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Old 02-25-2012, 07:51 AM
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etwman etwman is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: central PA
Posts: 1,365
This is a very good question and I'll give you my opinion on it, once again its mine, take it or leave it.

The hardscape supplier market is oversaturated, especially in the northeast. Giving a client 3-4 100 page catalogs will confuse the daylights out of them. I would suggest 1 or 2 at the most.

We used to be brand loyal, putting alot of eggs in one basket with EPHenry. I'm not going to go into details on how the relationship fractured but if you ever wanted to watch the downfall of a powerhouse pull up a front seat to this story. The dissolvement of the conserv division, lack of innovation, removal of key players from the authorized contractor program, removal of key dealers, etc. has all happened. I had lunch a month ago with a few friends of mine who are large contractors, together 4 years ago we represented about $400k in combined annual sales to EPH. That's a dealership. Today none of us buy from them. At first I thought it was just us witnessing all of this until I stepped into a Techo-Bloc round table the other month. (I rarely go to these but did this year). There was a comment said amongst 20 contractors and an applause to the tune of , "don't do what EPH did, leave us and fail to innovate." That's huge, the problem is monumental. The were the Goliath 6-8 years ago and now they are off major percentages in sales in their prime markets. This failure has spread like cancer accross the hardscape market. All that will carry them is their brand name and that will fail at some point too. See what the smart producers realize is their consumer isn't the homeowner (yes they are interested) its the contractor. No homeowner is going to install a 1500 sf patio, sorry. Fail to support and listen to the contractor and you're removing a major customer. Most of our clients will follow our lead in whatever product we suggest because they trust us, and rightfully so they should.

With this said you need to select a brand that is a quality product, gives great customer support, and truly innovates. Also you need to select a dealership that is close to you. Techo may not be there, it may be Belgard, not sure.

We aren't totally brand loyal anymore, we learned our lesson with that. We won't do it again. My suggestion is to pick one that you feel very comfortable with, and have a few others you use on occassion.

Hope this all helps.
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