Want to Improve Your Plant Delivery Process? Follow These Four Steps

Want to Improve Your Plant Delivery Process? Follow These Four Steps

Getting the right people in the right place for the right job at the right time is a difficult task for any greenhouse business, even with all the modern productivity improvements we have available. This is especially true for large deliveries of plant material to retail or wholesale customers.

With the busy delivery season right around the corner, your customer or store location needs to know what’s coming, which order it pertains to, when it will arrive, and the personnel required to manage, unload, or merchandise it. This coordinated activity can ensure the best product is available for the end consumer.

That’s all easy to say, but really hard to accomplish. Many growers and their customers have a variety of systems that would need to be used to coordinate this activity.

Know What’s Planned To Ship

Grower systems need to provide a view of planned orders. This would be crucial to know what is shipping, the logistics demand on the grower’s business, and the resources required on the customer side to receive and merchandise the product. Growers should have at least a next-week view showing upcoming replenishment orders and other ad-hoc orders. This report should show the volume of the product, the location, the customer, and any other key grower specific parameters.

Infer The Resources Needed

This information comes from the planning report and includes the number of racks per merchandiser, number of racks per shipment or truck, and other key metrics that communicate the volume or amount of work in language and units that are applicable to the context. Your reporting system can work to supply these inferred values so

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Inform The Customer Personnel And/Or Merchandising Teams

Once you have the relevant data reports for the plan and the resources, the next step is to do the notifications. Your system should allow you to link a store with one or more persons for notifications. A notification should include the relevant details such as date, store or customer address, amount of material (or order information as relevant), and any other key information that the coordination needs.

Automate It

Many growers sell to repeat customers, especially those for the local and regional garden centers and retail outlets. For those cases, and maybe for all your customers, automation is the key. That way you don’t have to worry about remembering, and no staff is tied up building the reports and sending the notifications.

When the right resources are available at the right time for customer, grower, and merchandiser the grower can save thousands in labor costs per year and help ensure that the product flows through the receiving and preparation for sale in the most efficient manner. This helps both customers and growers to improve costs and sales.

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