Your Distributor

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Loosestrife, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. Loosestrife

    Loosestrife LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 80

    I am curious as about the level of service your distributor offers.

    Delivery- Minimum orders, certian radius, certian timeframe?

    Tech Support- Are they willing to talk you through it on the phone, willing to come out to a job site to assist you with a problem?

    Designs- Will they do a design for you if you give them a property sketch? Do they charge for this? If so, how much?

    Take off's- For commercial jobs, if you give them the plans/specs, will they do the take off's and give you a material list/quote?

    Bid assistance- Would they go to a site with you to assist in a design/bid?

    Perks- Client apprication lunches, gifts with purchases (hats, t-shirts)?

    Counter help- How helpful are the counter folks? Do they have a good knowledge, or do they only know model numbers?

    Referrals- Do they ever send a potential client your name and number?

    Convience- What are there hours?

    I am just trying to see how distributors compare. If you could, please indicate if your distributor is a local company or national. I don't necessarly want names, or even brands. Also, is there anything that a distributor could do to win your business over another? Anything that your distributor does not do that you wish he did?
  2. turfman59

    turfman59 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    John Deere Landscapes offers all the items you listed. I have used them already for almost all you posted, at least the major ones. Oh by the way great educational seminars. How is your service. The only thing I would have liked is more questions being asked of me by them....
  3. Mark B

    Mark B LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    If I was you I would shop around. I do buy form JDL but there prices aren't always that great. If I was you don't be scaried to buy from suppliers from out of state or 50 or 60 miles away. You can ask them to give you free shipping if the orders are over a certain amount. I do buy from a supplier that is about 2hrs away they will deliever if the order is over $1,000.00. I thnk that all good suppliers will do a free design as long as you purchase from them. One last thing about the supplier thing, it works 2 ways I think it is more of a matter of building an relationships with them.
  4. SamIV

    SamIV LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    I am fairly new in the business and my main distributor doesn't give me the time of day. I'm using Hunter right now and they stock Hunter so I buy from them because thay are local.

    I speak with one person there fairly regulary on the phone whom I have never met in person until today. I walked in and introduced myself to the only person behind the counter. There was someone sitting on a stool right next to me. He got up to leave and the other clerk called him by name, which was the person I speak to regularly and he didn't even acknowledge me.

    I spent nearly 2 grand there today and they seemed to care less.
    Drove down the street to another distributor and picked up my drip products which were around $300.00. After I paid they offered to buy my to boys a soda. They were extremely heplful and thanked me for my purchase. I also left with several samples. This is a Weathermatic distributor. I think I'll be installing Weathermatic real soon.

  5. JeffY

    JeffY LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    Our distributor is REAMS in Omaha, NE. THey're very good at what they do and have reasonable costs for their products. They stock up on all types of products and are ready to assist you with any tech. problems if you ask them.
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    In our area there is Horizon and United Pipe. Both companies have multiple branches in multiple states but I am not sure if they are national (e.g. in every state)

    Delivery- Both offer delivery. Of course there is a minimum. They always deliver to the areas we work in.

    Tech Support- willing to help us troubleshoot over the phone - sure. Knowledgable about the problem - not always. Depends on which employee you get. Willing to come out to our job site - yah right!

    Designs- Will they do a design for you if you give them a property sketch? - Not that I am aware of. And I wouldn't want them to anyway. I'd bet good money that my foreman does better designs than they do any day.

    Bid assistance- Would they go to a site with you to assist in a design/bid? - Heck no. Then again, I don't do commercial. So maybe that's why.

    Perks- Client apprication lunches, gifts with purchases (hats, t-shirts)? - Horizon - yes. They are very into that. U-Pipe - not so much. But they try.

    Counter help- How helpful are the counter folks? - Horizon is great at helping but not always as knowledgable. U-pipe is the reverse. Mostly because they are just so swamped with other business.

    Referrals- Do they ever send a potential client your name and number? - They said they would. But it's never happened yet.

    Convience- What are there hours - hours are pretty good at both. Horizon is open on Saturdays, which is way cool. But hours are acceptable at both.

    The thing I love about Horizon is they are fighting, pleading, azz-kissing to get my business. They also have a pretty decent stock and allow me to wonder around and shop for what I want. U-pipe is probably more knowledgable and has a tab better stock but they have so much business they could care less about me. And we do a decent volume every year. But they could care less. They know who we are - but we're just a small fish to them. Plus, they don't let us shop. We have to give them a list and then wait for them to retrieve it all for us.

    I also like the fact that Horizon also carries all the chemicals (fert., roundup, pre-emergents, etc.) lots of tools and power equipment all at one location. It saves me time.

    I also like the fact that, around here, Horizon is the underdog. They are still pretty new and really anxious for our business and are trying hard to get us to come shop with them. So we usually use them for these reasons.

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