Starcom Computer Corp.’s Enterprise Software Handles Everything From Production To Shipping

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.

Starcom Computer Corp.

Starcom Computer Corp. released the first version of its software package for growers in the mid-1980s. Company president Sharon Nuss, says growers in Washington were running into challenges with the complexity of inventory management that off-the-shelf accounting packages couldn’t handle.

“Initially it was internal management, internal processes needing efficiency,” Nuss says. “At that time, the big box stores weren’t the big players that they are now. But as the chain stores became a more important part of the industry, being able to keep up with their requirements became mission critical.”

Nuss says her company’s software program has evolved to become a fully comprehensive enterprise resource planning (ERP) package that can tie everything together.

Dashboards are designed so an owner or manager can look at an analysis of graphs, charts and data that are a quick snapshot of where the company is now, in relation to where the company should be. Photo courtesy of Starcom Software
Dashboards are designed so an owner or manager can look at an analysis of graphs, charts and data that are a quick snapshot of where the company is now, in relation to where the company should be.
Photo courtesy of Starcom Software

“That’s a fancy term for it handles everything,” she says. “If you were to look at a flow chart with some sort of departmental integration diagram it would support all information management in each specific department. It is able to integrate all of the departments together to mimic the flow necessary from production through planting, spacing, materials management, purchasing, inventory control, sales, shipping, accounting and costing.

“Most growers are growing a mix of product so they have to have a system that is flexible enough to line up with what they need to do in each product sector. Everything feeds off of a schedule that changes a lot. Growers don’t plan what they are going to produce just once and they’re done with it. It’s an ever moving target.”

The New Frontier

Nuss says most growers have three significant pain points trying to operate their businesses:

1. Shipping/staging processes.

2. Inventory management with accurate availability.

3. Integrating production planning and purchasing.

“The chain stores add a whole new challenge,” she says. “They are demanding more growers take responsibility for replenishment analysis. To be able to really quickly distribute inventory and create replenishment shipments that integrate into the growers’ internal shipping and internal availability is the new frontier. More and more capabilities are going mobile with integration on your tablet or phone.”

Nuss encourages growers who have avoided looking at grower software programs to consider what they can do for their operations.

“Sometimes technology can seem more intimidating then it needs to be,” she says. “I have consulted with customers who implement improvements and new capabilities every year that build on the previous foundation. When I see where they are now compared to where they were when we first started, it’s amazing. I see other growers who are afraid to stick their foot in the water and they are getting farther and farther behind. It is becoming harder to catch up. People need to be encouraged to jump in.”

For more: Starcom Computer Corp., www.starcomsoft.com.

 

Leave a Reply

More From Business Management...
Vogel Alcove NGB Therapeutic Grant Winner

September 27, 2016

National Garden Bureau Announces Horticulture Therapy Garden Grant Winners

The NGB’s annual grant program, Growing for Futures, recently selected three therapeutic gardens that will receive grants totaling $5,000.

Read More
cuttings-facility

September 27, 2016

How Global Suppliers Of Unrooted Cuttings Are Working To Improve The Pipeline

The world’s top vegetative producers discuss how they continue to evolve to overcome challenges and embrace opportunities to help growers and the varieties supply chain.

Read More
Employees separate the plants by stem count, bud development and height. “This process allows us to respond more quickly to specific requests from customers,” Van Wingerden says

September 22, 2016

AmericanHort Hosting Webinar On Overtime Rule Compliance

The webinar takes place on Thursday, Sept. 29. AmericanHort is also throwing its support behind the Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act.

Read More
Latest Stories
Vogel Alcove NGB Therapeutic Grant Winner

September 27, 2016

National Garden Bureau Announces Horticulture Therapy G…

The NGB’s annual grant program, Growing for Futures, recently selected three therapeutic gardens that will receive grants totaling $5,000.

Read More
cuttings-facility

September 27, 2016

How Global Suppliers Of Unrooted Cuttings Are Working T…

The world’s top vegetative producers discuss how they continue to evolve to overcome challenges and embrace opportunities to help growers and the varieties supply chain.

Read More
Employees separate the plants by stem count, bud development and height. “This process allows us to respond more quickly to specific requests from customers,” Van Wingerden says

September 22, 2016

AmericanHort Hosting Webinar On Overtime Rule Complianc…

The webinar takes place on Thursday, Sept. 29. AmericanHort is also throwing its support behind the Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act.

Read More
customer-base

September 21, 2016

6 Creative Ways To Expand Your Business

Marketing experts offer tips to help you catch the attention of new customers and grow your business.

