The Dream of a Sprinkler and Drainage Company
Andy’s Story and Philosophy on Business
“Hire people who are committed to doing the job right and to treating all customers like they would their own family.”
It’s really a philosophy about business and leadership. Andy Hulcy started Andy’s Sprinkler, Drainage and Lighting in 1987, while working for his father, Deck Hulcy. Deck’s irrigation company specialized in installing major irrigation systems. As the company grew, it was obvious the business had the potential for growth and to offer even more services.
“We both saw an opportunity for me to stay in the business but have my operation,” Andy said. “That’s when I learned the importance of always learning more and staying on top of new technologies and techniques in the field. That was the only way to take care of all customers, because each person who calls has a slightly different issue. Each property is a little different from another.”
Andy is involved in all aspects of the business, and uses no sub-contractors. By hand picking his own people, he has been able to ensure all customers, whether small residential property owners or large commercial businesses, get the same commitment to excellence that they received back in the late 1980s. He keeps in touch with many of those longtime customers and has built a large and loyal client base.
The Andy’s Sprinkler Story: “Just Having Fun”
It was a hot, July afternoon in 1987 when Andy Hulcy was hooked. He had finally figured out the wiring sequence to a customer’s sprinkler system, which had been malfunctioning for months. A landscaping crew had accidentally cut and twisted the wires with their shovels. Now, plants were dead. The lawn was brown. And the end to the Texas summer was nowhere in sight.
As the sprinklers finally turned on again, the homeowner stopped Andy as he was about to leave. She said another company had come by and charged the couple hundreds of dollars but failed to fix the problem. Her husband had spent hours out in the hot sun, trying to fix the problem himself. To no avail.
“You came out and did it so quickly, and the sidewalk is cleaned off and all the plants and grass are put back where they were,” she said. “I can’t even tell you were here. And my lawn is going to be my dream yard again!”
Andy, who was working under the guiding hand of his father, Deck Hulcy, a longtime irrigation specialist in North Texas, was hooked. He knew that the challenge of running his own business and helping beautify people’s homes was something he wanted to do permanently.
Today, more than 20 years after that hot July afternoon, Andy owns and operates Andy’s Sprinkler, Drainage & Lighting, a small start-up business that has expanded throughout Texas and turned into one of the region’s most respected companies.
A graduate of Texas Tech University, Andy grew up in North Dallas with a background in electronics and mechanics. As a teenager he worked on cars, rebuilt boat motors and wired radios while attending W.T. White High School.
“I’ve always enjoyed trying to ‘solve the puzzle’ when something isn’t working right,” he said. “I don’t see it as a problem when something isn’t working. It’s just a little puzzle, a riddle I’ve got to figure out.”
Over the last 17 years, his company has helped more than 50,000 customers create beautiful outdoor environments to share with family and friends. His company has literally changed the landscape of neighborhoods throughout Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio.
Trained Crews and Competent Managers
Using a unique management style, his company has more than a dozen crew managers and 100 employees today. Many of those crew leaders have bachelor’s degrees in Turf Management, Agriculture and Business. With competent managers who are always pushed to take continual training to keep their skills sharp, Andy is able to delegate authority. The crew leaders can then make quick, informed decisions in the field, saving time and money for both the company and the customer.
“The number of people and businesses we’ve worked with over the years has grown beyond anything I could have imagined when I started this company in 1994, more than 17 years ago,” he said.
“I’m really honored to work with such a great group of people. It makes me smile to think that, to me, I was just having fun that day when I fixed that customer’s wiring problem. And it’s been fun ever since.”