Greenhouse Product News

July 2016

The business magazine for commercial growers

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34 JULY 2016 GPNMAG.COM M ost growers determine their success by sales, which makes a lot of sense. Growing is a business like any other and the bottom line matters. But before products can be sold, there are many steps in the production process you can measure and adjust to boost efficiency and ultimately make that sale more profitable. What you learn by tracking those metrics can make a huge difference in your bottom line. For example, clicks. How many clicks does it take to get through any given process? We click buttons on laptops, mice and phones every day without a second thought. But when each step of a process takes five clicks and you repeat that process hundreds of times a day, each click adds up. This is never more true than with inventory management. Aaron Allison, partner at SBI Software, sums it up succinctly: "If you think dropping one click from a process is no big deal, try doing it 2,500 times a week and you'll see how much an extra click can matter." Even among elite growers there's no consensus on how to do inventory: availability built from scratch weekly, perpetual availability based on moving ready dates, or product availability buckets specific to customer. For each process, the inventory software needs to maximize availability detail while minimizing time spent entering data. In the real world, that means fewer clicks. WEEKLY AVAILABILITY With more than 5 million square feet of environmentally controlled greenhouse space, Color Point is one of the largest greenhouse growers in North America. And with all that ground to cover, their inventory needs to be fast and accurate. Generating a weekly availability report was a huge effort for them, requiring a major investment of time and manpower. Color Point challenged their enterprise software partner SBI Software to simplify and speed up the process. The solution was SBI's Quick Avail App. Unlike native applications that limit your hardware options, the Quick Avail app works on any device. All you need is a Bluetooth- enabled smartphone and barcode scanner or all-in-one device to build a weekly availability report from scratch. [See sidebar] Users scan the location or select it and scan UPC or product Inventory Visibility and the Power of the Click GREENHOUSE TECHNOLOGY Managing inventory can seem confusing, but here's a breakdown of three different processes available to growers. BY ERIC EVANS Barcode scanners and software such as SBI's Quick Avail make building weekly inventories a snap.

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