BenchPress Profile: John Orendorff

BenchPress Profile: John Orendorff

John Orendorff is general manager and equity partner of GardenReady Solutions, a live goods logistics company in Texas that’s in its third year of operation. Orendorff worked for Wal-Mart for 15 years and became the company’s vice president of horticulture. His experience as a buyer for Wal-Mart sparked a desire to develop a model to streamline the supply chain in the live goods industry. GardenReady Solutions is his answer.

What was your take on the live goods industry as a vice president for Wal-Mart?

“Over my span of about 15 years at Wal-Mart and in my experience before, I noticed there was a lull in the marketplace about getting product to market. You were always handcuffed as a buyer, or even as a grower, getting certain products to market because you could never meet minimums. The funny thing is that everybody was looking at different ways to do deliveries because they knew the old way was archaic, and we were the last industry to go door to door.”

Why might some growers still be slower than others about adopting the cross-docking model for delivery?

“We’re a new concept, and I think that’s why we catch everyone a little bit leery. We’re a third party in the truest form, and everyone thinks we’re trying to buy something or be a re-wholesaler. The model really works like this: You cut your deal with the retailer–a big box or an Ace Hardware–and work out your prices. Then, all you have to do is get the truck full, palletize the product, buy the one-way freight to us and we’ll take care of it. We make all of the store appointments, we collect your racks for you–we do all of the things needed to get product to the stores.”

What are some other, less obvious benefits that growers receive through GardenReady solutions?

“Whether a grower had sold in a particular area before or not, GardenReady has now opened that area up for them. A lot of growers say, ‘I can’t go into Texas because I don’t have the distribution.’ The grower now has a horizon to say, ‘I can sell into Texas because I don’t have to worry about the logistics anymore.’ The synergy created through that also goes to the buyer, who can now buy, for example, gaillardia from Grower X and get gaillardia into the market. Growers don’t have to meet minimums; they just need to get them to GardenReady and we’ll get them into their stores for the weekend.”

How was business for GardenReady this spring?

“We were doing over 40 trailer loads a day of consolidated goods into the marketplace in our peak season. We have 53-footers, and we have drivers who have been delivering horticultural products for years now, and they’re very accustomed to plant material.”

How does the company manage trucking?

“We hire a dedicated logistics person, who works on our dock with our load builders. We’ll do a yearly contract. We tell them our needs and how many trailer loads we need by week. The good part about it is if we need more, we can ramp up. This time of the year, of course, with it being 98 degrees in Texas, it’s starting to slow down a little bit. So we have the ability to ramp down by having dedicated logistics.”

How difficult is it to strike a balance for the growers you serve in terms of when product is received and when it’s delivered?

“That’s probably the toughest part when we get busy. We have two shifts on our dock in the springtime, just making sure we turn that product. That’s always going to be a struggle, but we’ve proved this model works. It’s all about keeping the volume up and keeping growers informed about which markets we’re going to on what days.”

Does GardenReady have big expansion plans for the next few years?

We’re involved in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, a little bit of Missouri and Louisiana and New Mexico. We’re fairly centralized here in Texas. We have two docks open, and another will be open later this fall in Texas. We want to continue building volume in the Texas market. We’re going to try to move to involve more great growers. We’re looking at some places in the Midwest and over East.”

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “BenchPress Profile: John Orendorff

  1. Hey John
    Good luck with the expansion. Have family in Texas (Houston, San Antonio) and Oklahoma let me know how I can help.
    Nice picture
    The other John Orendorff

  2. Hey John
    Good luck with the expansion. Have family in Texas (Houston, San Antonio) and Oklahoma let me know how I can help.
    Nice picture
    The other John Orendorff

More From State of the Industry...
Lavandula 'Meerlo' (Sunset Western Garden Collection)

March 3, 2015

Why You Will Still Grow Today’s Big Perennial 10 Years From Now

What will be the next big perennial? Breeders say it takes more than a splashy plant to distinguish itself in the market. Therefore, the question is not what will be the next big perennial, but rather what perennial performs well enough in the garden to have staying power in the market for years to come.

Read More

March 2, 2015

Avoid Surprises On The Delivery Dock

A call in advance about problems with a plant shipment to a retailer you supply goes a long way toward customer satisfaction.

Read More
Janeen Wright

March 2, 2015

Deliver Plant Quality That Trumps Price [Opinion]

The industry's goal is to have loyal customers who return to the same plants time and time again, not because of price, but owing to a plant brand that shouts top-notch garden performance and is synonymous with excellence, which gives them the secure knowledge that their investment will be worth every hard-earned cent.

