August 2020

It's a backyard bonanza. 
There are no sports to watch, no new TV shows, no friends to visit and no restaurants to enjoy.  So what are consumers doing?  They're spending more time enjoying and improving their houses.    
So your phone is ringing like crazy! 
In this super-busy environment, long days, stress and heat exhaustion can all drag on your team's motivation.  

Here are some ways you can push through the hot, busy days:

Push on to capture the business while it's strong.   Pace yourself.  Start earlier in the day, or work later into the evening. 
Keep the right perspective. Yes, it's stressful and difficult.   But celebrate the fact that you are successful and that customers keep calling. Adopt an "attitude of gratitude" and thank your customers and employees. 
Plot your fall strategy.   Map out upcoming marketing campaigns so you can maintain your backlog into fall.  Don't count on word-of-mouth to drive your sales, be ready with a digital presence. 
The Team at North South Supply

Ask us about products you can promote to take advantage of the market boom. 

Take Advantage of Our Money-Saving Offers
Learn how to save $$ on your upcoming projects with our special offers.  Click here for details
Three Things Crew Leaders Can Do to Drive Better Profitability  
Being a great crew leader means more than just keeping the team productive. It's about delivering results for both the company and the customer. Here are three things great crew leaders do to maximize their impact:

1) Communicate with their team with a daily huddle. A "all hands" meeting in at the start of each day helps everyone engage on what needs to be accomplished. It also provides a chance for laborers to ask questions or request support.

2) Work from a job plan that includes a labor hour budget. If the tasks required on the job are detailed and a labor budget to meet or beat is set, you'll avoid projects that come in over budget.

3) Recap each job. What went well? What would you do differently next time? Not everything will proceed to plan. How can you learn from the times when it doesn't?
Do Virtual Selling Tactics Work for Landscape Pros?     
In order to safely conduct business, landscape contractors are learning how to sell projects virtually.

How can you eliminate physical contact with residential homeowners while still selling your services effectively? Here are some tips from the pros on how you can adapt to this new environment:

Initial Consultation - Remote or On-Site?: In normal times contractors build trust with new clients by walking the property together.

With COVID-19, some are recommending that you eliminate these visits in lieu of a video-conference call - and are emphasizing Zoom, GoToMeeting or Skype.  We disagree. 

Another consultant who specializes in the landscape and irrigation markets, Jeff Carowitz., offers a simpler and more connected approach: "You should still visit your client's property. Make an appointment so they know when you're coming. Have them leave the garage open and the back yard gate unlocked. Then call them when you arrive. As you walk around the property, you can ask questions and make recommendations while they watch safely through the window.".  
He emphasizes this process is more personal, builds rapport, allows sales of add-ons and eliminates potential for estimating inaccuracy.

Submitting and Getting Signatures on the Proposal: Don't just email the proposal. Use a service that alerts you when the customer has viewed it, and that helps you get a legal signature. The electronic signature platform DocuSign gets the clients signature and can help schedule a start date. Also check out GetAccept, Qwilr and PandaDoc. 
Take advantage of convenient on-line payments for your North South Supply account. 
Focus on your customers and not preparing checks and stuffing envelopes.  Make your next payments with a click of a mouse on our new payment website:
Check it out today! 
Rain Bird Tip: Sprinkler Selection Criteria      

Rain Bird shares insights on how to select the correct type of sprinkler or drip equipment for each area on a site.
Most of the selection criteria uses the site-specific information gathered or calculated in the earlier design steps such as: water source, water pressure, soil type, climate and determining the irrigation requirement. Selecting irrigation components without first gathering this information is premature and can lead to an irrigation system that does not perform to meet the landscape's requirements and can cause significant performance and maintenance problems.
Zurn Launches 710 Pressure Vacuum Breaker      
Compact size, cost-effective solution

Zurn Industries, LLC announces the launch of its Zurn Wilkins 710 Pressure Vacuum Breaker Assembly. It serves to protect against backsiphonage for non-potable residential and commercial irrigation systems. The 710 features a compact, lightweight body and includes fewer parts to industry models.

"The 710 is perfect for contractors who want a quick and cost-effective install," said John Mankins, Zurn Product Manager, Water Control. "With the shortest lay length on the market it is easily concealable under a small enclosure".

The 710 Pressure Vacuum Breaker Assembly meets ASSE® 1020 performance requirements and IAPMO® standards. It is approved by the Foundation for Cross-Connection Control and Hydraulic Research at the University of Southern California.

With the shortest lay length of any valve on the market the 710 can fit into the tightest spots, often allowing the owner to downsize their protective enclosure.  The 710 can be taken apart and repaired with minimal tools in a pinch, making it extremely versatile.  Also choose from the standard or bonnet repair kit - both work universally in the 3/4" or 1" assembly.

The Zurn Wilkins 710 Pressure Vacuum Breaker is more compact than any competitor valve in the marketplace. Bring effortless performance to any residential and commercial irrigation system.

To find out more about the 710 visit  
Flint & Walling Offers Tips for Installing Submersible Pumps in an Open Body of Water (Pond, Lake, etc.)

Traditionally, a submersible pump is installed vertically in a drilled well inside a casing (like PVC). Sometimes customers want the performance that a submersible pump provides, but want to install their pump in an open body of water, like a lake or a pond.  Although not ideal, this can be done.

So how do you install a submersible pump in an open body of water and avoid damaging or shortening the life of the pump?  There are three keys that will keep your pump operating in these conditions:

1) Flow-inducer sleeve This is a length of PVC roughly as long as the pump.  It mimics the well casing that is found in a standard drilled well.  Simply cut slots in one end of the PVC so that you can crimp/clamp the sleeve near the discharge end.  This will force water to enter from the bottom of the sleeve.  Water flows toward the intake of the pump, cooling the motor as it passes by.  See the image as an example (click to enlarge)

2) Angle of the installed pump A submersible pump cannot be installed horizontally.  It is recommended that the pump be installed as close to vertical as possible, but no less than 10 degrees.

3) Avoid installing at the bottom of the body of water  Most open bodies of water have vegetation, sediment, and other debris settled at the bottom.  To avoid pumping these elements through your pump, it is recommended that the pump be suspended at least 10 feet from the bottom.
Build Your Backlog with Simple, Effective Marketing
Here are some easy-to-implement marketing ideas that can help you fill up your schedule:

1) Sell new services with with low-cost marketing methods: Use postcards, flyers, invoice stuffers and door hangers to promote additional services to your current clients. You can also target the neighbors of your current clients too. Your current clients are your best reference to expand your business.

2) Promote smart watering upgrades: Irrigation systems installed over 10 years ago are often very inefficient. (This is true of almost every system in Texas.) Help your customers take advantage of new technologies like high-efficiency nozzles and wifi controllers. Promote that the savings to their water bills will last for years after they invest in upgrades. Consider offering a bundled package of upgrades for one easy price (nozzles + controller + pressure regulator).

3) Review your past service checklists / evaluations.  Remember those evaluation forms your technicians have been completing on every site visit?  These forms record the site conditions and note additional services or upgrades required.  They're filled with items either your technicians couldn't get to during in-season visits or where the customer said "I'll have that done later".  Later is now!  Follow-up and get the work scheduled now.  Remind clients that you can flex to THEIR schedule to get the work done.    (If you haven't been doing evaluations as you go during the season, you now understand the benefit of having them. They're the fastest way to additional sales and happier customers.)

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