Early Order Discount Programs Can Save Growers 1 To 5 Percent On Young Plant Orders

Dennis Crum is Greenhouse Grower's 2013 Head Grower Of The Year.Each year, growers are faced with the decision of when to place their orders for the upcoming spring production season. Unfortunately, for numerous reasons, these orders are often placed quite late, which can result in a number of unintended challenges.

At Four Star Greenhouse, we are both a young plant and finished product supplier, so we struggle with this issue both from a supplier’s and grower’s perspective. As a grower, timeliness in production planning, as well as early ordering, helps us maintain a smooth transition between growing seasons. But when is the most cost effective, efficient and accurate time to order? And why are so many orders placed late?

Why You Might Be Waiting
One situation growers often face is a delay in receiving orders from their established customer base. With the ever-changing retail environment, accuracy in inventory management and sell-through is critical for future success. However, undue delays in order placement caused by retailers or through a grower’s own procrastination can increase costs, as well as stress levels. In many cases, this situation also leads to supplier shortages or unwanted substitutions.

So honestly, why do so many orders get entered late each year? Ordering season normally begins at or immediately after OFA Short Course. By mid-July or early August, both retailers and growers should have time to review the past spring while the season is still fresh in their minds. We try to follow this schedule and strive to have our finished plans completed and plants booked by September 1st. Hard goods orders are placed shortly after, if not before.

The bulk of poinsettias are planted by early August and spring hard goods shows for retailers are winding down by late August. So again, why the delay? The recurring response normally given is, “I’m waiting to hear from my last one or two customers.” A fitting quote that addresses this situation is, “The man who insists on seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides.”

Make Plans And Order Early
Growers can realize certain advantages by placing spring production orders by mid-fall. Most products, including rooted and unrooted cuttings, soil and containers, are offered under various Early Order Discount (EOD) programs. In these days of shrinking margins, why ignore a “gift” of 1 to 5 percent?

Many products, such as custom containers or offshore manufactured items, require an ordering lead time of six to eight weeks or more. Nothing is more stressful or embarrassing than receiving cuttings with no containers to plant them in.

In many cases, a cutting supplier’s final opportunity to adjust production possibilities is mid-October to November 1. Many EODs are wisely based on these dates and are done so to supply accurate order fulfillment. Orders placed after such dates are subject to projected availability and risk the possibility of unwanted substitutions or unfulfilled orders.

Growers’ Ordering Delays Cause Problems For Others
Suppliers, broker salesmen, growers and retailers need to better understand and respect each other’s needs and timelines. Each should uphold their individual responsibilities to best ensure the success of the entire group. Flexibility is a segment of good customer service, but constantly asking others to take unnecessary risks merely sets up the group for long-term failure.
Don’t be an 11th-hour procrastinator. Reap the benefits of timely planning and enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Early Order Discount Programs Can Save Growers 1 To 5 Percent On Young Plant Orders

  1. Dennis makes some excellent points…

    FYI Rakers’ EOD is 10% and all one needs to do is order 12 weeks prior to the requested ship date.

    Any week, all year…just ‘Ask for Raker’

More From Business Management...

August 28, 2016

BioWorks IPM/Sustainable Practices Scholarship Goes To Alexander Schaller

Schaller, a senior at the University of Arizona in the Plant Sciences Department, is interested in ornamental and floriculture crop breeding and crop physiology.

Read More
Next Generation

August 27, 2016

Australia Launches Initiative To Ignite A New Generation Of Growers

Hort Innovation Chief Executive John Lloyd says the goal is to identify and build future industry leaders at all stages of their career through investment in a host of new initiatives.

Read More
Albert Grimm, Jefferys Greenhouses

August 25, 2016

7 Ways Albert Grimm Strives To Be An Effective Leader

Grimm, Greenhouse Grower's 2016 Head Grower Of The Year, tries to live by the "Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People” from author Stephen R. Covey.

Read More
Latest Stories

August 28, 2016

BioWorks IPM/Sustainable Practices Scholarship Goes To …

Schaller, a senior at the University of Arizona in the Plant Sciences Department, is interested in ornamental and floriculture crop breeding and crop physiology.

Read More
Next Generation

August 27, 2016

Australia Launches Initiative To Ignite A New Generatio…

Hort Innovation Chief Executive John Lloyd says the goal is to identify and build future industry leaders at all stages of their career through investment in a host of new initiatives.