Read More
Latest Stories
Greenhouse Grower State of the Industry

February 2, 2015

Download Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 State Of The In…

The Greenhouse Grower 2015 State Of The Industry Whitepaper includes all the results of the survey, including comparisons on 2014 sales to past years, details on how 2015 production volume and prices will compare to 2014, crops that growers will increase and decrease production on, where growers stand on using neonicotinoids on crops, how many growers will pursue growing medical marijuana and more.

Read More

January 27, 2015

Benchmarks: Let’s Change Our Story

It's a new year. Time for our industry to change how consumers perceive plants by creating a new reality where plants are valued for more than their physical beauty.

Read More

January 21, 2015

AFE Wins Platinum MarCom Award For “Murder, Sex a…

The American Floral Endowment (AFE) took home its fourth award for the animated awareness video "Murder, Sex and Greed." The organization also recently announced that there are two new members on its board of trustees.

Read More
Greenhouse Grower State of the Industry

January 19, 2015

2015 State Of The Industry: Current Green Industry Tren…

Demand for green industry products and services is forecasted to increase in coming years as the housing market rebounds.

Read More

January 14, 2015

Terra Nigra Joins DNA Green Group

DNA Green Group will be expanding its range of cut flowers by incorporating Terra Nigra, a company specializing in breeding and propagation of gerberas and roses.

Read More

January 14, 2015

Florensis Receives Horticultural Entrepreneur Award

During the January 7, 2015 award ceremony in the Keukenhof, in Lisse, Netherlands, Florensis received the Horticultural Entrepreneur Award. Florensis was one of four nominated companies, which also included Arcadia BV, Artemis and Martens Asperges.

Read More
AmericanHort

January 9, 2015

AmericanHort Celebrates Its First Birthday

AmericanHort was formally launched one year ago on January 1, 2014, and the association is celebrating numerous successes of the first year.

Read More
Carol Miller

January 7, 2015

We’re All In This Together

Growers and retailers have a common goal — to serve customers better. In this new column, Greenhouse Grower will take a look at ways growers and retailers can work together to take advantage of profit opportunities and better meet customer needs.

Read More

January 7, 2015

Industry Speaks Out Against “Waters Of The U.S.” Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule change to the Clean Water Act, known as “waters of the U.S.,” has the potential to disrupt normal business practices for growers across the country.

Read More

January 7, 2015

Students Tackle Real-Life Challenges At National FFA Fl…

Top prize winners put skills learned in the classroom to the test at the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Floriculture Career Development Event.

Read More
Lesley Judd

January 7, 2015

2014 Meister Scholarship Awarded To Ph.D Student

The Richard T. Meister Scholarship was awarded to Lesley Judd, a graduate student with a passion for horticulture and a desire to pass her knowledge along through teaching.

Read More

January 6, 2015

39th Annual Today’s Horticulture Symposium Will Be Febr…

The Professional Gardener Alumni Association (PGAA) will hold the 39th Annual Today’s Horticulture Symposium program will be on February 6, 2015 from 8 a.m. or 4 p.m. in the Ballroom at Longwood Gardens, and will feature an array of engaging speakers.

Read More
Shawn McBurney

January 6, 2015

Society Of American Florists Hires New Lobbyist

Shawn McBurney joined the Society of American Florists' (SAF) staff starting January 5 as the new senior director of government relations.

Read More
Greenhouse Grower State of the Industry

January 5, 2015

Growers Are Optimistic For A Strong Year In 2015

Greenhouse Grower’s State Of The Industry survey reveals that growers are being cautious about the inputs they use, and they’re worried about input costs and regulation, but enthusiastic about the rebounding economy.

Read More
Greenhouse Grower State of the Industry

January 5, 2015

The 2015 State Of The Greenhouse Industry: Numbers At A…

Greenhouse Grower's 2015 State Of The Industry Survey shows some promising trends for the new year. Here's a look at the greenhouse market for 2015.

Read More
Greenhouse Grower State of the Industry

January 5, 2015

Suppliers Will Increase Prices, Grower Education For 20…

Vendors' expectations are high for 2015, according to their responses on Greenhouse Grower's 2015 State Of The Industry Survey.

Read More
Greenhouse Grower State of the Industry

December 31, 2014

2015 State Of The Industry: Major Changes In Washington…

Immigration, tax and regulatory reforms are a few important issues to watch in 2015. Still, the horticulture industry is on the threshold of change and has reason to be optimistic.

Read More
Greenhouse Grower State of the Industry

December 31, 2014

2015 State Of The Industry: 2015 Brings More Debate On …

Pollinator health dominated regulatory discussions in 2014 and will continue to do so in 2015. Expect to see another busy year of regulatory changes and research.

Read More