POS Systems: Adapting to the Technology Needs of Garden Centers
(as seen in Garden Center Magazine – June 2017, Increasing Profits)
No two garden centers are the same. A successful strategy used at one independent retailer could fail at the next. Ron Vanderhoff, vice president and general manager at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar, Calif., says the garden center industry is one of “independents,” and it needs tools that can adapt to the differences within it.
When it comes to inventory and point-of-sale systems, Rapid Garden POS systems can be customized and changed to meet the needs of the specific business using them. Vanderhoff said Roger’s Gardens has been using Rapid Garden POS for more than a decade, and the system has changed over time as his business has evolved.
“These customizations and enhancements are perhaps the biggest value of a strong retail partner; one who understands the lawn and garden industry and its intricacies,” he says. “Rapid Garden POS has multiple garden center accounts around the country. They seem to really understand our business and our industry niche. They don’t try to have us adapt to the practices of another industry.”
Roger’s Gardens has asked the company to make several customizations for their system specifically, which has enhanced the quality of the business and improved customer service. He said a few of the features they have created from the ground up include production kits, open-to-buy purchasing management and customer delivery scheduling.
“All of these are somewhat industry-specific, but really help Roger’s Gardens to operate and serve our customers more smoothly and productively,” Vanderhoff says. “Recently, they helped us move to a new ecommerce platform and [Rapid Garden POS was] there every step of the way, creating all the data connections and customizations that were necessary.”
One of the biggest challenges retail garden centers face, Vanderhoff says, is home delivery, and the task of keeping track of it typically is done through a “disconnected spreadsheet or more likely, through a lot of paper and clipboards on a wall.” However, Roger’s Gardens can now keep track of home deliveries in-system, he says.
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“An operator can now check delivery availability and schedule the ticket for delivery on a specific day,” Vanderhoff says. “The software ensures that the day cannot get over-booked.”
Working with this specific POS system has improved Roger’s Gardens, Vanderhoff says.
“Rapid Garden POS system is a tool for a business,” he says. “Like any tool, it is most valuable to those that use it wisely and thoughtfully in their endeavors. We think we are better merchants and a better business with the tools that fit our needs. I can’t imagine doing business without either of them.”