Plan Ahead to Avoid Busy Season Stress
A belt-and-suspenders strategy is ugly fashion, but a smart way to save you from being "caught with your pants down" in a soaring market.

It's going to be a great year. But have a plan for:

Labor Force: Be ready to get all the work done. Get going on extra resources to make sure you're fully staffed in peak season. Check out these free resources for finding people, interviewing candidates and keeping your best people from leaving.

Rising Costs: Keep your projects profitable when there are too many things happening at once. Not only will your labor costs rise, but also manufacturers are raising prices on materials (look at the price of copper!). Have a plan to operate efficiently, and start adjusting your prices on bids.

The Team at North South Supply
Looking for a Great Deal? View Our Special Offers
Learn how to save $$ on your upcoming projects with our special offers. Click here for details.
Here Come the Price Increases! Have You Updated Your Pricing?
Many manufacturers are announcing cost increases for the 2021 season. Please adjust your pricing to maintain your margins. We've posted a complete guide on our website.
Business Planning? Here's Why You Need to Meet with North South
Many contractors use the start of the year to make changes for the coming year.  But only a fraction of professionals take advantage of all of their supplier resources.

Your North South Supply account manager can help you tap into the latest market knowledge and smart new resources that can grow your bottom line.  Book an appointment with him/her now to identify programs and advantages that could help you in the 2021 season.

Discover ways North South Supply can help you connect with:
Opportunities to purchase materials more efficiently, leveraging bulk discounts, getting ahead of price increases and scheduled deliveries.
Industry trends in your area so you’re up to date on which products and services are growing in popularity. Find out about successes others are having with new items.
Essential resources to grow your business, including resources to aid in hiring quality employees, marketing tools, educational seminars and more.
Redeem rewards from manufacturer customer loyalty programs.

Make a plan to grow your bottom line. Schedule an appointment today.
No Time? Organize Your Marketing with a Quick One-Page Plan
You really do need a roadmap to guide a wise and impactful marketing program. Otherwise, you can fall into the trap of “random acts of marketing”: intermittent and unplanned efforts that deliver poor results.
Focus on what's important!

Set two to three key goals. Know your marketing needs to accomplish. Make sure your goals are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely). Consider creating goals around the “Five Ss”: selling (customer acquisition and growth); service (customer experience); sizzle (wow factor/ standing out from competition); speak (communicating and engaging with customers); and save (efficiency gains).

Then turn goals into action with these steps... Continue reading the whole article here.
Tips for Solvent Welding Large Diameter Pipe
Achieving leak-free solvent-welded joints is one of the most important things in a piping system installation.
 
This is easily done in large diameter systems by using the right Christy's / Weld-On products and following the tips below: 
 
1) When cutting large diameter pipe, use a pipe wrap or circumferential tape to produce an accurate line to follow when cutting.  This will create a pipe-end that is squarely cut. 
2) A swab or roller approximately one-half the size of the pipe diameter should be used for large diameter pipe. Paint or bristle type brushes are not recommended.
3) Use a mechanical pipe puller with a center-line attachment that assures proper pipe and fitting alignment during assembly. Do not use heavy equipment like a backhoe as this could easily result in severe damage to the pipe and fittings.
Updated Rain Bird XF Dripline Design, Installation & Maintenance Guide
Learn the fundamentals of smart dripline irrigation design with the updated XF Series Dripline Design, Installation and Maintenance Guide from Rain Bird. 
 
Get layout recommendations for on-surface and sub-subsurface dripline applications, learn the right way to adjust for narrow plantings, trees, and slopes, and understand how to calculate zone flow and application rate with this guide.
 
 
(Takes time to download, file size: 25mb)
Labor Shortage: How to Attract and Keep the Best Technicians
A recent national survey by Strategic Force, Inc. found job need for over 1,000 new irrigation service technicians for the 2021 season!

Their take: Aging irrigation systems + current technician retirements + exits to other industries = shortage likely to persist for several years.

So, what can you do to keep your service techs happy so that these numbers don’t impact your business?

1) Understand any cultural or bureaucratic issues that might be frustrating your techs. Be sure you're using the winter to do employee reviews and listening for opportunities to streamline things for your techs. Remove barriers to getting the work done in the field. Encourage better cooperation between the office and the technicians. Get communication issues worked out before spring!

2) Adjust your pay structure. Give them security on hours, and offer incentive-based bonuses for up-sells and working off-hours.

3) Implement productivity tools like routing software and flat rate pricing. Get your service operation out of the 1970s and move toward an Amazon-like experience. These changes reduce your techs paperwork load and ultimately increase their happiness.