December 17, 2013

Water Quality Trading Helps Businesses Meet EPA Clean Water Requirements

The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have announced an expanded partnership to support water quality trading and other market-based approaches that provide benefits to the environment and the economy.

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December 2, 2013

The Continuing Evolution Of Retail

Technology will rapidly transform how retailers engage with their customers, reverberating through everything from the daily process of running a business to plant tags, containers, videos and apps. Retailers will find it less difficult to get out of the office and back into the business of working with plants and people. Improved Point-Of-Sale (POS) Mobile POS systems will soon replace the traditional checkout as smartphones and tablets make it possible for retailers to perform on-the-spot transactions anywhere they have an internet connection. Retailers will find it simpler to keep track of customers’ buying preferences and manage inventory in real time. It will be harder for thieves to access unauthorized funds in the future, thanks to a new security chip placed in credit cards that requires a pin number before completing any transaction. The introduction of mobile wallet technology will also help accelerate customer engagement using interactive coupons, geofencing enhancements and […]

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November 19, 2013

Monrovia’s Move To Online Sales Brings Response From Some Retailers

The feedback on the Monrovia news was mixed, with some supporting Monrovia's new plans and some questioning how it will affect the industry.

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November 15, 2013

5 Keys To Successful Purchasing

According to distributor representatives from Griffin Greenhouse Supplies, Ball Seed and BFG, growers can save money by following this checklist: ■ Keep good records of what you’ve purchased in years past. ■ Pool your orders together to save money, get good terms and reduce delivery charges. ■ Make plans at least one year ahead on capital investments to ensure availability and allow for any contingencies. ■ Let suppliers know about your future investment plans and needs, to take advantage of any special deals. ■ Think about how your business will evolve and keep suppliers in the loop to help you choose investments that will meet your needs now, but also as your operation grows.

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November 15, 2013

3 Items Growers Should Always Have On Hand

Dan Morrissey, construction manager for Griffin Greenhouse Supplies, says no matter what, there are three essential items growers should have: • Back up generator: “These are sometimes overlooked, but if you lose power, you lose everything,” Morrissey says. “I have customers who don’t have them but a generator is one of the most important pieces of equipment a grower should have.” • Accurate environmental controls system: “What generally happens in our industry is, we spend a lot of money on greenhouse structures and benching and seem to run out of money for environmental controls and spend very little on these systems. But they can save you a lot of money early, so it’s very important to have an accurate system.” • Spare parts: “If I have 15 heaters on my range and didn’t have an extra transformer, extra valve, extra fuse, extra roll of polyethylene, and something happens to my […]

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November 15, 2013

How To Get The Best Deal By Working With Distributors

Your local distributor representative might be a greater resource than you realize.

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November 13, 2013

Are Your Information Systems Holding You Back?

Investing in updated technology and processes might be overlooked, but these tools can be vital to your operation's efficiency and growth.

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October 3, 2013

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

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 […]

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August 17, 2013

Group Purchasing Saves Heating Dollars

Depending on your location and the crops you grow, heating fuel may be one of our most significant input costs. Some greenhouse operations in Colorado and California are mitigating that expense through a program that provides group purchases of natural gas. Greenhouse Services Foundation, Inc. (GSF) is a non-profit 501 © (5) corporation that provides group wholesale purchasing of natural gas supply for greenhouses and agriculture-related business. Combining natural gas volume requirements from multiple facilities improves purchasing power and those savings are passed on to the program participants. GSF maximizes savings by handling as much of the administration as possible. “Having an active and involved board, as well as natural gas industry managers, has allowed the program to evolve and respond effectively to changing natural gas dynamics,” says Tagawa Enterprises’ Dave Tagawa, an early GSF board member and past president. “This unique program has proven to be beneficial for the […]

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July 29, 2013

Energy Conservation: Helpful Hints From NGMA

Why save energy? There are many reasons. Purchased energy is a significant and ongoing expense for most greenhouse operations. There is high probability that energy prices will continue to rise and most greenhouse operations have the ability to economize on fuel use. Energy is consumed all the time, year after year. Once it is consumed, you can never get it back. Anytime you can save energy costs, you are moving money directly to your bottom line, increasing your margins and competitiveness. Energy-efficient systems are usually engineered for optimum conversion, distribution and retention of heat. They can often produce better, more uniform crops, as well as being good for the environment. Even if it takes additional capital to achieve the highest level of energy saving, the long life of many energy-saving greenhouse system components make them sound investments. Where Can I Save Energy? • Make the most of free energy from sunlight […]

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June 11, 2013

Inbound Logistics Selects InMotion Global As A Top 100 Logistics IT Provider For Fifth Year

For a fifth consecutive year, Inbound Logistics Magazine has ranked InMotion Global TMS, a division of Interstate Logistics Group, on its list of top IT providers in recognition of its leadership in the logistics technology market.  InMotion Global’s innovative suite of free software solutions now includes the QuoteMyTruckload.com service, which finds free, instant truckload quotes, as well as the free InMotion Global TMS system. The company’s Transportation Management System (TMS) has won numerous awards over the years, including Food Logistics Magazine’s Top 100 Software and Technology Providers Award. InMotion Global TMS is a free, web-based, fully-hosted and patent-pending Transportation Management System. Its patent-pending technology allows shippers to manage every aspect of their logistics, transportation and enterprise distribution functions while providing complete freight movement visibility. The cloud-based Enterprise version offers a complete lane bid management module, multi-node data replication, cross browser compatibility, mobile device compatibility and order management, as well as a […]

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