How James Greenhouses Will Improve In 2013

James Greenhouses Is An Operation Of The Year Finalist

On Sharpening Business Management

Cost of production is something near and dear to us all. Saving money is not about beating up your suppliers. There are tremendous gains to be made internally. For the coming year, we have a renewed focus on defining our processes. If you can define exactly how your company works, making improvements is easy. This philosophy has been part of our culture for a long time, but it is more important than ever to stay competitive. Start with a simple process. Dissect it, step by step. Time each movement, and in simple terms, list the skills required to perform each step. It becomes clear where things don’t make sense or are wasteful. You might find that your process is great, but your people are not qualified. Either way, you have a map for improvement. Do some specific training or adjust your process. Measure it again. You just decreased labor, increased productivity and made someone’s job easier. The challenge is making the time commitment to analyzing each process.

Cost of sales, particularly in the office, was not something we focused on in the past. Sales grew organically. Most of our time was spent figuring out how best to produce our product. Today, having control over the information systems that drive business transactions is a must. Response to customer demand needs to be immediate and there is no room for inaccurate data. As we move into 2013, our new ERP system will come online with electronic availability to complement the electronic sales orders and acknowledgements that we already produce. Building toward this has taken a year so far and will continue well into the future. It will also allow us to accurately project future availability based on real time changes in stock plant potential and inventory. The goal is to provide customers with a complete picture of what we know we will produce, plus what we could produce. I like to call it virtual production. The goal is simple: our customers get what they want more often.     

Managing distribution costs is critical for any manufacturing business. Our focus centers on two things:

1. Eliminating claims: It makes sense to start with existing business. Protect existing business now, and then worry about finding lower-cost alternatives for future orders. Who cares how cheap the freight was if the shipment was damaged? To this end, we continually improve packaging to minimize potential damage in transit. It might be different insulation, a stronger pallet or the addition of netting that makes all the difference. Refer back to defining your processes to make sure the correct option is chosen for each shipment.

2. Matching freight services to regions: Every shipping region has seasonal challenges. It’s either really hot, really cold or the customer is way off the beaten path. Or perhaps there is just an overly aggressive driver on a particular route. We evaluate transit time, type of service (dry, reefer, etc.) and packaging options to come up with the best solution for each customer order. Spending the extra time to examine each order continues to drive costs lower and customer satisfaction higher.  

On Investing In The Industry

Every company owes a debt to their industry for some of the success they enjoy. We believe in paying this back. It’s an investment like any other. We’ve identified what is important to us and are investing time, money or materials in those areas.

For young plant producers like James Greenhouses, being a part of the Floriculture Research Alliance is an obvious choice. This national group is on the cutting edge of production technology. It keeps our people sharp and current.
At the state level, we will stay involved with the Georgia Green Industry Association. Our time is limited, so we’ll contribute by growing gift plants for the annual Capitol Day event. This helps keep the specific needs of our industry on the minds of law makers.

At the local level, we support the University of Georgia by helping evaluate their breeding efforts and hosting class tours whenever asked. This type of goodwill continues to lead us to great employees and new product lines.    

Leave a Reply

More From Grow Initiative...
Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Arizona Apricot'

February 25, 2015

National Garden Bureau Designates 2015 As Year Of The Gaillardia

Gaillardia, also known as the blanket flower, is a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) and a long-blooming pollinator plant. It is fitting that the National Garden Bureau has specified 2015 as The Year of the Gaillardia.

Read More
IPPS Sharing Plant Production Knowledge Globally Logo

February 25, 2015

International Plant Propagators Western Region Sets Annual Meeting Date

The annual meet for the International Plant Propagators' Society (IPPS) Western Region has been set for this September. It will take place September 23 to 26 in Modesto, Calif., and will include learning sessions, tours to local nurseries, a research poster display and poster presentations, various networking opportunities and an awards banquet to close the event.

Read More
Evolvulus Blue My Mind

February 24, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bloomers For Greenhouse Production

Grow what consumers want! Surveys show that blue is one of the top preferred colors of today’s consumers. Here are twelve top recommended blue-flowering Proven Winners annuals and perennials to suit your spring production cycle.

Read More
Latest Stories

February 12, 2015

GROW Perspective: What Is It You Do Again?

The industry is very good at talking about what we do and how we do it, but has almost completely lost touch with talking about why this work is important. As an industry, we need to promote our professions as vital to healthier living.

