About 1/3 of my business is consulting communities on their irrigation systems. I look at where they’ve been, where they’re at today and which direction they need to go. We cover all of this in a irrigation assessment.
One of the higher cost line items on the assessment is the irrigation control system. That thing that manages thousands of dollars of year in water that is still running on 1980’s technology – a timer. When discussing replacing their existing timers to SMART controllers there is a sticker shock; as the community only budgeted $500-$700 per controller in a 10-year reserve. That is, if they even have a reserve that has irrigation controllers in it.
There are two times a community or property needs to replace a irrigation timer.
- The irrigation timer goes bad
- The client wants to upgrade and conserve
Arizona is getting old. Me too. When I started in the business 20 years ago, I never would’ve thought I would now be replacing the timers I sold at Mesa Sprinkler back in the 90’s. Talking about the 90’s like that makes me sick…
Here is a photo of part of a controller I replaced this week. The data code was 1995.
The community had two choices. Either spend $1,500 to replace this timer with the same one or upgrade to SMART controller for $2,000 – $2,500. The community’s concern was the ROI by upgrading the controller(s).
You don’t have to be a financial wizard to figure this one out:
THERE IS NO ROI BY REPLACING THE EXISTING TIMER WITH THE SAME TIMER.
THERE IS A ROI BY REPLACING THE EXISTING CONTROLLER WITH A SMART CONTROLLER
I’m not a good sales guy, but even I could sell that!
If a sales person gives you a ROI without doing an assessment of the irrigation system and historical water usage, please ask them to leave your office. ROI’s on SMART controllers vary from 6 months to 3 years. Our typical projects are 1.1 years, but again, it varies.
The one thing I can always guarantee is by simply replacing the existing timer with the same technology developed in the 1980’s is insane. All the timers sold 20 years ago need to be replaced now. That is 100’s of thousands of timers in Arizona alone. That is a lot of timers wasting water, and not making you money. Saving is making, right?
This is the SMART controller that replaced the rust box above. This community purchased 5 of these in late 2014 – The ROI was 12-months (10,000,000 gallons saved). They just purchased 18 more. They are now making money and saving money!
There are 100 different SMART controllers on the market. Pick 1 or 2. This has to be the easiest sell in the landscape industry. It’s a win-win for everyone! In your next Board meeting and they ask your company why you are proposing SMART technology just remember this and say..
“1985 called, and they want their technology back..”
If that doesn’t work, call me. I’ll help you work the process to sell SMART controllers tied to a ROI, help conserve and make sprinklers great again!