New owner driving growth in SoCal irrigation company, a U.S. Bank client

May 23, 2024
Three employees and a customer at the counter of an irrigation equipment store.
Fallbrook Irrigation, in San Diego County, sells pipe fittings, valves and other irrigation equipment to local grove owners, contractors, nurseries, municipal water districts, landscapers and others.

Since purchasing Fallbrook Irrigation, Armando Silberman has added products, clients and employees

Armando Silberman owned a business that imported and exported irrigation equipment, but like the plants his equipment benefits, he wanted to grow.

In 2022, he acquired Fallbrook Irrigation, based in Fallbrook, California, in north San Diego County.

“The strategy was to buy a company to get into the U.S. market,” Silberman said. “We were looking at a company in Texas but Fallbrook Irrigation showed up and for regional reasons and personal reasons – I live in Southern California – we decided to purchase it.”

When Silberman purchased Fallbrook Irrigation, the previous owners banked with Union Bank, and Silberman decided to stay with Union Bank for continuity, he said.

Silberman owns another company in Texas that imports and exports irrigation equipment, and he bought Fallbrook Irrigation as a vehicle to sell some of that equipment.

When U.S. Bank purchased Union Bank in 2022, Silberman made the transition – and deepened the banking relationship.

“He has been ready to grow and wants more from us, including things that Union Bank wasn’t able to offer,” said U.S. Bank small business specialist Wendy Mendoza, who serves as Silberman’s lead banker. “He is always open to our suggestions and talking things through.”

Since becoming a U.S. Bank client in early 2023, Silberman was able to benefit from new products and services at his disposal and has upgraded his payment processing equipment, acquired a business credit card, expanded his online banking capabilities, added cash flow management services, and obtained an equipment finance line of credit to refinance a company vehicle and update the company’s software system.

“We have a really good relationship with U.S. Bank,” Silberman said. “I think the most important thing was that since the beginning, everyone has taken the time to support and help us. The best thing is the service from the people I work with at U.S. Bank and getting direct answers and direct care for everything.”

Fallbrook Irrigation began in 1978 as a family-owned business primarily serving homeowners, Silberman said.

“Since we took over, we made a lot of changes to improve the facilities and company culture,” Silberman said. “We hired more people, going from six employees to nine and redefining the job responsibilities and policies. We also upgraded and changed the inventory logistics system, bought trucks and made other changes.”

Fallbrook Irrigation now sells pipe fittings, valves and other irrigation equipment to local grove owners, contractors, nurseries, municipal water districts, landscapers and others.

Because Silberman’s other company imports products, he is able to take advantage of better pricing than irrigation supply companies that buy through other channels, he said.

“We have a large number of different vendors in Asia, Mexico and Europe,” Silberman said. “That gives us the opportunity to choose suppliers and get the best price and variety.”

While the company has changed significantly since Silberman purchased it, there are more changes in store.

“The first year, we spent a lot of time on inventory and physical updates. Now it’s more about developing different markets and wholesale in different areas and increasing the online business, which was zero before our administration,” Silberman said. “We are about 50 percent there.”

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