Irrigation contractors share the value of partnering with distributors

June 5, 2023 -  By
Contractors say a common misconception is distributors only work with large companies. (Photo: SiteOne Landscape Supply)

Contractors say a common misconception is distributors only work with large companies. (Photo: SiteOne Landscape Supply)

Distributors don’t only provide supplies. They also can be trusted partners for irrigation contractors to turn to for educational, industry and product support.

Kyle Harris, enhancements manager of Genesis Landscape Solutions in Mesa, Ariz., and Cotey Livesay, branch manager of Yellowstone Landscape in Nashville, share their firsthand experience working with distributors.

Starts with a relationship

From finding more cost-effective options to introducing you to new technologies — distributors can provide a wide range of benefits. It all starts when contractors build a connection with contractors, says Harris. Genesis offers commercial landscape and turf management, irrigation, tree management and lawn care services and uses Horizon Distributors.

Horizon lets the company know about product availability and when products are on back-order, so they don’t sell them to their customers when they are out of stock. Horizon also provides continuing education classes for the Genesis team, as well as on-site support.

“If we need help with a controller, weather station, head or anything, they will meet us on the site to give us one-on-one support on how it works,” Harris says. “It goes back to that relationship we’ve built.”

A common misconception smaller companies may have about working with a distributor is that they only work with contractors looking to buy in large quantities, Harris explains.

“Distributors sell in big quantities, but they also sell a single sprinkler head just the same,” he adds. “You might feel like you don’t belong there and are afraid to ask questions. But, we all have to go in and ask questions.”

Harris encourages irrigation contractors from any size company to take advantage of their local distributor’s pricing and expertise.

“If you don’t know how to do something, they’re more than happy to walk you through it and explain it,” Harris says. “When you build relationships and loyalty, you start seeing benefits you might not know you’re missing out on.”

Industry insight

“With irrigation technology constantly changing, distributors can share what products are coming months or even years ahead of time,” says Livesay.

His company offers commercial landscape maintenance, installation, enhancements, tree care, irrigation management and snow and ice removal.

Yellowstone works with multiple distributors, including SiteOne Landscape Supply, which provides both on-site and in-house support for their team.

Livesay explains that, during Yellowstone’s lunch-and-learn events, distributors such as SiteOne will come and teach the team about products and practices. Yellowstone also brings in distributors for its quarterly safety audits to hold training sessions.

“We read industry magazines and books to keep up to date,” Livesay says. “But to have someone come in and train us, that’s vital.”

Saving time

Distributors manage some of Yellowstone’s inventory and deliver to job sites — saving the company drive time. SiteOne and other distributors’ pricing connects and updates within Yellowstone’s Aspire Software account, so project managers don’t have to call for pricing.

“There are no cons to partnering with someone because they bring so much to the table,” Livesay says.

Yellowstone’s distributors also notify the company about early order programs and other rebates that would benefit the business financially. With the ever-changing industry, Livesay says it’s been a major advantage to have a distributor Yellowstone can rely on.

“Find someone who will work with you and treat you right. That’s more valuable to me than going by the price,” he says. “Don’t look at them as just a vendor. Look at them like a business partner.”

2 Comments on "Irrigation contractors share the value of partnering with distributors"

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  1. Thank you to the authors for shedding light on this topic and providing valuable insights. This article is a great resource for anyone involved in the irrigation contracting industry, and I am grateful for the knowledge it has imparted.

  2. Thank you for sharing this valuable information and providing valuable insights into the world of irrigation contractors and distributors. The article was a great resource, and I appreciate the effort put into creating such a useful piece.