Inventory Management?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by AceSprinkleRx, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. AceSprinkleRx

    AceSprinkleRx LawnSite Member
    from Wyoming
    Messages: 95

    In my area I do not have a big plumbing/irrigation wholesaler right in town. The nearest one of any size is 1.5 to 2 hours away, approximatley 120 miles.

    For repair and maintenance, how much inventory do you normally carry on hand? I don't want to have too much cashflow tied up in stuff I may not really need or utilize. Like different replacement controllers, etc. But I do plan on keeping a number of valves, heads for replacement parts and replacement.
    Our area seems to use a lot of Rainbird components. (Possibly a Home Depot convenience.)

    Any here use an online supplier? Shipment methods, costs, etc?
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,400

    If you don't have local access to the equipment you need, you wind up stocking it yourself, or doing without. This can begin to add up, as you get more service accounts, of more different brands, if you try to replace like with like. Most irrigation supply houses will offer free delivery, for a minumum order.
  3. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    About 10 years ago, I was working the DFW area. The outfit I was with had me in a little isuzu p/u with a 15' rack. We had the bed floored above the wheel wells with storage under and boxes on top of the floor. Lock box behind the cab in the front of the bed. My inventory in that truck usually exceeded 10k and I didn't stock any controllers, BUT I had to have a lot of brass valve kits to reduce travel. I billed 3-5k / week from that truck for most of the year.
    For your situation, you don't need to stock more than one brand of controller. Pick something your willing to stand behind and have the easiest access to. Valves........try inventory of one or two of each kind you see the most of to steal parts from. Heads..... again, unless the contract states that you can't hybiridize a system, pick equipment you can access easily and that you trust and understand. Do make an effort to acquire spec sheets on all manufacturer's heads so you can match nozzles as closely as possible.

    I am only 30 min. from the supply house, but that's how I try and do it.
  4. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,213

    I agree on the timer, even with 4 suppliers nearby. Keep only the one you trust and want to install. The only one I keep on the trucks is either the Rainbird ESP tract model, or the RB ESP modular model. I'm not going to go hunt down what they may have had to begin with.

    If you don't have a distributor nearby, it may be a tough market for you, or tough to get service calls done. 5 minutes to change out a shorted out Hunter solenoid, or one hour to replace a Hunter valve with a Rainbird because that is all you have or can get.

    For an online suppliers try and they deliver free with a big enough order. $500 I believe.
  5. johndarron

    johndarron LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Give me a call at 303-934-3200 or send me an email to and I can hook you up with all the irrigation supplies you will need at the best prices including shipping.

    Darron Bryant
  6. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Hey Darron...why not just send us ALL a price list..if I remember right, you were peddling some cases of valves earlier this year...and if I remember right, the prices were not the best you claim above. But, if I'm wrong I'll consider you.....why not send us all a price list?
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,400

    I think most of the service inventory dollars would be in heads. I would want to have exact replacements for anything I ever installed. Hunter PGP's can replace any of their many imitators. Since older Toro rotors are shorter than PGP's, you need some of them, if you want to avoid unneccesary digging to replace them. (Super 600, Super 700, 300 Stream Rotors) The humble Rainbird Maxipaw has a place in a service inventory, since some systems using impact heads have low pressure and head spacing that won't work with gear drive heads.

    I would suggest you try to work with your (semi) local supplier, before you look elsewhere. Having a supplier that will truck equipment to you the next day after you phone them is a valuable resource. They will be aware of their internet competition.

Share This Page