.htx?sym=TZ

Now lets say that I have a few hundred tons of Urea in the bin or a couple thousand tons floating down the Ohio River that I bought for $160.00. Six weeks have passed & todays replacement cost is $220.00. Which number is my true cost?

The idiot business person will say $160.
The professional knows that his cost is $220.

This is how it works in all business areas. Only the green industry is frequented by flakes who don't know how to manage their investments. I'm not saying this to be mean. It's just true.

If Gold doubled in cost overnight last night, then the price of manufactured wedding bands would nearly double this morning & the jewelry store prices would reflect that. If crude goes up another $5 today, the pump price will show the increase in hours. This is how proper business works. It isn't greedy. It's capitalism.

If my mean spirited comments (LOL) happen to stimulate thought at some other level because of who reads it; Good.

I'm not interested in hurting people's feeling. I'm interested in seeing the bar of professionalism raised throughout the green industry even if a few old-schoolers don't like it or get steam rolled in the process.

Somewhere this morning is an old Ag guy reading this with a smile on his face. He's thoroughly amused. But will he change?

LwnmwrMan22
08-24-2004, 11:26 AM
I guess I'm going to get steamrolled. After 16 years in the business I've always honored my price that I've quoted.

I always will honor my price that I've quoted.

I guess one way around TSM's problem would be to buy your whole supply at the beginning of the year, the you can guarantee your quoted price, but that's not cash flow positive.

Anyways, I absolutely do NOT agree with surcharges, just raise your stinking price.

If someone has it in writing that a quote is good for 30-60-90-120 days, honor that price.

The other day I bought a trimmer rack, and there was a surcharge added on. I never asked the price, I never was quoted a price, I bought a new trailer, ran in, said give me a trimmer rack, I gotta get this trailer running, and there was a .39 surcharge.

Why not just charge me another .50? If it's all about the bottom line, they could have made even another .11, or even .61 or more?

James Cormier
08-24-2004, 03:03 PM
Originally posted by tremor
This Green Industry into turning into a bunch of scared a pathetic group of unprofessional business people. Where are the leaders?

We (LESCO) have been charged over $710,000 (as of July 19th) in unrecovered fuel surcharges this year. This move might help us recover 30% of that.

It doesn't seem to matter what we do to cover rising costs. If we raised prices people would cry. If we charged what every other business is charged people still cry.

My wife laughed her butt off when I told her about it. She told me to get with the program & welcomed me to the world of business in 2004. She doesn;t have even a single vendor not charging fuel surcharges. Not even one. Every flat washer. Every magnet & dial case. Everything!

Then she asked me why a former associate/friend is looking for a job. His employer is getting out.

Check the headlines. Crude just hit $50 a barrel.

Instead of griping about rising prices, get your nerve up & do what everyone else in business is doing. Raise your prices too.

I left golf & started in Lawn Care 1983. Back then we charged $40 for a 4000 sq ft lawn.

Here we are 21 years later. The same 4000 sf lawn is still $40. But now we're paying $2.35 gallon for gasoline & paying labor about $6.00 an hour more. My house has almost tripled in resale value in just the past 10 years.

And in the same thread we're crying we can't raise prices!?!?!?

Did we get into business to make friend or money?

I had a guy tell me last week he can't raise prices to his "good customers". I told him in no uncertain terms that if they were "good customers", they would glady pay an increase so he could eat.

Wake up guys.

This makes me chuckle a little, i dug out a old lesco invoice from 1995,

24-5-11 1.5fe I paid 14.50 a bag

2004

24-5-11 5fe im paying 11.35 a bag


1995

T-19 12.50 a bag

2004

T-19 10.05 a bag

if everything has gone up, but us lawn guys havent raised our $40.00 lawns then why am I paying less for material today then I did in 95?

tremor
08-24-2004, 03:15 PM
Good question James.

James Cormier
08-24-2004, 03:22 PM
Tremor, no doubt you know your stuff and you make some very valid points on these issues. I enjoy your posts.

