1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Question about loyalty to suppliers

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by OKSooner, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. OKSooner

    OKSooner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 217

    Question: I'm getting more into irrigation repair this year, to the point that I've gotten acquainted and set up accounts with "more than a couple" of the suppliers in my home town.

    I've gotten a line of credit with one of them that will be useful for lighting jobs. (I'm not doing irrigation installs yet, and I don't know if I will start doing them or not.)

    However, I'm one of those guys who frankly can't carry everything with me on the truck... which often leaves me dashing off to the nearest supplier for parts.

    So... what's the protocol for dealing with suppliers? Is it considered good form to settle on one and enjoy a long, happy marriage with them? Or is it expected that one will play the field and go wherever it's most convenient to go in a particular situation?

  2. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,911

    We go where we must for the proper stuff..Sometimes 1 place runs out which forces us to cheat on our marriages..I go to my guys cause they warranty my stuff, help me out when ever they can, and let me know about promotions ect before they happen..

    I say don't cheat on your main person if you don't have to...But when your in a pinch do what you gotta do....Our place delivers our stuff, even to the job if needs be..

    does yours?
  3. JeffY

    JeffY LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 324

    I would find one that is the most convienent for you. My supplier delivers to us on the job site and does not always charge us a shipping fee because we are one of their main customers. They are usually always in stock for what we need in installs and will place orders for us for specialty items. However, they don't stock everything and we go to another supplier to get items that are used in tech work to repair the odd item we occasionally run to. Our loyalty is with our supplier, and they know it, and they make efforts to give us discounts to ensure we are happy with them.
  4. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,974

  5. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    You have got to do what is best for you... that is the way our clients treat us anyway.
  6. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,535

    I used to buy more bulk quantities at regular intervals at the Ewing about 10 miles away (with busy commute traffic in between) and onesie, twosie items at a small distributor closer to home.

    Then that smaller distributor offered better discounts and terms and expanded their offerings, so I did more business there...

    Then about two years ago Ewing opened another branch much closer to me, and they're seeing me a lot lately too.

    Go with the best pricing and the best service... and if you're going to have accounts at more than one, I would say make sure that between them they cover all your needs and don't duplicate each other much.

    And don't let anyone take your business for granted.
  7. It is a delicate balance. Funny how we ask our customers to set a pricing standard for us that is profitable and then turn around and become what we hate with our suppliers. Maybe not funny, I just don't know.
  8. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 807

    I keep a "primary" supplier who I use for everything. I do keep a couple of secondary suppliers for convenience sake or the for the sake of keeping old acquaintances fresh.

    I'm doing a major install in the far north part of town; I had to dust off one of my old secondary suppliers as they are by far the closest to that site, so any time we need some stuff in a hurry, I go there. Just got an invoice from them; reminds me why I shop elsewhere when I can, nothing like getting charged 30% more for pipe than any of your other suppliers charge... grrrr
  9. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 25,388

    Im lucky here . The main branch for a good supplier is in the town between my shop and my house. Any order called in before 3pm will be at my house when I get home.There is also a jdl on my streetif need be.
  10. h20 guy

    h20 guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    Been dealing with a small local supplier for many years, always treated me fairly on price, and delivery. Also fantastic on the advice end of it. Went to JD once and left knowing I'm not in the mood to try to figure out a "Point" system for my pricing when I'm busier than ever in the summer. Always keeping my supplier Honest on pricing though!

Share This Page