Green Valley Growers Offer “Passport to Paradise” with Koenig and Sage Pro
As recently as seven years ago, Green Valley Growers’ (GVG) 866 acres in southeast Texas were woods and pastures. Today, the company runs more than a million square feet of heated greenhouses, and has 400 acres in production, growing high-quality landscape and patio plants. Selling to independent garden centers, home centers and other retailers, GVG has become one of the largest wholesale nurseries in the nation.
Outgrowing Stand-alone Systems
Green Valley Growers started business with separate inventory management, order processing and spreadsheet systems. “Rekeying data multiple times added costs and allowed errors,” says Jim Hessler, president. “A fully integrated system became absolutely necessary.”
Koenig Software Systems customized and implemented a Sage Pro ERP solution to manage virtually all business operations at GVG. The application has automated payables and receivables, payroll and the general ledger. It also tracks customer orders, inventory, purchase orders, production and work orders.
Monitoring Millions of Plants
“We use Sage Pro to track each of our 10 million plants, including when they are propagated, moved, watered or fertilized,” says Hessler. “The software gives us a totally accurate accounting of individual costs, and how they vary throughout growing cycles.”
Koenig customized Sage Pro to capture costs on leftover plants from batch sales. “Each day a plant is here, it accrues costs,” explains Hessler. “Every fraction of a cent adds up when you’re dealing with the volumes we are.”
Once an order is entered into Sage Pro, the system checks inventory levels and places an order if stock is available. Item availability is retrieved from inventory, producing real-time counts. The Order Entry module transmits data to nursery docks, and generates pick tickets. These can be run by single order, full dock, or a range of docks, minimizing trips to the field.
Thanks to a custom interface written by Koenig, Sage Pro organizes pull slips so workers collect all plants for orders in one location, and determines how plants should be staged on the shipping dock. This reduces pick times dramatically. Picking orders also tell crews which dock to deliver plants to, and loading order.
A route schedule interface from Koenig determines the best shipping route for customers. The program shows which routes already have orders, and how much of a truck is still free, for faster and more efficient deliveries.
The Right Reports
Koenig automated standard reports that Sage Pro generates and emails at night. These include a weekly availability report for each salesperson. Since some of the larger home improvement stores may only purchase certain plants, the system creates availability reports that are unique to a store or region.
Helping Gardeners Grow
Hessler is certain that Sage Pro ERP was the right decision. “Sage Pro reduced redundant data entry, allowing us to achieve 35 percent growth in sales in one year while reducing office labor by 10 percent. Also, we now have much better financial information. The system makes it easy to get real-time cost information, which makes us more efficient and improves production planning decisions,” he says.
“The software also gives us better information for customers on upcoming production and future availability,” he continues. “This is a must when dealing with huge national chains, particularly during busy spring months. The system prevents us from promising plants we don’t have. With remote ordering, which is in final testing stages, we’ll trim several hours off of every order, a key factor in maintaining our competitive edge.”
It wasn’t just the software, however, that made Sage Pro ERP such a win for GVG. “Having the right business partner made all the difference in the world,” says Hessler. “Koenig took the time to truly understand our business, and then refined the software so it met our unique requirements. They are a big part of the reason Sage Pro ERP is such a success.”