If your standard, off-the-shelf accounting software program and Excel inventory sheets just aren’t cutting it anymore, maybe it’s time to look at a computer software program developed for commercial growers. Here are some software programs designed to handle the variables and intricacies that are unique to commercial growers’ businesses.
The GrowerLive software program for growers was released by Innovative Technologies Group Inc. in 2007. The software program was developed for Rick Brown, owner of Riverview Flower Farm in Riverview, Fla., who produces annuals and perennials for The Home Depot. Since releasing the software the company has added additional growers, including citrus and sod producers. Most of the growers sell to big box stores, including Lowe’s, The Home Depot and Walmart. They also serve smaller retail chains and independents, including John Deere Landscapes, Meijer and Thrifty Mart.
“GrowerLive is an inventory program and also a fulfillment-replenishment system for pay-by-scan,” says Innovative Technologies Group vice president Deke Darsey. “It can be used with or without pay-by-scan. GrowerLive has a seamless electronic document interchange (EDI) built in. This enables the growers to scan data and payment details from the big box stores.”
The software program is web-based and can be accessed from any internet device including iPad, iPhone and web browser.
“It shows the order writer at the farm everything about the store,” Darsey says. “It’s a tool for replenishment and it also tracks inventory at the farm. As product is shipped, the program removes it from inventory and then it shows up in the store inventory. There is no guesswork involved.
“It can also run accountability reports on what the store merchandisers did for the day. It gives the time and day and the inventory that was counted. The merchandisers can take pictures of the displays so management can see that the merchandisers are doing their jobs correctly. Based on what’s sold and the sell-through, the order writer at the farm knows exactly what to put in of each item.”
The GrowerLive program also includes a truck routing and dispatch system, which enables growers to route their trucks and assign drivers whether they are third party or in-house trucks.
The program doesn’t do accounting, but it can integrate with all of the major accounting programs depending on what the grower is using.
Integrated Production Module
Darsey says his company is currently working on a production module that is expected to be released by the end of this year. The production program will be integrated into the GrowerLive core package.
“Some growers don’t care about just-in-time ordering on supplies, but the capability will be there with the production program,” Darsey says. “All of the specific details will be available, including when they need to order pots and fertilizer and how much and when they need to plant based on the growing time. The new production program will kick out an order report of what the grower needs for the upcoming year so that suppliers will know what needs to be supplied and when they need to supply it.”
Visit GrowerLive to see an online demonstration.