Read More
OSU ATI Greenhouse

September 21, 2016

Your Support Is Essential For Current And Future Studen…

September is back to school time, and that means renewed opportunity to support the young people who are electing to pursue careers in horticulture. I continue to hear from growers of all sizes, from all over the country, that there just are not enough qualified graduates of two- or four-year horticulture programs. We also need to be active in promoting careers in horticulture to those who are not aware of the opportunities available. There have been some great success stories in this area recently. At University of Florida (UF) last fall, Anna Ball and Dr. Marvin Miller of Ball Horticultural Co. joined UF’s Dr. David Clark in an introductory environmental horticulture couse that’s open to any major. After the class, the line of students waiting to talk with Ball, Miller, and Clark was out the door. It is so important, Ball says, for each of us, individually and collectively to […]

Read More
Pansy ‘Cool Wave Blue Skies’ (Wave)

September 20, 2016

PanAmerican Seed Settles Alleged Trade Sanction Violati…

PanAmerican Seed, a division of Ball Horticultural Co., has been charged with violating trade sanctions to Iran over a number of years. According to a release from the U.S. Treasury department, PanAmerican Seed made 48 indirect sales of seeds to two Iranian distributors. The company shipped the seed to consignees based in countries in Europe and the Middle East. PanAmerican Seed’s customers then arranged for the re-exportation of the seeds to Iran. The release states that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) determined PanAmerican Seed did not voluntarily self-disclose the alleged violations to OFAC, constituting an egregious case. “We believe that the settlement was extreme; however the alternative was to litigate with the U.S. government, which would take months, if not years,” says Todd Billings, Chief Financial Officer for Ball Horticultural Co. When asked what Ball Horticultural Co. has done to ensure that violations to trade sanctions do not […]

Read More
young-plants

September 20, 2016

The Top Young Plant Growers, And Four Critical Challeng…

In Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Top Young Plant Growers Survey, growers discuss the latest challenges and opportunities in fulfillment, shipping, labor, and crop protection.

Read More
Dual Income No Kids (DINK) Young Couple

September 16, 2016

What You Need To Know About DINKs

DINKs (Dual Income, No Kids) are quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing demographics that marketers are targeting.

Read More
MANTS

September 15, 2016

Registration Is Now Open For MANTS 2017 In Baltimore

The 2017 Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show takes place Jan. 11-13 in Baltimore, MD, and will feature more than 1,000 exhibitors from the green industry.

Read More
farwest-2016-photobooth

September 14, 2016

Farwest 2016 Marked By Expert Discussions On Green Indu…

Attendance at the 2016 Farwest Show in Portland was up 6% from last year, as visitors sought to learn more about emergent market opportunities.

Read More
Workers at Golden State Bulb Growers clean Calla tubers and select the best quality bulbs, placing them on conveyors to be graded, counted and sorted in the new system

September 13, 2016

Newly Signed California Law Expands Overtime To Farmwor…

The new law, which will be phased in beginning in 2019, is the first of its kind in the nation to end the 80-year-old practice of applying separate labor rules to agricultural laborers.

Read More
RISE New Governing Board 2016

September 11, 2016

RISE Appoints New Leadership, Hands Out Awards During 2…

“Our members’ enthusiasm is high, and we had great engagement as we work together to set objectives for 2017 and beyond,” said Aaron Hobbs, RISE President. “Our work ensures a vibrant future for our industry, so we can continue to deliver cutting-edge solutions to solve people’s pest and plant health problems.”

Read More
Workers at The Farm at Green Village

September 10, 2016

Now Is The Best Time To Demand Federal H-2B Program Sup…

Congress is expected to pass a continuing resolution spending bill in the near future, and whether or not that measure includes an H-2B returning worker exemption could impact your labor supply for 2017.

Read More
Cavicchio Greenhouses

September 6, 2016

Cavicchio Greenhouses Wins Inaugural Sustainability Awa…

The Sudbury, MA, growing operation sustains more than 250 acres of annuals, perennials, and nursery stock, with a number of practices to mitigate its impact on the environment.

Read More
Charlie Hall Feature Image

September 6, 2016

10 Insights From Charlie Hall’s Green Industry Economic…

With the uncertain current economic climate, Texas A&M economist Charlie Hall says now may be the perfect time to invest — as long as you do it smartly.

Read More
Increased customer demand led Good Harvest Farms to add hydroponic lettuce in 2000

September 3, 2016

Are You A Leafy Greens Grower? If So, Take This Survey!

A team of researchers from several universities is looking for feedback from leafy greens and herb growers.

Read More
Michigan State University Employee Handbook

September 2, 2016

Why You Might Need An Employee Handbook For Your Greenh…

Employee handbooks are not just for big greenhouse operations that employ large numbers of workers. According to a Michigan State University expert, they are an important human resources management tool that all growers should have.

Read More
Griffin Onliant Logo

August 30, 2016

Griffin Launches New Digital Greenhouse Ordering System

Onliant, which replaces Griffin’s previous e-commerce sites, provides growers and retailers with a new platform to source plants, hard goods, equipment, and retail inputs.

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