January of 2020 is almost over, but the New Year has only begun. With a new year means new product and industry trends. Are you up to speed on what is coming your way this year? Read about trends in irrigation and outdoor living below.
There will be a lot of focus on pressure regulation this year. Many states are stepping up their regulations and many more are introducing new legislation in regard to water efficiency and conservation.
The regulations vary by state, but they all provide opportunities for contractors and maintenance companies to provide solutions for their customers. New installs with higher performing, pressure regulated heads and nozzles will be required in some states. If they are not required in your area, these still provide an opportunity to present your customer with a solution to a future problem and save them money by not having to retrofit later down the road.
Retrofitting itself is going to also be a large opportunity as many of these older installs will need to be in compliance going forward. To combat this, Hunter and Rain Bird have begun date stamping the top of their spray heads to better help identify if these heads have met the new standards for pressure regulation.
Smart controllers will continue to be a trend in landscaping in 2020. As more and more smart home apps are becoming available, homeowners want to be able to see and control everything from their smartphones.
Smart controllers don’t just give the homeowner more control, but they also help you maintain control as well. These types of controllers and third party apps can give you reports that will help with warranty issues and will decrease your troubleshooting time in the field. Some controllers and apps can even help you with scheduling work orders.
Controllers like The Hunter Hydrawise can create continuous ongoing income for you independently by generating work orders when it senses flow rate change through a flow meter. Flow Meters are a huge opportunity to up sell and should realistically be sold with every smart controller. The Work orders generated can be sent directly to the labor force, cutting down on miscommunication and narrowing down where the issues are. These work orders allow more work to be done in smaller time frames, Generating more income and less headaches for owners and foreman.
Retrofitting and new and improved troubleshooting solutions will also present itself as an opportunity for contractors this year. Pressure regulations will help boost this trend, but manufacturers are also supporting this trend as well with new products.
KJ Ketterling Enterprises has a line of products with the main purpose of providing quick solutions to everyday problems. Two of their products, Kap-It and Klift-It were entered in the New Product Contest at the Irrigation Show hosted by the 2019 Irrigation Association (IA) and Klift-It won in the Landscape Irrigation category. Both of these products are designed to lift and extend the height of either a spray head (Kap-It) or a rotary head (Klift-It). These products cut down the time it would normally take to replace a head but removing most of the digging component. Retrofitting made easy.
Keep an eye out for more products that will assist in retrofitting and troubleshooting this year.
Outdoor Living Trends
This is not a shock to the industry, but most homeowners are continuing to look for an all-encompassing outdoor solution when it comes to their outdoor living spaces. They want it during installation and want to keep it maintained throughout the year. They want options. If they can’t afford to install the irrigation system, plants, turf, outdoor lighting and fire pit all at once they still want to make sure that their landscape design is adaptable in these aspects for the future. Homeowners want an install company who can do everything or that partners with other companies to be able to get the entire job done. They want a maintenance company that can maintain all aspects of their outdoor space.
This can sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to know how to do everything all the time. There are plenty of resources out there to help you troubleshoot a low voltage lighting problem or an irrigation issue.
Ewing offers many resources to help you and your crew in these situations. Check out our YouTube channel for how-to videos or our blog for tips and tricks. The number one resource to help you meet your customer’s needs is your local Ewing representative. They will be able to point you in the direction you need to give your customers a holistic approach to their outdoor living spaces.
These trends are just a hint of what 2020 has in store. As smart devices and apps continue to thrive in our society, technology in our industry will be adapting to meet those needs. Keep your eyes open for new ways to solve yours and your customers challenges and fulfill your customers landscaping dreams.