ERP serves a wide range of companies

Have you ever thought of a punchline the next day? Don’t you just hate that?

Last November, Greg Lafferty and I had dinner with some of the great folks from the OFA, the leading horticulture educational association in the United States. They were in town for their Grow & Sell for Profit Conference, which was held at Metrolina Greenhouses in Huntersville. (We sponsored lunch at the conference.)

During dinner, the conversation turned to how we became involved with the horticulture industry. Greg explained how we developed Grower Vertical for Sage ERP with Metrolina, setting up the story with how Enterprise Resource Planning systems are commonplace in traditional manufacturing industries. He gave examples of our current manufacturing customer base: everything from mattress label makers to a company that manufactures firearms for law enforcement.

(Of course, I thought of a punchline the next morning at work: Not only have we implemented software for the people who supply the mattress tags that say “Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law,” but also we helped a company that can enforce that tag. Hey, I never said it was a good punchline! Anyway …)

The idea was that greenhouse growers, in essence, are just another form of manufacturing, and Metrolina was interested in implementing Sage 500 ERP. To make an enjoyable over-dinner conversation short, we developed the Grower Vertical module with Metrolina to deal with the industry-specific nuances that separate them from traditional manufacturing.

Metrolina could have decided that since Sage 500 ERP didn’t work for them “out of the box,” that it wasn’t worth the effort. But Abe Van Wingerden, the CEO of Metrolina Greenhouses, knew that it was vitally important to have information flow freely throughout his organization. He even said so in a column in Grower Talks Magazine last year:

“What can you invest in? … Technology — invest in ways to drive efficiencies through
technology, like ERP systems to track your cost of doing business.”

The important thing is to think about how improving your company’s information flow will streamline your organization. Whether you think your company may be too small, or too specialized, Sage has an ERP system that can fit. And Practical can help develop it to suit your needs.

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