I still dont like the idea that lesco wont give me there best price without me haggling with the salesman.

When I give a estimate thats my price, I dont lower it if the customer says they have someone that can do it cheaper. I like doing business with people like that. Thats the way lesco was back in 95 when I started on my own. That seems to have changed over the years.

TSM
08-24-2004, 03:23 PM
now you done it James....expect a large surcharge on your next order

:)






just kidding everyone

tremor
08-24-2004, 07:43 PM
James,

I agree. I don't insult my customers with all this "last look" garbage. I know my market better than them anyway. LOL

Turnover, young management, etc. The newbs don't know.

There are lines in the sand I won't cross & if someone holds my feet too close to the fire I'm the one who walks. I'm fair. Not stupid.

turf hokie
08-24-2004, 10:09 PM
Ok I'm going to jump in with you guys who have way more experience than me. Tremor -- you got me on this site (Bryan from 479 & 600)
I got in with Symbiot b/c of the buying power no I didn't mention it earlier b/c of the ramifications that would bring. I didn't beef about the surcharge -- it is what it is -- I beefed about Lawn Dr not being surcharged and I was. I got into Symbiot to get the same considerations as the big guys....if their surcharge didn't take effect right away due to informing them in writing--why didn't I get the same due diligence--even if I wasn't part of a buying group. Just post it in the store for a week before the surcharge took effect. I won't raise prices this year for a few reasons. My choice, my first year in business, and I figure I will spend more time on the phone explaining myself than it is worth. However, I will raise prices next season based on this year overhead increases and a little projection for the increases next year.

A side note on season long quotes. I was quoted on calcium chloride last winter (different from ferts but same principal) from a large dealer lower than LESCO quoted on Icemelt. The salesman guaranteed me price for the season, LESCO would not. I went with the other vendor for .15 a bag and the guarantee. Ordered my first of trhee tractor trailers. No problem. Ordered my 2nd 30 days later......ooopppps out of stock cant get it for me ...what about our agreement for the season?? didn't mean squat..went back to LESCO with my tail between my legs and gladly paid .30 more than my original quote. Never will I believe a quote past 60 days on products that may be volatile or limited supply.

goforgreen2
08-31-2004, 09:02 PM
24-5-11 1.5fe I paid 14.50 a bag

2004

24-5-11 5fe im paying 11.35 a bag


1995

T-19 12.50 a bag

2004

T-19 10.05 a bag

and still making well over 40% GP. Tremor, if you indeed are correct about the "BIG BOYS" paying this surcharge, it's a first. I remember having to pass on charges to customers for (other ingenious ways to make up for bad management decisions) delivery of products that the big guys were exempt.

Talstar
09-02-2004, 12:09 AM
Tremor, I just beat up on T.T. in 599. If you need to cringe at a $2.80 fuel charge, You aint drivin your bus right.

FINN
09-04-2004, 11:37 PM
I found this thread and thought it was interesting. Some thoughts come to mind.

I currently sell equipment for a living and have a background in the green industry via school and work and just because I like it. Also thinking about returning in a self employed capacity so I am here for research. Anyway..........

I sell mostly construction equipment a lot of which landscapers use. Roughly every Jan. the mfg's will distribute their new price books to us. Most just have a moderate price increase or none at all if they can help it. Historically nothing is adjusted so much as to attract significant attention. NOT THIS YEAR. By june of this year all of our major product lines revised pricing at least once more and included a steel surcharge. Most of the mfg's worked with us if we had a situation where we quoted a machine before we were made aware of the next price increase. On average they would give us a week or 2 to get the deal done and communicate to the customer what was coming down the pike.

I do know that we sold inventory at a price that would reflect the current cost to replace it . It didnt matter what we paid for it 6 months ago. Reality was that to replace it would cost more and a steel surcharge was currently in place.

I thought it was going to be hell with my customers. They would sometimes bring it up before I did. They were telling us they were seeing price increases and surcharges. Availability was an issue and still is . They were raising prices to customers for the same reasons. I know we did not show the surcharge's as a line item. I talked about it but I didnt go out of my way to illustrate it.

