John Newlin sees technology as the main trend for the irrigation industry.
Caption: Using new technology will separate irrigation contractors in the crowded marketplace. Photo courtesy of Juniper Systems.
John Newlin, owner and president of Quality Sprinkling Systems Services, offers his thoughts on the industry trends for this year, and how contractors can continue to improve their business as they move forward.
Differentiation by technology
With many contractors operating in a crowded marketplace, those that stand out in the future are going to be the ones on board with the latest technology. Newlin says that applying new technologies is the key to growth. He believes GPS technology, such as Juniper System’s new hand-held device, will be big in 2011.
Juniper Systems' IntuiTrace Irrigation Mapping Software allows users to create "as-built" maps of new or existing irrigation systems using GIS and GPS technology.
As new water-saving products like smart controllers and stream rotors continue to emerge on the market, there’s going to be a trend toward more retrofitting, Newlin says. Addressing landscape health, water cost and storm water issues are three other hot topics he sees coming down the pipeline.
Newlin expects “more of the same” when it comes to government regulations, especially in the form of the EPA WaterSense Home Specification and storm water. “Transportation regulation that is presently being implemented, pertaining to vehicles grossing over 20,000 pounds along with DOT physicals, yearly vehicle inspection, drivers’ records being tracked, driver training documentation and documented pre- and post-trip inspections will also be new issues.”