Choosing the right farm fencing is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when it comes to securing your farm. From Triple X all-steel fencing, traditional timber, to electric or security fencing, you may be surprised at how many different options there are depending on you and your farm’s needs.
Farm security and livestock management is a serious investment and one that needs to be well-researched before you make a decision, followed by a purchase.
To help you with your choice, here are some things to consider when picking the best farm fencing supplier for you.
- Set your criteria
Before you start looking for a supplier, you’ll need an idea of exactly what you want in a product, and then what you’re looking for in a supplier.
For example, you may know that you need electric fencing, stakes, wires and equipment to help get things set up; and you may also know that it’s important that you use a friendly, knowledgeable supplier who is able to answer any questions you have and also deliver your equipment safely.
In another example, you may need domestic fencing on a budget. So delivery deals and fence cost may be higher on your list of priorities, along with free support along your fencing journey.
Once you define your criteria, this is a good chance to speak to any suppliers you have in mind, see how you find your interaction with them and find out about any offers they’re running.
- Prioritise your criteria
Once you know what you’re looking for, prioritising things into a ‘must have’/’nice to have’ list can help highlight the key things you’re looking for. This is so you don’t end up turning down a good deal, because one supplier doesn’t tick every box.
For example, you may find a supplier for your ideal manufacturer that provides A-grade customer service and every piece of equipment you need. But then you realise that you haven’t quite hit the order cost needed to qualify for free delivery. Is it really worth sacrificing your main priorities and potentially overall fence/service quality in order to get a better delivery deal elsewhere? If this supplier caters for the things in your ‘must-have’ list, probably not!
- Consider farm fencing quality
The most important part of farm fencing is the quality. After all, what’s the point in investing in something that’s supposed to make your farm safer if it’s lacking in quality?
Before picking a farm fencing supplier, it can be a good idea to think about the farm fencing manufacturer you’d like to use. For example, if you know you’d like to use Gallagher electric fencing, clearly, you would choose a supplier that stocks Gallagher.
That being said, you may find a supplier you’d like to use before you know which brand of fencing you’re going to opt for. In this case, you should always research into the manufacturer that the supplier stocks to make sure that they have a good reputation and your investment will result in high quality fencing that is fit for purpose.
- Check if the supplier stocks everything you need
If you need to construct a complete electric fence, would you necessarily opt for a supplier that could only provide you with stakes? Or would you rather use a supplier you could purchase everything from including stakes, insulators and energisers? Let’s call it a ‘one-stop shop’.
Or what if you required rope/tape, but they only stocked galvanised wire? Double check that your potential supplier has everything you need to complete your order.
- Can anyone provide recommendations?
Did you know that 92% of consumers trust word of mouth recommendations over other forms of marketing? If you aren’t quite sure which supplier to go with, or even where to start with your search for farm fencing, try asking around.
- What types of fencing do they stock?
Is this your first time ordering fencing? Are you likely to order with the supplier again? If a supplier stocks multiple types of fencing, or other farm equipment, it’ll give you an opportunity to build a partnership with a trusted supplier. So if you’re looking for some security fencing now, but require temporary electric fencing in six months’ time, you’ll already have confidence and experience with a trusted brand.
There are lots of different types of fencing you could be looking for and these include:
- Security fencing
- Electric fencing
- Triple X fencing
- Stock fencing
- Garden fencing
- What is their customer service like?
When you’re making a big investment, you need to be confident in the company you’re buying from. Why? Well what if two weeks after installing your new fences you encountered a problem? Do you have confidence in their ability to help you resolve the issue?
Before making your purchase, it can be a sensible idea to give them a call and ask them some questions about your intended purchase. This way you can find out more about their level of customer service and hopefully be confident in their knowledge and ability to help.
- How long have they been around?
Suppliers that have been around for a long time are likely to be financially stable with high, long-established standards. This means they’ve usually got things figured out by now and you should hopefully receive a seamless customer experience for your farm fence order.
Also, if a company has been around for a significant number of years, this implies that they have a loyal audience who are happy with them, the quality of their services and how reliable they are.
- Do they have a delivery service?
Finding a farm fencing supplier that you’d like to order with is a good start, but if they don’t deliver, could you travel to collect your equipment? Making sure you check for delivery services (and what the actual delivery charges are) is really important.
Many suppliers will give you free delivery if you’re spending over a certain amount of money. So if you’re doing a big spend on farm fencing, you may actually be rewarded by saving money on delivery!
- What are their delivery times like?
If you’re doing a big farm fencing order, it’s always worth checking that they have everything in stock and also what their delivery times are. This way you’ll be able to manage your expectations, or look elsewhere if the lead time is too long.
- Checking value for money
Whether you’ve purchased farm fencing before, or this is your first time, it’s always a sensible idea to take a close look at pricing. Do the supplier’s costs compare to other suppliers? Are they much more expensive, or worryingly cheaper?
Or if farm fencing is cheaper elsewhere, but delivery costs more, where will you be saving the most money? Is it worth sacrificing your ideal manufacturer and overall quality by trying to cut a delivery cost? These are all questions you could consider asking yourself.
- Do their fences come with user guides?
Once your fencing is delivered, do you have the support you need to erect it? Do the fences come with manuals, or does the supplier’s website have helpful information that you could utilise?
Making sure you have the right user guides/helpful content will make sure you have everything you need to set your new fencing up with ease.
- Check customer reviews
Before you invest in your equipment, take a look at real reviews from real people. You’ll normally find these on review sites, the supplier’s website, manufacturer’s website, or even their social media profiles. Did you know that 90% of people take the time to check reviews before making a purchase?
Reading reviews from people who have gone before you and made similar purchases from the supplier should give you confidence in your decision to purchase with them. Equally, if you’re set on a supplier and see an influx of recent bad reviews, it may change your mind about ordering with them.
That being said, it’s important not to put too much weight on reviews. Every company is bound to have some negative/below average feedback. As long as these types of comments don’t make up for the majority of their reviews, you probably don’t need to worry.
Also, take note of the review dates. If the last batch of negative reviews was a few years ago, things may have changed for the better since then. If you haven’t already, this can be a good time to speak directly to the supplier and ask them any questions you may have about their products, services or even the reviews themselves!
- Browse suppliers’ social media channels
Even if you’re not someone who spends a lot of time online, a company’s social media channels can be helpful in a few different ways.
Firstly, seeing the type of content they post may help you find new resources for use in your day to day life. It’ll also give you an idea of how in touch the supplier is with their audience.
Checking their social media channels can be useful to observe the comments/interactions with the content that the supplier posts. You should be able to tell if the content is well-received and form an assumption about the brand. But if their posts are littered with complaints, more investigation may be needed on your part.
Finally, many organizations post deals and discounts on their social media channels, so you may end up saving yourself some money – an added bonus!
Whilst checking social media profiles can be helpful, this doesn’t necessarily mean that if your chosen supplier isn’t posting regular content, that this is a bad thing. Many companies don’t need to invest in a social media presence because their company operates just fine without it.
- Find out about supplier culture
As a business owner yourself, or someone making decisions on behalf of a business, the culture of the supplier you work with will probably be important to you. How have they grown as a business? How do they support their staff? What are their key values? Do they focus on their customer’s needs and respond/react to feedback? Is quality and price important to them? And do they go the extra mile to provide their customers with as much of a positive experience as possible?
A company’s values can be a strong indicator of a business’ ethos as a whole, and you’ll usually find some helpful information about this on the supplier’s ‘about’ page.