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TurfMend Hits the Supply Chain By Pat Jones

Updated: Jan 31, 2022

Roger Ogalla wasn’t looking for a turf repair product when one of his reps told him about Jeff Stahman and TurfMend. “He said it was worth noting and the guy is a former superintendent who has worked his butt off to get the product to market. I was intrigued.”

Ogalla, CEO of BTSI Turf in the Chicago area, is a canny veteran in the turf distribution world so he’s used to being approached with ideas from turfheads. But this was a full-fledged product. “You know how many times supers had great ideas for products that never made it to market.

But Jeff actually did it. The cool thing is that he fought to get it started and now it’s really beginning to catch on.”

Why was it compelling enough for his company to give it a shot? “It isn’t something everyone will buy but that’s true of a lot of products. But there’s a portion of the market that’s going to recognize that, with the problems with availability and quality of labor, TurfMend fills that need.”

Historically, blending repair mix has been a bit of a haphazard process but it was “cheap”

But Ogalla says modern turf managers recognize that there are costs to everything. “If you crunch the numbers, realistically, that cheap mix you put together isn’t all that cheap. My customers think it’s nuts until they start to do the math and then they go, ‘Oh, wait, I get it…’”

Paying for itself in labor savings isn’t the only consideration for his customers. “It just needs to be close in cost and then it totally makes sense,” says Ogalla. “Then consider it doesn’t have sticks in it, it’s not wet, it’s consistent material, and I get the seed that I want in the mix in the right proportion with consistent nutrient value. It checks a lot of the boxes I’d be concerned about if I was the customer.”

Also important: top quality seed including Barenbrug and Jacklin varieties. “If we can’t get them exactly what they want we can get very close.”

Ogalla knows there’s a long way to go and a lot of those conversations with customers before TurfMend is used widely, but he’s encouraged so far. “It’s about a three-year process to educate customers about something like this. Then we’ll really see how many folks will adopt it but I’m pretty optimistic.”

The bottom line for Ogalla and the BTSI team is that TurfMend is a product for these times that fits their business model. “We’re looking to provide value, make their job easier and take stuff off their to-do list and put it on ours. And hopefully make some money off that. They know we’re going to be there for them.”

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