I think Tremor gives a fairly accurate depiction of reality in the market place.

mikesturf
09-09-2004, 07:01 AM
[QUOTE=James Cormier]
Lesco seems to be getting like a car dealership, the better negotiator you are the better prices you will get. I dont like that.


This is the main reason that I dropped Lesco. Everytime I walk out of there, I wonder, did I get the best price. Also, the salesman is always trying to sell me a bag a 50 pound bag of grass seed for $100. Nice try pal.

karen1122
09-13-2004, 06:45 PM
Tremor,

Interesting Thread!!! Great job at getting everyones thinking about what we do every day - THE BUSINESS OF MAKING MONEY

Let me pose another point of view for your consideration and an open discussion.

The previous discussions surrounding cost and selling price mix two distinctly different topics. First, the COST - you must report your earning on the price you paid for the commodity according to GAP. This does not change if the replacement cost is raised. Second, the PRICE charged should be the maximum MARKET PRICE These are two completely different things and the only time they should come together is when your accountant calculates your earnings. Here we are (or should be) talking about only the Market Price as it relates to customer satisfaction. The discussion on commodity pricing, futures contracts, and the like -although interesting - are completely irrelevant.

Many of the posts on this site relate to cost-up pricing. This may be a legitimate way of approximating the current market price, however, many other factors should be considered besides the margin you are targeting.
-Are you so busy that you must pay your employees overtime?
-Are you so slow that you are getting no recovery on your capital equipment?
-Is this customer likely to be a slow pay?
-What are your competitors' situations?
This is the take home that could help many of the readers. It seems obvious, but even best Marketers forget it occasionally.

Sorry for the divergence - back to the main story

Lesco saw a cost increase from their suppliers as a sign that the market price had increased. This spawned an opportunity to raise the prices they charge their customers.
Three choices:

1) Eat the cost increase and loose margin. Pretty self explanatory, but it may be viable if Lesco saw an opportunity to take more market share.

2) Use the same tactic as your suppliers did and call it a "Fuel Surcharge". Everyone has heard that gas prices are going up, why not get on the bandwagon. This was Lesco's choice.

Here you will have two occasions to have a negative effect on customer relations. First when you impose the surcharge where, since everyone has heard of the increase, the effect should be containable. The second is more difficult. What happens when the price of gas drops and your customers can plainly see this? Do you remove the surcharge and go back to the old pricing?

Another point is that the product you are selling is not gas, but lawn care products. Why set up a process to approximate the increase in shipping charges? This costly and now your employees must have competency in two pricing schemes.

3) An alternative is to JUST RAISE YOUR PRICES! From the post on this site it looks like this would be accepted by your customers. By the way - this is the only time it would effect your customers because you would not rescind the increase!!! You would manage your prices the same way as you would when any other factor in the market changed.

The overall effect of the fuel price increase is that the market price of lawn care products went up. Lesco did not have the conviction in their pricing management to take the standard actions. They arranged a complicated process where they could blame: their suppliers, OPEC, the US government, etc. Manage the business, not the situation and you would have probably increased your operational efficiency when compared to the alternative of imposing a gas tax.

An opposing point of view..............Any comments?

James Cormier
09-13-2004, 07:39 PM
wow Karen, great post, I had to read it 2x's ( thats because Im a idiot :) )

My only comment would be Lesco should have done #3, at the end of there 90 price quoute, just raise the prices across the board.

My biggest question is why didnt I get the fuel surcharge ( not that I want it ) but to this day I have not seen a charge, and I visit lesco once or twice a week. Since this post has begun I think I spent 5k at lesco without any surcharges.

So selective raising of prices are not the best way to handle this kind of problem.

Also Ive found invoices as far back as 1995 that have products that cost more than now, where talking same products here, and same amounts purchased.

