A single plant requires very little to sustain it. But running a successful nursery operation with thousands and thousands of plants requires a sophisticated organization to nurture and sell their products while growing the business.
Bluegrass Nursery in Shelbyville, Kentucky learned that as their company expanded, so did the demands of their customers and their own internal processes.
“Bluegrass Nursery started in 1994 primarily servicing large volume merchandizers and grocery stores. At that time we were growing about 25 varieties of plants and only servicing about 10 stores. As the years progressed, we increased to 150 stores and the plant varieties increased to over 200 varieties.”
Despite the hundreds of different plants they were selling, there were only a handful of unique prices. This meant it was difficult to precisely determine which particular varieties were popular and at what times of the year.
“This large increase in volume created a need: identifying the plants that we were selling at what specific price points. And also be able to create a projection of sales for us and our customers.”
“For this reason we contacted RACO.”
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RACO Interactive, the RACO Industries mobility solutions and professional services group, met with Bluegrass’s technical and management team to outline goals of the solution.
“To help us control our inventory, to know what plants we were selling, and what price point.”
The old paper and pencil process was phased out and replaced with RACO’s Route Accounting solution. The software keeps track of the plants, drivers, routes, customers, and even integrates with their Peachtree accounting software.
RACO armed Bluegrass’s mobile workers with Motorola’s MC5574 handheld Enterprise Digital Assistants. This would allow the drivers to scan barcodes that uniquely identified the different varieties of plants even if they were at the same price point. It quickly & accurately itemized the products delivered, and a full 8″ by 11″ barcoded invoice was printed in the delivery truck right there at the store. At the end of the day, the EDA synchs up Bluegrass’s network and allows them to instantly access the data to determine their short-term growing strategy.
“The knowledge that we have gained from this has helped us tremendously in knowing what plants to grow, controlling our inventory, to help us itemize our plants and our pricing system, to tell us what plants were selling in the stores and under what price point.”