John Deere Landscapes

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by start2finish, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. start2finish

    start2finish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 497

    Any input on the partners program?

    I was approached and heard the sales pitch on this and I have mixed opinions, I would like some input on previous experience good and bad.
     
  2. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    if you are going to deal with them you might as well be on the program.

    you get better pricing, an early pay discount, and your customers can have JD finance thier jobs.
    only drawback is that you have a minimum yearly volume amount.
     
  3. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,513

    That would be my problem. Their prices are generally too high if you shop around but I still deal with them out of convenience. I also don't do irrigation and that seems to be their main thing.

    Ironic...they're too expensive in general, but I have to purchase a minimum amount to maybe get better pricing. No thanks:)
     
  4. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,369

    I am on the Partners Program.

    Fert is cheaper than lesco and better quality (smaller prill) plus you dont get the "lesco - what price will it be today fiasco"

    Irrigation is as cheap as anywhere.
    I also buy pavers, sod, gravel, topsoil etc etc ..... you name it through them.
    Dont knock the program if you arent the business type/model they are targeting with it.
     
  5. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    We used to buy a lot from JDL (irrigation), but we have found that H.D. Fowler has better prices and better service.

    H.D. Fowler does a weekly truck drop at our shop, but JDL will deliver things quick if we are in a pinch, We ordered 60 6" I-20's the other day from them.

    So, overall, JDL isn't worth it.
     
  6. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    it all depends on where you are.

    here JD runs a truck down twice per week. no charge for delivery, and will drop off at a jobsite. So for us, even if the prices are a little high, not having to pick up the stuff, or even transport it from the shop to the job is priceless.

    I think they are a pretty good company overall. been happy with them.
     
  7. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 550

    i like there seed and fert. better product than what the farm places sell here( no lescos) some stuff is high but i like the fact that if i am doing high end stuff i can have every thing i need droped on site at 8 am and we can do our job insted of being a trucking company. and i can trust that every thing i get looks good and i do not have to send half of the plants back. on most small jobs 1k-2k i buy my "eye candy" plants there and all the seed, fert, edging, pavers, and mulch. they have fair prices on that stuff and it is better stuff than home cheapo

    oh yea if i get in a money pinch i have an accont there so it can help with cash flow in the winter
     
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    I signed up with the partners program earlier this year. I guess there are 4 major benefits to the partners program as I recall. I'll comment on each of them;

    1) 10% Nextel Discount. This rocks. At least for us it does. We have over 10 Nextel phones / walkie-talkies. And this discount really adds up and saves us a lot of money on our nextel bill every month. It's over $100 in savings each month! In addition to the savings from your monthly bill, the deals you get on new or replacement phones are KILLER! I can always upgrade, even if it's not time for an upgrade, for cheap. If a worker loses or brakes a phone, the replacement through John Deere pricing is WAY less than I used to be paying before. This discount alone is the reason I joined.

    2) OfficeMax Discounts. I have signed up for this but haven't had a chance to really check out what the discounts involve.

    3) John Deere Financing. This sounded half-way interesting until I thought about it more. First, I almost never have a problem with my customers not being able to come up with the funds for our bids. It just isn't much of an issue. By the time they call, they have usually already secured the money they are going to use for the job. Second, I am not real excited about the way it works. When a customer uses the program, you don't get ANY down payment. John Deere only pays you once the job is completed and the customer signs off on it. That kinda sucks. And next, you don't get paid on the spot. The customer signs off and then a week or two later you finally get a check. That's a huge cash-flow problem for our business. So that makes me not interested.

    4) Wholesale plant broker. They will procure and deliver plants to your jobsite for larger installs. Only problem is; we don't ever do what they consider "larger installs". This program only works if you are ordering thousands of plants. On any given job we might order 50-200 plants max. I simply don't do commercial landscaping. So on residential we never use enough plants on any one job to take advantage of this deal.

    Here's a word of advice and a little secret; You can basically sign up for free. Sure, there's the $25,000 in yearly sales commitment thing. But it's more of a "recommendation" or a "goal" than anything. If you don't make $25,000 your first year, don't sweat it. They're not going to kick you out of the program becaause you didn't make your goal. They just get back together with you in a year and talk about what you could do to maybe get closer to your goal next year. It basically gives them an opportunity to try to "sell you" on their stuff at least once each year. Which isn't a bad thing.

    Finally, it's not as hard as you might think to do $25,000 in volume at John Deere Landscapes. We purchase way over that amount in just irrigation alone each year. But I don't buy irrigation stuff from JDL. Not that I wouldn't. It's just that I have a long-standing, good relationship with another supplier. BUT there are lots of things that JDL sells that my other supplier doesn't. For instance, my local JDL sells sod! So we order all of our sod through them. That gets me $10,000-$20,000 each year alone! They also sell Mutual Materials products there too (pavers, retaining wall blocks, etc.) So I buy that stuff there too. Alltogether, I can get pretty close to my goal of $25,000 per year without even changing my irrigation buying habbits. It's not that hard.

    So go back to your John Deere rep. and tell him this, "Dave. I really like your program. But I am concerned that I'd sign up and then in a year you'd look at my volume, see that it wasn't up to the $25,000 goal you told me about, and then kick me out of the program. I'd like to join but I think that's a committment I am not sure I can make." And I think you'll be surprised to find that he'll come back with something like, "Hey. No problem. Why don't we at least give it a shot and see how much you CAN do in a year. Listen, we're not going to kick you out of the program because you came a little short. Let's just get you signed up and then you can start thinking about changing some of your buying habbits and we'll see where we are in a year. Deal?"
     
  9. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,369

    "3) John Deere Financing. This sounded half-way interesting until I thought about it more. First, I almost never have a problem with my customers not being able to come up with the funds for our bids. It just isn't much of an issue. By the time they call, they have usually already secured the money they are going to use for the job. Second, I am not real excited about the way it works. When a customer uses the program, you don't get ANY down payment. John Deere only pays you once the job is completed and the customer signs off on it. That kinda sucks. And next, you don't get paid on the spot. The customer signs off and then a week or two later you finally get a check. That's a huge cash-flow problem for our business. So that makes me not interested"


    I get paid in 3 days max.
    I had an issue though where we finished the job and couldnt get paid as the customer's credit had gone to hell in the space of a month. JDL runs a credit check every time you call for an authorization. 10,000 or 20,000 limit is in name only.
     
  10. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    Still, I don't like the idea of getting NO down payment and THEN we still have to wait 3 days after the jobs done before I get a dime? I just don't like that. But I don't put any materials on account. We alwyas pay cash (check) for all ofthe materials we use for a job and then of course payroll too. So cashflow is critical for my business. I suppose for someone who charges everything on account and then pays it at the end of each month this arrangement could work.
     

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