Point Of Sale Systems

Point Of Sale Systems

For years, Fisher’s Gardens manager Brian Kocher understood the value of a point-of-sale (POS) system, but like many of his peers, he couldn’t justify the cost. Are you in the same boat?

What follows are three garden center retailers and their reasons why – even during uncertain economic times – they felt a POS system was a necessary purchase for their businesses to move forward.

The Support System

Kocher’s journey of adding a POS system to his garden center was a little thriftier than most, but still a significant ($8,000 to $10,000) investment.

“An opportunity presented itself,” Kocher says. “I was able to buy all of the hardware for a CounterPoint POS system at a garden center foreclosure sale.”

Many garden centers set up a system like this for its inventory control features, and Fisher’s Gardens in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, is no exception. “Inventory management was a big issue with us,” Kocher says. “When it’s all on paper or it’s in your head, you think you know what you have. Maybe you’re right, but most of the time you’re wrong.”

Fisher’s has been able to use the new system to provide accurate reports of what has sold and to whom it was sold. “That kind of stuff is very valuable and it also makes our management lives a little easier,” he says. “The old way was very laborious and time-intensive. Now with a couple of clicks, we know how many of items X, Y and Z we have or don’t have. It’s helped us a lot in reordering and preparing for next spring.”

The technologically savvy Kocher installed Fisher’s POS system on his own, but he is a big advocate of paying for additional technical support. “I can’t be there 24 hours just in case something goes wrong. If a glitch happens, my staff can call tech support and get things ironed out quickly,” he says.

Kocher says he is currently underutilizing the recently installed POS system, but Fisher’s Gardens is now set up to run gift cards and an updated (paperless) loyalty program.

Getting To Know Your Customer

Along with inventory control, customer management was a huge selling point for brothers Michael and Tony Valk at Evergreen of Johnson City in Tennessee. TheValk’s installed a SimPOS POS system in late December 2009.

“Our decision to purchase a system had much to do with our ability to better understand who our customer base is,” Michael says. “We’re familiar with them, but we pull from a five-city area and there are still unknown factors. We thought that the economy is tough and could get even more challenging in the future, so knowing who our customer is has never been more important.”

The Valks and the rest of the Evergreen staff also use their new system to collect e-mail addresses for all of their digital marketing.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to collect 4,700 e-mail addresses and we can e-mail out a newsletter to our customers whenever it’s necessary,” Michael says.

Prior to the POS system, Evergreen of Johnson City sent out a print newsletter to its customers, but increasing print-media rates dwindled its newsletter frequency down to three a year.

Michael adds the new POS system also has made things a little easier when it comes to monitoring house accounts, tax exempts and discounts.

“If we have a customer set up in the system as a senior or as a landscaper, they’re preset to receive a discount and our cashier doesn’t have to worry about making any errors,” he says.

“They don’t have to remember if the discount is 20 percent off of the sale price or the retail price. We’re putting our cashiers in a position where they can’t make a mistake on something like that.”

A Second Opinion

Before retailers like Fisher’s Gardens and Evergreen of Johnson City can improve inventory management or collect e-mail addresses, it’s best to do a good deal of homework before investing in a POS system. Just ask Paul Mostardi of Mostardi Nursery in Newton Square, Pa.

“Going from absolutely no POS system, it’s kind of like going from zero to 100 percent in terms of my knowledge with this new technology,” Mostardi says. “Not being in the game, it’s important to get as much information as you can from as many places as you can.”

Mostardi contacted a handful of local garden centers and other businesses to quiz them about their POS systems.

“The personal testimonials we got from the local businesses was basically the deciding factor for us,” he says. “We got an unbiased view and learned how it affected those businesses. We learned a lot from their experiences and how the support is from the POS companies they work with.”

Mostardi Nursery uses a POS Solutions system, currently with three up-and-running terminals, which complements a revamped checkout area.

“We’re strapped for space here, especially parking space, so it’s crucial for us to crank out customers through the checkout lines,” Mostardi says.

