This Ontario company is still mowing the competition after 46 years in the business
There’s nothing like having a problem in the supply chain to turn even the most confident market leader into a bundle of nerves. Over the past year, companies in a wide variety of industries have had to grapple with mandatory lockdowns and physically distant logistics, but inventory issues affected both small and medium-sized businesses in ways few could have predicted.
For lawn and irrigation equipment distributor Turf Care Products Canada, the ability to pivot quickly helped avoid the logistical problems that plagued competitors and reinforced why it is still one of the best in the country. “One of the strategies that helped Turf Care get back on the cutting edge quickly as things started to open was foresight to guard against future supply chain delays,” said President Tim Trimper. “The commitment to take inventory much sooner than usual would have enabled us to minimize service disruptions and maintain product fill rates for customers.”
While Turf Care specializes in lawn care equipment, irrigation maintenance and parts distribution, Turf Care has also learned to apply its inventory management knowledge to other areas of the business. In November 2020, the company launched a new e-commerce platform that gives customers 24/7 access to order thousands of landscaping and irrigation parts and accessories online.
“The pandemic has forced us to look inward and do more with fewer resources,” says Trimper. “Without a pandemic playbook, we had to think outside the box, and we succeeded.” In addition to maintaining uninterrupted service and rolling out the e-commerce platform, Turf Care’s 2020 successes include expanding operations to a new warehouse in Keswick, Ontario.
Turf Care’s market stronghold has grown by leaps and bounds since the company was founded in 1975 when it operated from a single office in Markham, Ontario with 20 employees. Since then, the company has grown into a 160-strong company with seven offices and warehouses in Ontario and Quebec, and now serves approximately 2,500 customers across the country each year.
Managing the relationship between employees and employers is an ingredient in Turf Care’s secret sauce to stay one step ahead of the competition. The company promotes from among its ranks and creates a strong workplace culture supported by social events such as barbecues and support from employee-led charitable initiatives.
“We have a lot of long-term employees,” says Trimper. “Many employees started working with us in the warehouse as summer students and got to know different aspects of the business and moved into management positions.”