Supplying What the Industry Needs to Grow
Personality-driven and customer-focused, Horizon Distributors supports pros in the great outdoors
Horizon Distributors (Horizon) sells just about everything it takes to serve the landscape and irrigation industry professional. The Phoenix-headquartered wholesale distributor offers professional-grade landscape and irrigation supplies, technical support and all the commercial power equipment needed to perform that type of work.
Irrigation Product Manager Dan Puthuff says Horizon boasts more than 70 service centers strategically located in year-round markets throughout 11 states where green industry professionals will find well stocked shelves and knowledgeable employees ready to help.
Horizon store location states include California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Idaho, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.
“We think our diverse product selection from high-quality manufacturers helps set us apart,” Dan says. “We have what these pros need to get the job done, from irrigation products, power equipment, tools, chemicals and fertilizers, landscape lighting, hardscapes, outdoor kitchens erosion control and more.”
The company sells products from such well-known manufacturers as Rain Bird, Hunter Industries, The Toro Company, Exmark, Echo, Vista Professional Outdoor Lighting, PBI-Gordon and Corona.
Another point of difference at Horizon is its longevity in the market—almost 60 years. Horizon’s heritage is with several regional green industry supply houses with similar histories and work philosophies.
“Before Horizon, there was Automatic Rain of California that was founded in 1961 by Eleanor and Bill Hayes, and Mesa Sprinkler of Arizona, which David Lange formed in 1977. The two companies merged as Horizon Distributors in 1999 and soon became one of the largest landscape and irrigation supply distributors in the western U.S. with 35 store locations in eight states,” Dan says.
Following several additional acquisitions, Horizon grew to its current size. Later, in 2005, Horizon became a wholly owned subsidiary of PoolCorp, one of the largest wholesale distributors of pool supplies, parts and outdoor living products for builders, retailers, service companies and contractors.
In the coming years, Horizon plans to continue adding locations either organically or through acquisitions—primarily in year-round markets. Each of its store locations focuses on four product areas: irrigation, outdoor living, landscape and equipment.
Irrigation products can include controllers, valves, sprays, rotors, drip irrigation supplies, PVC fittings and pipe, valve boxes, drainage solutions, micro irrigation, backflow preventers, and wire and accessories.
Landscape lighting, pond products, artificial turf, pavers, barbecues, and outdoor kitchen make up the majority of its outdoor living offerings.
For lawns and gardens, customers can choose from seed and sod, fertilizer, pesticides, erosion control, sprayers and spreaders, safety products and tools.
Equipment products include mowers, blowers, trimmers, chain saws, plows, sprayers, spreaders, trenchers, parts and service.
Irrigation Control, Water Management Expertise
The company’s Technical Services team helps organizations in the commercial construction space by offering high-end irrigation control systems and project specific water management and conservation solutions—from planning to installation to after-install service.
One such project was State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, which is a multi-purpose stadium that’s home to the Arizona Cardinals Football Club (NFL), the annual Fiesta Bowl and numerous other sports and entertainment events and activities. The storied stadium was named best NFL Facility by Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily in 2006 and 2007, the NFL’s best playing surface in 2008 and Best New Venue of the 2000s by SportsIllustrated.com.
“Construction took place from 2005-2006, and we sold and serviced two different irrigation control systems and ancillary products. One system controls the retractable natural grass playing surface inside the stadium, which was a first in North America at that time,” Dan says. “The other system manages the grounds outside of the stadium, including the eight-acre Great Lawn that is used for tailgating before sporting events.”
He adds that, over the years, the system has been retrofitted and enhanced, including the addition of an on-site weather station and wireless moisture sensors in the turf tray that permit real time monitoring of the soil profile.
Horizon’s technicians also sold and continue to expand the irrigation control system and many other products for Morrison Ranch in Gilbert, Arizona. The 3,000-acre, mixed-use master-planned community in Arizona’s east valley offers an environment where people of all ages can live, work, play, shop and learn.
Horizon was involved in the initial irrigation design in the early 2000s and continues to partner with the community today.
Typical Horizon customers are irrigation and landscape companies, irrigation control and maintenance contractors, public agencies like school districts and counties, golf course maintenance, general contractors and construction companies, and international resorts.
Dan stresses Horizon’s tagline, “Big Enough to be Professional. Small Enough to be Personal” as one way of describing the company approach in serving both large and small customers.
“I’d say Horizon is entrepreneurial, personality-driven and customer-focused,” he says. “And, overall, we want to be seen as a value-added distributor.”
Keeping Customers Apprised of Trends
One way Dan says that Horizon adds value is by helping keep its customers informed about trends that may affect their businesses.
“One unfortunate trend today is the shortage of labor in the landscape industry. To help counter that, we try to show customers that investing in tools and products can allow them to operate far more efficiently,” he says. “Connectivity and control systems are efficiency trends that have sprung from the ‘smart home’ concept. By installing the right Wi-Fi controllers, customers can manage more of their systems remotely and more efficiently.”
The trend of shopping online at any time of day is yet another way that Horizon customers have learned to become more efficient, he says. Online ordering allows customers to check product availability and schedule pickups at store locations when it’s convenient for them.
Perhaps the biggest trend affecting the landscape and irrigation industry professionals is water conservation. In support of promoting the importance of water conservation, Horizon is a long-standing sponsor and associate member of the Arizona Landscape Contractors Association (ALCA), the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) and the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association (TNLA). Additionally, Horizon is a member of the Irrigation Association, the national organization for its industry.
Horizon’s staff is part of the training and certification staff for ALCA and has taught the ALCA Certified Irrigation Technician class for many years. The class focuses on optimizing water use and helping make existing irrigation systems efficient.
The company also is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense Partner. WaterSense, a voluntary program, is both a label for water-efficient products and a resource for helping save water. Dan explains that WaterSense-labeled products are certified to use at least 20% less water and perform as well as or better than average products currently on the market.
With great plans on the horizon, Dan sees nothing but blue skies for this landscape and irrigation product distributor.