Additionally, Mostardi likes the flexibility the POS system offered his family’s business. “We started with just one register last year, which allowed us to not have to jump in head first, but have a piecemeal approach.”

Topics:

Leave a Reply

More From Departments...
Do It Big Book

July 6, 2015

Benary’s “Do It Big” Book On Big Begonias Is Available For Retailers

The "Do It Big" guidebook provides tips on combo plantings, containers and even recipes for food and relaxation. Retailers can use the book to give their customers unique ideas.

Read More
GCA Portland Tour

July 6, 2015

Next Year’s Garden Centers Of America Summer Tour Will Take Place In Portland

On the heels of last month’s tour of Milwaukee, Wis.-area retailers, GCA has announced that next year’s summer tour will take place in Portland, Ore., known as a hub of garden retail innovation.

Read More

July 2, 2015

At Great Risk, Ernest Wertheim Helps Others To Escape Nazi Germany [Book Excerpt]

Editor’s note: Ernest Wertheim met the famous Pastor Niemöller at his cousin’s wedding. Niemöller is credited with saying: “First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist. Then they came for the socialist, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.” Niemöller told Wertheim about a ski instructor at a mountain resort that was half in Germany and half in Czechoslovakia. Here is an excerpt from Wertheim’s memoir, Chasing Spring, that recounts why Wertheim, renowned for his love of […]

Read More
Latest Stories
Do It Big Book

July 6, 2015

Benary’s “Do It Big” Book On Big Bego…

The "Do It Big" guidebook provides tips on combo plantings, containers and even recipes for food and relaxation. Retailers can use the book to give their customers unique ideas.

Read More
GCA Portland Tour

July 6, 2015

Next Year’s Garden Centers Of America Summer Tour Will …

On the heels of last month’s tour of Milwaukee, Wis.-area retailers, GCA has announced that next year’s summer tour will take place in Portland, Ore., known as a hub of garden retail innovation.

Read More

July 2, 2015

At Great Risk, Ernest Wertheim Helps Others To Escape N…

Editor’s note: Ernest Wertheim met the famous Pastor Niemöller at his cousin’s wedding. Niemöller is credited with saying: “First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist. Then they came for the socialist, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.” Niemöller told Wertheim about a ski instructor at a mountain resort that was half in Germany and half in Czechoslovakia. Here is an excerpt from Wertheim’s memoir, Chasing Spring, that recounts why Wertheim, renowned for his love of […]

Read More
Petunia ‘Pink Halo Ray’ (Danziger)

July 2, 2015

Improve Your Plant Knowledge At 2015 Summer Show Classe…

Make plans to attend some of these educational presentations, seminars and panel discussions covering plant knowledge that will be taking place at this year’s conferences.

Read More

July 1, 2015

Marketing Classes At 2015 Summer Shows

Make plans to attend some of these educational presentations, seminars and panel discussions covering marketing that will be taking place at this year’s conferences.

Read More
Alden Lane Nursery Water Wise

July 1, 2015

Drought/Water Management Classes At 2015 Summer Shows

Make plans to attend some of these educational presentations, seminars and panel discussions covering drought and water management that will be taking place at this year’s conferences.

Read More

June 29, 2015

All-America Selections Releases 2015 Annual Report

The annuals, perennials and edibles that are All-America Selections winners can help every segment of the distribution chain sell more product because of a back story that explains what it takes to become an AAS winner.

Read More
Lloyd Traven

June 29, 2015

Peace Tree Farm’s Lloyd Traven Will Be A Keynote Speake…

Speaking on Wednesday, Aug. 5, Traven will offer a wake-up call for the industry on how to capture and engage young consumers.

Read More
Botanica Collection (Landmark Plastic)

June 29, 2015

New Products Debuting In Summer 2015 [Slideshow]

These new products will be making their debut at this summer’s retail shows. Be sure to stop by and visit their manufacturers while you’re walking the trade show floor.