Read More
bee photo

February 11, 2015

26 Ways Growers Improve The Green Industry

In Greenhouse Grower’s annual State Of The Industry Survey, we asked how your operation is living the GROW Initiative’s five pillars: How are you driving consumer success, cultivating new customers, demanding quality, investing in the industry and sharpening business management? Through your candid responses, we learned about some of the ideas you’ve implemented and steps you’re taking for 2015. Here are just a few.

Read More
Noble Foundation

February 3, 2015

Lloyd Noble Scholars Program Application Period Now Ope…

The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation is offering college students an opportunity to work side-by-side with the Noble Foundation’s renowned agricultural consultants and researchers through the Lloyd Noble Scholars in Agriculture program, a summer internship that provides students the opportunity to enhance their in-class education with real-world application and experiences.

Read More

January 7, 2015

GROW Summit 2014 Homes In On The Issues That Keep You U…

During Greenhouse Grower’s third annual GROW Summit in December a number of ideas, questions and calls-to-action transpired. Here are a few of the highlights.

Read More

January 6, 2015

Growers Resolve To Educate Public About Their Operation…

See what growers plan to work on for their 2015 business resolutions.

Read More

December 22, 2014

National Garden Bureau Launches Therapeutic Garden Prog…

National Garden Bureau has chosen the Growing Solutions Farm in Chicago as the first beneficiary of its annual fundraising effort "Growing For Futures."

Read More

December 19, 2014

Hydroponic Food Production Course Serves Up Life Lesson…

Students in the new HORT 331X Hydroponic Food Crop Production course at Iowa State University are producing more food than they can eat, so they began donating the vegetables they produce to a local food pantry and free meal program.

Read More

December 8, 2014

“The Cheapest Generation” Will Be Tomorrow&…

Members of the Millennial generation aren’t buying cars and houses the way their parents did, and according to a recent article from The Atlantic titled “The Cheapest Generation,” it might be more than an effect of a bad economy. So what does this mean for horticulture? Industry members weigh in.

Read More
Katie Nickolaus

November 25, 2014

Proven Winners Names 2014 Scholarship Winners

Looking to promote industry leaders of the future, Proven Winners has established a $15,000 scholarship program that awards students in three distinct areas - breeding, marketing and growing.

Read More

November 24, 2014

GROW Perspective: We Need To Think Bigger

Garry Grueber of Cultivaris and Global Breadfruit says the horticulture industry must evolve to help solve the problems of world hunger and food insecurity.

Read More

November 13, 2014

NY SunWorks’ Greenhouse Project Aims To Build 100 Labs …

NY SunWork's Greenhouse Project aims to build 100 labs by 2020. With 15 greenhouse project labs built and 11 more in development, it’s on its way to reaching that goal.

Read More

November 4, 2014

Millennials Rank Gardening Among Top 5 Leisure Activiti…

United Kingdom consumers, aged 25 to 35, have rated gardening as a top five favorite leisure activity.

Read More
Ken Altman

October 27, 2014

GROW Perspective: Why I Give Back To The Industry

Ken Altman of Altman Plants knows a thing or two about the green industry, including the importance of contributing to the industry he loves.

Read More

October 21, 2014

Plants, Gardens Of The Future Will Be Radically Differe…

Over the next 20 to 30 years, Garry Grueber of Cultivaris and Global Breadfruit says the horticulture industry will need to address such issues as population growth, feeding a hungry world, less availability of water and land resources, rampant climate change and increased focus on the environment and sustainability.

Read More

October 13, 2014

Costa Farms Celebrates Indoor Plant Week With A College…

Cost Farms kicks off 2014 Indoor Plant Week by sharing plants with college students amid song and dance.

Read More

October 7, 2014

Ohio State Horticulture Senior Receives Prestigious Shi…

Amy Miller, a senior majoring in horticulture at The Ohio State University, is the recipient of the 2014-15 Shinoda Scholar of the Year award.

Read More

September 2, 2014

Svensson Film Raises Awareness of Global Production Cha…

Anders Ludvigson, Svensson’s executive vice president, is on a mission to raise awareness of the challenge growers have producing more food using fewer resources. To start, he set out with a film crew to explore some of the climates where commercial greenhouse growers use the company’s products.

Read More

September 2, 2014

Six Lessons Learned From LeBron’s Decision 2.0

Die-hard Cavaliers fan and Cleveland native Bill Calkins explains how the headline-making decision LeBron James’ made to leave the Miami Heat and play in his hometown relates to your business.

Read More