Read More
Albert Grimm, Jefferys Greenhouses

August 25, 2016

7 Ways Albert Grimm Strives To Be An Effective Leader

Grimm, Greenhouse Grower's 2016 Head Grower Of The Year, tries to live by the "Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People” from author Stephen R. Covey.

Read More
Tidal Creek Growers

August 25, 2016

Maryland-Based SunMed Growers Nabs Cannabis License

The company was one of 15 licensees selected by the commission out of a pool of 145 grower applicants to receive one of the license pre-approvals.

Read More
Albert Grimm GOY feature

August 25, 2016

Up Close And Personal With Head Grower Of The Year Albe…

According to Grimm, Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Head Grower Of The Year, the key to being a successful grower is educating and inspiring yourself, your staff, your customers, and the next generation of growers.

Read More
Penn State Plant Bud

August 23, 2016

AmericanHort Is Helping Plant Importers Adjust To New R…

A report from Craig Regelbrugge at AmericanHort says the government is implementing a streamlined system for imports, in which all required data will be submitted electronically through a single window.

Read More
LuxFlora - feature

August 22, 2016

Check Out Luxflora’s International Adventures In Europe

A new, women-led professional organization provides its members the opportunity to gain insight, develop ideas, and build connections on its annual international trip.

Read More
MasterTag booth at Cultivate'16

August 17, 2016

5 Nuggets Of Wisdom From Cultivate’16

Here are five sweet pieces from the movers and shakers at Cultivate'16 to help improve your greenhouse business.

Read More
Cannabis ForwardGro

August 16, 2016

ForwardGro Receives License From Maryland Medical Canna…

The company, comprised of expert nursery growers, medical experts, business leaders, and patient advocates, says it can now apply its greenhouse growing experience, medical knowledge, and business expertise to effectively grow quality and consistent medical cannabis.

Read More
GreenhouseConnect 2015 Grower Supplier Meeting

August 16, 2016

5 Reasons You Need To Attend GreenhouseConnect

Greenhouse Grower’s annual event, which will take place Oct. 11-14 in Park City, UT, offers large-scale growing operations the chance to meet one on one with suppliers who can directly address your business needs.

Read More
Farwest Show Floor

August 14, 2016

Mobile App Now Available For 2016 Farwest Show

The app, available as a free download, can help attendees plan for everything from educational sessions to the New Varieties Showcase and Grower Showcase.

Read More

August 13, 2016

Plants Sales Are Up For Fourth Straight Year, According…

Growers declared spring 2016 to be a success in Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 State Of The Industry: Spring Crops Recap Survey.

Read More
Echinacea ‘Butterfly Rainbow Marcella’

August 12, 2016

IR-4 Project Receives Federal Funding For Pollinator An…

Grants from the Specialty Crop Research Initiative will fund IR-4 projects on protecting pollinators through ornamental horticulture, and downy mildew management strategies.

Read More
Emily Teng

August 11, 2016

American Floral Endowment Announces Its 2016 Scholarshi…

This year, thanks to the generosity of several donors, AFE awarded more than $35,000 to 17 students pursuing careers in horticulture.

Read More
Laura Drotleff

August 10, 2016

Customers Need Hand-Holding And TLC [Opinion]

If we want customers to use our plants, we need to provide basic information about the plants we produce.

Read More
Plug Connection Assortment

August 9, 2016

AmericanHort’s Plug And Cutting Conference Will Feature…

This year’s conference, which takes place Sept. 19-21 in Carlsbad, CA, features discussions on water, pest and disease control, and production inputs, as well as a biocontrols workshop and tour of local cuttings facilities.

Read More
Jim Nordlie

August 9, 2016

AFE Establishes Memorial Tribute For Long-Time Rose Gro…

Kennicott Brothers Company, Nordlie Inc., and The Pete Garcia Company established the Jim Nordlie Memorial Tribute through American Floral Endowment in honor of James “Jim” Nordlie, who passed away on July 1 at the age of 93.

Read More
Josh Henry, North Carolina State University

August 8, 2016

Get To Know Joshua Henry, Winner Of The 2016 Richard T.…

Henry, a graduate student at North Carolina State University, is pursuing a Master’s degree in horticultural sciences, with a focus on crop nutrition in bedding plants and flowering potted plants.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]