Read More

June 26, 2015

Share Your Memories Of Pink Flamingos To Honor The Pass…

Tonight I will lift a glass to Donald Featherstone, who created the iconic plastic pink flamingo that became a symbol of kitsch or bad taste, depending on your sense of style. He died this week at age 79 (Click here to read his obituary from NPR). I’ve long had an affection for the tacky lawn art. I lived in Austin, Texas, throughout most of the 1980s and and early 90s. While living there, I often drove by a house that was far away from the epicenter of Keep Austin Weird, in a quiet established community known for interesting architecture, good schools and its well-heeled residents. This house stood out because it had a plastic pink flamingo, out of place in this pocket of good taste. Over a few months, the homeowner added more pink flamingos until it was a sizable flock. Did I mention his house was on a major thoroughfare? […]

Read More
Feature image

June 25, 2015

Ernest Wertheim Rescues His Father From An Early Concen…

After Wertheim's father was arrested when re-entered Germany after a lengthy absence in 1937, his family heard there may be a way to free him. Here is an excerpt from Wertheim's book, Chasing Spring, recounting what happened next.

Read More

June 25, 2015

Human Resources Classes At 2015 Summer Shows

Make plans to attend some of these educational presentations, seminars and panel discussions covering human resources that will be taking place at this year’s conferences

Read More
Chasing Spring and Its Not Just about the Hat

June 22, 2015

New Memoirs From Ernest Wertheim And Allan Armitage Off…

New books from garden center design expert Ernest Wertheim and plant expert Allan Armitage offer a glimpse into the two mens’ careers. More importantly, however, they also go into detail on each man’s life experiences that helped make them what they are today.

Read More
Hawthorne Gardening feature image

June 22, 2015

Scotts-MiracleGro’s Subsidiary Buys Hydroponic Co…

Scotts-MiracleGro’s Hawthorne Gardening Co. recently announced it has purchased General Hydroponic and Bio-Organic Solutions. The company is based in Santa Rosa, Calif., and is “popular with marijuana growers,” according to Columbus Business First. Hawthorne Gardening Co. was created in October 2014 and is led by Chris Hagedorn, the son of Scotts-MiracleGro CEO Jim Hagedorn. At the time, Scotts-MiracleGro said the division was created to serve a younger and more urban customer. Purchasing General Hydroponic will position Hawthorne to respond to the U.S. changing attitudes and laws to legal medical and recreational marijuana. Tom Knox’s article about the purchase in Columbus Business First says General Hydroponics supplies liquid fertilizers and has plants in California, West Virginia and France. You can read Scott’s press release on the purchase here.

Read More

June 21, 2015

Ian Baldwin’s Blog Spurs A Debate On What Matters…

Industry consultant Ian Baldwin wrote recently about the need to emphasize nature more in garden retail. He pointed out that most garden retailers would prefer to go backpacking or kayaking before going to a movie, yet that passion for nature rarely translates in their customers’ shopping experience. His comments stirred a vigorous debate about organic vs. local and how butterflies and wildlife marketing are working at the ground level. Read the debate below. If you would like to read the original block, click here. Ian, this an interesting dilemma. We have classes on creating a Backyard Wildlife and they are generally well attended, but I think the vast majority of gardeners consider these kinds of backyards to be too messy and unruly. Obviously this is a misconception and one that our industry could do a better job of clarifying. Keep up the good work, my friend. Steve Smith, Sunnyside Nursery The […]

Read More
Fire Ants

June 19, 2015

Imported Red Fire Ants Discovered At Delaware Garden Ce…

State agriculture officials made the discovery during an inspection of tropical plants imported from Florida. The state has issued an alert to local businesses reminding them to check any shipments they may be receiving.

Read More
Moana stacked pallets display

June 19, 2015

Display And Merchandising Classes At 2015 Summer Shows

Make plans to attend some of these educational presentations, seminars and panel discussions covering displays and merchandising that will be taking place at this year’s conferences.

Read More
Webinar Laptop Graphic

June 17, 2015

Webinar: Proven Ways To Protect Your Data From Hackers …

On June 4, Today’s Garden Center broadcast a webinar addressing ways garden retailers can increase their online security. Listen to the recording of the webinar, where our panel of experts discussed the steps you can take to ensure your business, your data, and your customers are safe.

Read More