Manderley Turf Products
Primary market: Alberta, Ontario, Quebec
Number of employees: 100 (at peak season)
President: Greg Skotnicki
Manderlay expands its turf
They say that the key to business success is to avoid industries that are crowded with competitors and focus instead on niche markets. Manderley Turf Products, which produces sod grass rolls that homeowners, contractors and landscapes install, to upgrade the look of properties, does just that. “We have more than 6,000 acres in production right now which makes us Canada’s largest sod producer,” says Greg Skotnicki, the company’s president, proudly.
With an estimated 70 percent of Manderley’s production going to housing developments, the company’s sales closely track housing starts data – with a one year delay built in. Yet while new home construction has been strong in Canada relative to demographic demand, growth has been flat. As a result, Manderlay, has relied on a series of acquisitions to fund its expansion. These include the purchases of Wilco Turf in 2007, Gem Sod Farms in 2010 and Advanced Turf in 2011. New product introductions - such as its “Blue Cube,” a cubic yard of garden mix, delivered to customers in packaging shaped like a cube – have also helped.
Skotnicki also credits Manderley’s recent success to several other factors, notably effective capital conservation, which the company achieves by renting (instead of owning) much of its equipment and the land that it farms. Heavy investments in technology such as a new Enterprise Resource Planning system, which customers can connect to, to check their accounts using handheld devices, also played a role.
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Peter Diekmeyer Communications Inc.