Supplier loyalty

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by DanaMac, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    In an effort to get more irrigation topics going this winter..........

    What makes you loyal to your supplier? Price? Location? Knowledgeable workers? Delivery? Convenience? Been using them for 20 years? Free donuts on Friday?

    I stick with Ewing for a few reasons. Mainly, Dennis the manager goes out of his way to make me feel like we are a major company even though we are a low volume buyer since we only do service. He calls to let us know when there are classes available, some sales going on, if I want tickets to baseball games, etc. He has referred me to another guy that was retiring, but I didn't have the manpower to take that guys customers at that time. They all refer to us when homeowners call. And overall their pricing is for the most part better than the others for me. They are also located right off the interstate, one exit up from my shop.

    Dennis also talked me through a repair one Saturday on the phone for about an hour total. Valve would turn on run for about a minute, and then zone would shut down. It eventually turned out to be a drip pressure regulator that the original installer put in backwards. It worked for 3 years and then failed. dennis asked if there was one, and I couldn't see one in the VB, so I dug past it and BINGO! Buried, and backwards. So thanks Dennis, Dave and Mike.
  2. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Posts: 4,347

    Location and price are big ones. I guess convenience goes with location. There are two major parts of town that we work in, all all supply houses have setup shop in the same neighborhoods. The main players, and located in these areas, some of the smaller supply houses are only setup in one.

    Brands carried, (ie: RB, Hunter, Irritrol, WM, Toro...) is also a factor. Some places don't stock certain manufacturers.

    We are loyal to one supply house currently, and I don't see us moving.
  3. I like the ones that give me sh@t when I walk in the door. I don't trust people who are nice to me. I'd rather be hated than patronized. Plus bad relationships have better dialogue.
  4. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    I started at Turf Irrigation, which was bought by UGM, which was bought by JDL. I was staying with them over the years due to the people there. But most moved on and then one particular person took over the show for a while, and she PO'd everybody. JDL is one block from Ewing and I haven't been there in about 4 years. There are a three others that we go to in a pinch, but location is not good. The manager for of them lives RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET FROM ME. If I need something for the next morning, he'll bring it home and leave it in my truck.
  5. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,976

    Same with us, I used to pimp my three suppliers against each other, but finally got such great customer service ("I need a fitting now!") and pricing from one house; stayed with them. :clapping:
  6. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,690

    Location, price and service.

    DBC is in about the precise center of our current service area.

    Free breakfast every friday through the spring.

    Emergency deliveries, quick quotes and nice people. Give a little schitt, get a little schitt, good working relationship.
  7. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,780

    We have a ton of irrigation supply businesses here. ( john deer, e-wing , bereky, united pipe supply, hd fowler and a couple more)

    We use john deer. They are about 10 miles from us but they deliver our supplies every week and not only give us the business discount we get an additional 2% in discounts. Which is awesome because when I personally need irrigation items I can buy them at the business cost and just pay my boss the tax later on.

    E-wing and united pipe supply is maybe 1 mile from us but they are much more expensive. If i'm on the run and need a item I will stop by here. ( My boss never wants me to buy tools here though)

    Our poly pipe we order in huge bulk due to one of my cousins works at hd fowler and gives our company a great deal
  8. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,906

    14 years ago I had a local supply house called TIECO that I did about 200K a year with. Long story short, I got into a jam, asked all my vendors (sod farm, wholesale nursery, etc.) to work with me. Everyone did except TIECO. Their response was small claims court. Haven't spent maybe $100 with them since.

    So I went to Century Rain Aid, but when it became JDL they lost their feel for the little guy, and I lost any desire to feed the big guy.

    Went to another local vendor, got tired of them not having what I needed and their delivery times were horrible.

    I now use Ewing almost exclusively - great service, pricing about the same overall as the other players. Mgr. is an old friend, lives nearby and will drop stuff off on his way home or over the weekend. Plus the kickback at the end of the year!
  9. ARGOS

    ARGOS LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,808

    I wish I had a choice.
  10. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,976

    So, we have not faced the same thing?
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009

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