Money-saving agro purchases with Ride promote turf grass success in ’19

Buying power for courses

When any new golf season opens, it’s no secret what the paying customer will be looking for—tight, consistent fairway turf and smooth, true-rolling greens. Nor is there any mystery about the supplies and equipment your course will need to help make those conditions a reality. The seed, sand, chemicals and other supplies are annual costs that every course must bear.

What isn’t so widely known is that a GolfNow partner program called Ride can make sure the maintenance shed is stocked with everything you need while the maintenance budget gets a downward revision of expected costs.

Through Ride, group buying power has truly come to the course-maintenance facet of the golf industry. An initial wave of more than 1,000 Ride participants has experienced this dollar-stretching new advantage—from 6 to 35 percent in annual savings as the norm—and many more are considering it, as the major buying period begins for superintendents in the northern regions.

The source of Ride as a procurement portal is the immense purchasing power of Comcast, the $84 billion company that owns Xfinity, Universal Studios and the NBC networks, including Golf Channel and GolfNow. Many courses that sign up for Ride are looking for savings in aspects of their turf budget that fall into the category of true commodities.

“Ride on the agro side—the program also covers food-service and office-supplies purchasing—fills in a lot of categories where price tends to be the only distinct factor in the decision to purchase,” says Dan Bury, Senior Area Sales Manager serving the Midwest and its adjacent Canadian provinces.

Another popular feature of the program is the no-minimum spend level. “If a partner course decides they want to save with Ride in only one limited product area, they are offered that kind of ordering flexibility,” Bury notes.

An industry-leading distributor, SynaTek, does all fulfillment on orders for agronomy products via Ride. With a catalog of more than 500 products and a longstanding reputation for service, SynaTek is able to deliver nationwide without missing a beat. Ride users have been pleased to take advantage of the company’s early-order price book, which sets down firm prices on all products and lets the customer see just what they’ll be paying as they plan their orders and shipment schedules. “That factor has brought a lot of peace of mind to the agronomy ordering process, according to what our Ride participants are telling us,” says Bury.

Obviously, efficiency and savings in any major budget category is partly about price discounts and partly a matter of accurately figuring need. If it chooses, a golf course in the Ride program can at any time request a usage audit for free with SynaTek’s expert representatives.

Among suppliers of agro products to golf courses, no company has pushed harder in technology and innovation than SynaTek. Through a dedicated technology unit, SynaTek serves its customers with analytics, controls, and a full range of hardware and software solutions that help courses modify their maintenance operations in optimal fashion.

Within the Ride program, courses have earned Partnership Points via the dollar totals of their purchasing, then applied the points toward acquisition of technology that was not previously in their arsenals—and which delivered additional savings of money and time.

“A superintendent who’s been setting up daily tasks and equipment assignments on a white board for season after season will find out he can use Ride points to upgrade to an electronic assignment board, which can be programmed from a smartphone and displayed on a monitor in the central workspace,” says Bury, who adds GolfNow products, like electronic tee sheets, can be provided complimentary to courses that hit a certain spend level on Ride.

Gull Lake View Golf Resort in Augusta, Mich., is a six-course complex that’s managed to build up its volume with Ride / SynaTek to the point where select programs it utilizes with GolfNow gets zeroed-out, cost-wise.

For such a multi-faceted program, Ride can get a course going on agronomy-product discounts simply and quickly, through a standard letter of participation and an accompanying credit letter. From there it’s a matter of studying the order book and recognizing price advantages in whatever it is you use to grow and maintain first-class turf.

With the peak of the buying season underway for a large percentage of courses, there’s no time like the present to think about buying smarter and getting more bang for your buck.

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