For Andrew Clark of Harmony Garden Centre, integrating systems and automating processes is a key driver of their growth and success.
Purchasing is a necessary function of all retail businesses but has a tendency to trap staff in an office, particularly store managers. Andrew wanted to be out in the shop helping customers doing what he loves. He reached out to his technology providers for a solution that would get the job done in less time and free himself up for higher value activities.
Harmony Garden Centre and Florist is a successful retailer in Lauderdale, just outside of Hobart. Andrew and Angela Clark lead a team of dedicated staff who are proud to deliver great customer service and create special experiences for guests. They have led initiatives such as a farmer’s market for the local community and provide a wide range of services such as customer special orders and seasonal pre-orders. These initiatives contribute to the Harmony brand of being a destination retailer.
Since 2007 Univex has partnered with Harmony to provide POS, inventory, e-commerce and other technology solutions. Univex staff work closely with the Harmony team to help make operations run smoother, improve productivity, and open up new sales channels online.
EvergreenConnect is Australia’s premier plant ordering system, a website portal that connects retailers to growers. Garden Centres can browse plants and availability through the EvergreenConnect system and place orders, eliminating numerous phone calls to growers to find out what’s in stock.
Andrew had been ordering plants through EvergreenConnect for a number of months and wanted to further improve efficiency. He was facing concerns that many retail operators face:
- A desire to spend less time ordering and receiving goods, and spend more time doing what he is good at: helping customers enrich their lives through plants and gardening.
- A need to delegate more duties to staff so he could get out of the office and free himself up to visit other garden centres and engage with industry peers.
Having already helped achieved successful integrations to e-Commerce, Facebook, Instagram and Mailchimp systems, Andrew reached out to Univex to see what integration and automation was possible with EvergreenConnect.
Managing Director of Univex, Paul Filmer, reached out to Mathew Plummer, founder and manager of EvergreenConnect. Together their teams worked on an integration that would suit not just Harmony, but all other Univex garden centres now and in the future.
Within a short period of time a basic integration was set up, and soon after this was automated. Harmony staff did not need to get to get involved in this process. Univex took care of all the technical details, and delivered a working system to Andrew and his team.
Orders placed on EvergreenConnect download in to Univex automatically. Plants previously ordered are automatically matched between EvergreenConnect and Univex. For new plants these are easily created in Univex and pre-fill details from EvergreenConnect such as description, supplier and cost. Univex data entry for orders placed through EvergreenConnect has largely been eliminated. As more and more growers join EvergreenConnect, the benefits on Andrew’s business multiply, week after week, year after year.
Andrew Clark reports he is spending less time ordering and receiving goods. These benefits will be significant each Spring when significant ordering and selling activity takes place in a Garden Centre.
The benefits are broad. Because the plants arrive immediately in to the Univex system, the Harmony e-Commerce website showcases them sooner. Staff can promote these plants immediately through Instagram, Facebook, and email newsletters. Inventory turnover is improved with new stock able to be received and labelled sooner.
Today, Univex integrates to EvergreenConnect at numerous garden centres in Australia, where the time consumed in the purchasing process has dropped significantly. Any new garden centre onboarding with Univex has immediate access to this integration at no extra charge, and no time investment by the retailer. Univex works directly with EvergreenConnect to set everything up and train retail staff how it works.
It’s all about making life easier for retailers so they can focus on the things that matter.
“Univex is an awesome POS system which is fully integrated to our website with handy online support …great work guys 👏👏”
Facebook Review by Harmony Garden Centre