Bob Witte started Innovative Irrigation in 2001. Originally, they specialized in pool work, but they’ve steadily moved their focus from pools to irrigation, and have even ventured into fountains and other water projects for subdivisions.
When Bob first came to Vermeer Midwest, he was in search of a high quality product that would get the job done efficiently. The standards were high since Bob used to tear apart and build things all the time, and would even read equipment manuals for fun as a kid! Thankfully, Bob said he felt that Vermeer equipment was better made than its competitors’ and would last longer, and his expectations have lived to be true.
Bob got connected to Gary Nirich, our Key Accounts Manager in Fishers. After explaining his needs for the jobs he had lined up, Gary pointed him towards an LM42 trencher, even though that’s not what Bob had originally planned on purchasing. But after 20 years of working with Gary, Bob says that he’s never steered him wrong.
“You know, I didn’t like Gary at first. He wouldn’t sell me the machine I wanted because he said it wasn’t what I needed. Well, I finally decided to buy the LM42… and it made me a lot of money. So I bought another one.” – Bob Witte
As Innovative Irrigation continued growing, Vermeer Midwest continued to demo equipment with them. In the earlier years, Bob purchased a 3″ Hammerhead pneumatic boring missle, our first Yanmar ViO55, a PTX42, and finally a used D7x11. “Being able to get underground without making a mess was huge,” Bob said. After a while, they upgraded to a D8x12 and now have a D10x15.
“You can find uses for the equipment you would have never thought of. As I buy more equipment, more opportunities pop up.” – Bob Witte
Getting connected to builders has played a huge part in their business’s transformation. Once Bob and his crew started running drills, those builders started to notice their equipment and the quality of their work. It wasn’t long before D.R. Horton was asking Innovative Irrigation to work on fountains for their subdivisions and is now tackling bigger projects such as drainage solutions.
Bob’s wife Anne Marie talks about how Vermeer equipment has helped them sell jobs. “We sold a job simply from having Vermeer equipment,” she said. Bob adds, “It’s not even an issue getting work at this point because we’ve made relationships with these builders, we have good equipment, and the productivity that comes along with that makes everything quicker and easier.”
Besides the quality products and brand recognition, Bob mentioned his appreciation for the entire Vermeer Midwest – Fishers store. He knows multiple people in all departments by name and was singing their praises.
Bob recalled a time where his Territory Manager, Mike Myers, came all the way to his shop at 5 AM to demo a piece of equipment. Mike had also met Bob out at his shop on a Saturday morning to replace a battery in one of his drills. Bob explained that he has never had a salesman do that for him before, so this type of customer service really stood out.
“If I have a piece of equipment go down, Vermeer Midwest will send me a loaner. If they don’t have a loaner, Mike Smith [Service Manager] will send out Royce or Doug [Service Techs] to get me back up and running fast. And Nathan and Griff always make sure I have the right parts for the machine.”
“Everyone’s always been good to me,” Bob states. And it’s clear even though his first impression with his original Territory Manager, Gary, was a little off, he says “From that day on, I trusted Gary with everything. It’s not like he was trying to upsell me. It’s just that he knows what I need because of the experience he has. I can’t thank you guys enough.”