65hoss
09-13-2004, 07:41 PM
Tremor...this is my problem with LESCO lately. I have been a loyal customer for several years now. In the spring my seed prices went thru the roof with no warning. When I asked, it was explained that fuel prices went up. BS, the price of diesel at that point didn't change. Regular fuel did. But they went up anyway. Every other distributor(your competitors) did not raise prices. So now Lesco has raised all prices back this spring due to fuel prices. Then I go in the other day and a fuel surcharge is added. But wait...they just went up on prices due to fuel. What gives?

My fescue prices last fall were 76 cents per pound. In the spring it went to $1.03 due to fuel. Now they are telling me it will be 91 cents per pound this fall. 4 of your main national competitors have all priced seed for me this year between 68 and 75 cents. Do you really think Prosource1, JD landscapes, BFI and UHS are all wrong?

Oh, not to mention fertilizer cost. $8.50 per bag last year and $10.75 plus fuel charge this year. All of the other 4 are $5.50-$6.75 per bag. Its called competition and basically the new mgmt at Lesco is tying the hands of the store mgrs so they can not compete in their specific markets.

By going with one of your competitors this fall I will put about $4000 to my bottom line instead of paying Lesco for their added "expense". I was born at night, just not last night. I have a degree in accounting and mgmt experience. So I'm not stupid in these matters. All I know from my personal experience is lesco is pricing themselves out of the market and out of the business in the Memphis area.

TSM
09-13-2004, 07:53 PM
very good points Karen thanks for getting involved on this thread.

Hoss also said something I believe is so true...."and basically the new mgmt at Lesco is tying the hands of the store mgrs so they can not compete in their specific markets."

I have had this conversation with a lesco service center sales manager when he called me to ask where I been. He agrees, drops his head and says he hopes I'll return anyway??

cantoo
09-13-2004, 10:57 PM
I also just switched suppliers because of fuel surcharges. I didn't even look at the prices just the fact that they put a surcharge on material cost them my business.
In the day time I am the Plant Manager of a 150 employee shop and am in the process of finding a few new companies to do service work for us. Some of our present contractors are charging fuel surcharges, steel surcharges, vehicle surcharges and even rental equipment surcharges(when they should have the tool to do the job to start with). It's all getting just a little crazy, the quotes don't even have all these extra costs on them. It's impossible to even compare quotes anymore with all these hidden costs on them. We are considering doing more of our own work inhouse to save some money. I just hired another 10 guys and am looking for more.
I'm one of the guys who agree that the surcharges are crazy just put the price on and leave it at that. If the price of sugar goes up is the coffee shop going to put a line item for your coffee or just raise the price across the board?

GardenofWeeden
09-15-2004, 08:51 AM
The sad fact, we had to start charging a small charge for fuel. Mileage between visits and the sort cost $.041 a mile. (It used to be $0.36 until this year.) This society is run by the oil industry. If I don't adjust my cost it will hurt my business as well and eventually trickle down to every one who works too hard to be affected by a minimal charge.\ to a customer.
However, if you think you can profit off that charge then you add more heartache to your business, as LESCO seems to be doing. We are not profiting off the charge, just supplementing costs that occasionally need to e adjusted.
By the way, a fuel charge is almost like Taxes. They always go up and rarely come down. :angry:

Green Dreams
09-15-2004, 12:11 PM
I pickd up some bags of 46-0-0 from Lesco last week. They went from less than $10 a bag to over $16 a bag in a couple of weeks. Then to add a fuel cahrge for me to pick them up? Estes will be hearing from me on next order. BWI is now here in Houston, but to see their online catalog you have to call and register for a password? Too much trouble and too many " secrets" for me...

firedude26
09-15-2004, 10:12 PM
I am also leaving the lesco supplier, for a couple reasons, i know some of there people read this so maybe they will read this post.

The local manager of my store was fired for helping out a customer, i feel that they just cut there throats this guy would do anything for anybody. great help when you needed it. So in return i am heading else where for my fert and seed. I will definitely miss the customer service he gave to me and the support on different things. I hope that others will also go elsewhere to get there supplies. The surcharge is another reason.