North South Supply in Vero Beach, Florida provides customers with innovative products, services and solutions in the fields of irrigation, landscape lighting, drainage and well supplies. The company leverages its customer-centric culture to engage customers, employees and vendor partners, providing unmatched value for all.
Bobby and Fran Hiers founded North South Supply on Feb. 16, 1978. At that time, Mr. Hiers owned an irrigation business and had become frustrated at his suppliers’ inability to keep product in stock. Ever the entrepreneur, Mr. Hiers saw the suppliers’ failures as an opportunity and North South Supply was born out of the back of an El Camino. Under his guidance, the company expanded to seven locations with 45 employees and today operates under the direction of the second and third generations of Mr. Hiers’ family.
“Mr. and Mrs. Hiers’ eldest daughter, Pamela Hiers-Butz, has served as president since 2015 and is currently overseeing the transformation of North South Supply,” said Antony Donatelli, chief operating officer at North South Supply. “Under her guidance, we have rebranded our corporate identity, relocated and expanded our Melbourne store and are working to refresh our remaining locations. We are committed to providing the best customer experience possible.”
North South Supply has a very aggressive growth plan and is currently in the process of building a new corporate office in Vero Beach, exploring opportunities for new branch locations, expanding its Vero Beach sales branch and extending the hours of operations to 7 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.
What sets the company apart from its competition? “Our goal isn’t to be the biggest, it’s to be the best,” Donatelli said. “The best place to work. The best value proposition for our customers. The best partner for our vendors.”
North South Supply developed its five-year plan mid-year 2021. “Now we have a clear mission, and our values are the framework to the structure of our organization’s culture,” Donatelli said. “Creating our mission and values helped to craft a team that embodies the things we stand for in our work. I find it best to lead by example and to put clear intention behind our values, so they are more than just words. In simpler terms, we act on our values. Safety is more than a priority for us. It’s the most important value, which is why we have safety champions in every branch and start every meeting with a safety topic.”
As a leader for North South Supply, Donatelli spends a lot of time coaching and leading his team in the right direction. “Every month, every employee has a one-on-one coaching session with their supervisor where goals are set and achievements are recognized,” Donatelli said. “We encourage our team members to actively participate in the workplace. Every quarter, we launch an anonymous one-question employee survey to make sure our teams know that their voice matters. I’m supportive of a workplace that values participation. In fact, we reward it through our Bright Ideas campaign.”
Training is an important metric that the company can measure every month. North South Supply offers educational opportunities to its teams so they can continue to grow and learn.
Anthony Donatelli, chief operating officer of North South Supply, developed the company’s five-year plan mid-year 2021. Now North South Supply has a clear mission, and its values are the framework to the structure of the organization’s culture.
Pamela Hiers-Butz has served as president since 2015 and is currently overseeing the transformation of North South Supply. Under her guidance, the company has rebranded its corporate identity, relocated and expanded its Melbourne store and is working to refresh its remaining locations.
Training is an important metric that the company measures monthly. “We offer educational opportunities to our teams so they can continue to grow and learn,” he said. “Nothing happens without a clear goal and strategy, which is why we’ve defined scorecards for our branches that measure our active and new customers, our active SKUs, training goals and price overrides monthly. If you want to know where we’re going, look at the scorecard. If you want to know where we’ve been, look at the P&L.”
North South Supply is fully transparent in its message and encourages open communication between colleagues, from leaders to employees and from employees to leaders. “We want our team members to feel appreciated and in turn they always do more than what is expected,” Donatelli said. “This past December, our employees had a voice in selecting the employee of the year, which we announced at our holiday party. After all, our employees help make our dream a reality, and that should be something worth celebrating.”
This year, the company will also be recognizing key vendor partners. “Both K-Rain and NDS play an instrumental role in our growth strategy,” Donatelli said. “K-Rain wants to provide value to our business as a supplier. We develop strategic marketing initiatives that benefit both companies. We are working on digital advertising projects that will help promote both brands through online channels such as display advertising, social media ads and search-engine marketing. To help stay focused on our joint vendor plans we have created a vendor scorecard, which we review monthly with our vendors.”
The business also plans to host its second annual Oktoberfest/Trade Show event on October 26. “We partner with our vendors for our Oktoberfest, where we enjoy German-inspired dishes, beer and music,” Donatelli said. “Our guests meet with every vendor for a meal-and-drink ticket, receive raffled prizes and are gifted a commemorative beer glass with vendor logos.”
North South Supply will also be participating in the Florida Irrigation Water Summit on July 28-30 and the Florida Groundwater Association Trade Show from June 2-4. Additionally, the company will be sponsoring the registration desk for the event.
“In our five-year plan, I also made it very clear that we have to be digital or die,” Donatelli said. “We’re a third of the way into the digital adoption piece. We’re working on a phone app, web shop and setting up an Amazon sales outlet. We’re currently using eBay for deadstock inventory relief so that we can focus on improving our depth and breadth of inventory for our customers.”
North South Supply had been involved with several buying groups in the past, but IMARK has been a great fit for the company for multiple reasons, including the participating vendors, training IMARK University provides and networking with other irrigation suppliers and distributors in the marketplace. “It all boils down to support,” Donatelli said. “IMARK is here for the independent irrigation supplier.” “The distributor network that the group has is unsurpassed.”
For more information about North South Supply, visit northsouth.net.