As budgets continue to get tighter and expectations continue to rise, golf course superintendents are having to become increasingly conscious of how they spend their dollars to maximize the resources they are given. One opportunity to maximize spending for your club is to utilize the Early Order Program (EOP) this Fall. Early order program rebates are offered every year, starting in the Fall, by many of the industry’s leading manufacturers. They typically offer substantial rebates based on the amount spent during the period in the form of a rebate back to the club or a credit through the distributor. The purpose of this blog is to look beyond standard rebate schedules and help you find ways to ensure you are maximizing every dollar spent. By utilizing paks, purchase periods, and terms, among other tools, EOP works whether you have 2,000 or 200,000 to spend.
The first step in maximizing your spending is having a good agronomic plan that addresses course expectations and aligns them with the budget dollars you have available to spend. You can then prioritize playing surfaces in order of importance as far as greens, tees, fairways, and roughs. Then prioritize agronomic inputs based on fertility needs and historic pest pressure. Areas to consider are:
- Fertility (Granular and Liquid)
- Nematode Pressure
- Disease Pressure
- Insect pressure
- Weed Pressure
Consider how many times you are going to fertilize throughout the year and whether you will fertilize granularly and/or foliar and when. Do you have heavy nematode pressure, if so where? How widespread are your disease issues, is it greens only, do you deal with chronic issues like fairy ring that need to be addressed in a program? Can you afford to be on a preventative fungicide program, if so, how often are you spraying? How do you want to address insect pressure like mole crickets, grubs, and sod webworms? Additionally, working with your local Harrell’s rep during this process can save you a lot of time, as we utilize our proprietary software to help design you an annual program for your facility and make the best recommendations possible. We all know there are many unknowns in managing turf, especially weather. However, there are certain applications you know you are going to make year in and year out, rain or shine. These are the applications you need to target when purchasing in EOP.
Once the overlying agronomic plan is designed you can then begin to find ways to save the maximum purchase amount and help you achieve the greatest rebates. One of the easiest ways to save money is to utilize paks. Paks are bundles of products manufacturers couple together and provide up front discounts so that you are buying multiple products. Dollars toward paks also count toward spending levels with each manufacturer so essentially you are double dipping on the amount of money saved. Now paks don’t always make sense depending on product mix, but we at Harrell’s have meticulously broken down each pak to provide you the best recommendation possible that will save the most dollars.
Buying in October
Another way to make sure you are in the best position to save is by ordering in October. For the most part, every company gives an added incentive to order early in the program. This is anywhere from an additional 1-3%, on average and all you have to do is order in in October, so why not? A little preparation provides an added bonus of additional savings.
Along with the substantial rebates offered during EOP you are also given terms to pay for the product well into the middle of next year. This allows you to utilize your agronomic program in conjunction with the terms to increase volume on products purchased to gain better rebate potential. Below are the terms given by some of the major manufacturers this year:
- Syngenta: 7/6/18
- Bayer: 6/5/18
- BASF: 6/9/18
- FMC: 6/20/18
- Sepro: 7/13/18
Other Tips and Tricks
Consider sticking with one manufacturer: There are several options to assist with any agronomic program. In many situations, there are key chemistries that are a must have in certain circumstances. However, for the best savings, consider bundling with one manufacturer with a broad portfolio that addresses most of your agronomic needs. This will allow you to gain the greatest volume of sales and maximize your total rebate with them.
Bill and hold: Additionally, if you are tight on space and cannot store all your products ordered, utilize our bill and hold process. This allows you to purchase products, utilize terms, lock in rebates, and have the product delivered when you need it. Just sign a bill and hold agreement and we will invoice you for the product and your product will be stored in our warehouse until you tell us to deliver it.
See our “Bill and Hold” agreement at: https://www.harrells.com/my-harrells/bill-and-hold/agreement
In summary, maximizing spending for your agronomic needs has never been easier by utilizing the EOP programs:
- Work with your local Harrell’s rep
- Having a realistic agronomic plan
- Buy in October
- Utilizing paks where they make sense
- Utilizing terms to increase volume of purchases which ultimately increases rebates
- If on a tight budget try to buy from the one manufacturer that addresses most all your agronomic needs
- If tight on space ask about our “Bill and hold” process that helps you maximize EOP program benefits and take product when you want.
- You work with your local Harrell’s rep and write a very sound agronomic plan. You then identify 3 paks that allow you to purchase most of the product you need. Each of these paks cost $10,000, but would cost $11,000 if you were to buy the products in them separately, so that is $3,000 in savings already ($1000/pak x 3 paks).
- That $30,000 in purchases makes you eligible for a 6% rebate, which is another $1,800 in savings in the form of a rebate.
- Also, you bought in October for another 1% in eligible rebates, or another $300.
- That’s $2,100 in rebates and $3,000 you saved from buying paks for a total effective savings of $5,100 by buying in EOP and buying paks vs. individual products.
- That is a 17% overall effective savings for your club for the same products you would normally buy anyway based on your plan.
Now take that a step further and say you utilized a “Bill and hold” agreement, and now get that product shipped to you next year right before you need it and don’t have to worry about finding a place for it at your facility until then. Then, you take the $2,100 rebate you receive next year and put that toward your Spring Polyon application, thus reducing the price in next year’s budget.
Now that is maximizing the EOP!
We all know EOP can be cumbersome, but we are here to help and hopefully the above article helps you understand how! We spend countless hours figuring out the best ways to buy and how to best maximize savings. Give your local Harrell’s rep a call today and begin the process of maximizing your budget to save your club the most dollars. You can’t afford not to at least listen to how much you can save. What’s the worst that can happen, you gain enough rebate dollars to buy that Spring Polyon app?
View our EOP resources at: https://www.harrells.com/products/early-order-programs