Classic Groundcovers is a wholesale nursery based in Athens, Georgia selling plants to to nurseries, re-wholesalers and landscape contractors across the USA. The company ships over 100 varieties of quality ground cover plants and perennials to customers and operates a fast and responsive service; with orders shipped either the same or the next day.
Spring is the company’s busiest time of year and this year, sales were exceptional. The coronavirus pandemic hit the USA in March, forcing people to stay at home in lockdown for several months. Many turned to gardening, which increased demand for plants, and provided a surge in sales for Classic Groundcovers.
The Business Challenges
One of the major challenges for Classic Groundcovers was managing the high volumes of orders, because the orders were all processed manually.
Amy Milton, the company’s office manager and sales coordinator said, “Every spring is a busy time as we are generally inundated with orders. When we receive orders from wholesalers by telephone or email, I key in the orders into an online system, check with the wholesaler is the order is correct, before assigning a shipping date and raising an invoice. When order volumes are high, these processes can take up to 12 hours a day of administration. Our goal for this Spring was to automate the order processing, reduce our administration and be in a position to handle even more orders and further develop the business.”
Classic Groundcovers approached its software supplier Groware for advice. Groware is a leading supplier of software that helps growers of trees and shrubs and nursery owners across North America produce and maintain accurate inventories of their trees, shrubs, foliage and plant materials, and to support the day to day management of their businesses.
A couple of years ago, Groware partnered with global IT company Bluefinity International and used its low code/no code rapid app development platform Evoke, to create mobile app versions of its inventory management software, which has improved inventory management for its customers.
The company had found Evoke easy to use, affordable and unlike other app development solutions, Evoke integrated seamlessly with the company’s Oracle database allowing the company to its existing code to build their app so there was no requirement for additional code writing.
Groware recommended that Classic Groundcovers could also benefit from using Evoke to create and deploy an app that would automate its processing and save the company hours of administration and costs.
Evoke is a rapid App development platform designed to provide for the fast development and deployment of mobile, desktop and web apps. Using Evoke, companies can use their existing staff to create and deploy web, hybrid, and native apps quickly and easily. Evoke uses a single app design and code base and point and click technology to enable apps to be created for multiple device types, databases and operating systems including iPads, iPhones, Android and Windows phones and tablets, plus Windows, Linux and Apple desktops.
Getting up and running
With spring approaching fast, Classic Groundcovers had to move quickly to build and deploy the app. With extensive support from the team at BlueFinity, the company was able to develop and test the new app within just 90 days.
Amy explained, “We started the app development process with BlueFinity in February and by April, the app was ready – just before our sales went through the roof because of the pandemic.
“Using Evoke, we created an app that integrates with our order management system and data, automating our orders. Orders are sent into the system directly and verified with the customer. A shipping date is then assigned, saving a huge amount of administration time, and eliminating any errors from the process. Streamlining these processes has halved my administration time and made it less stressful.”
“The team at BlueFinity was fantastic – they gave us so much development time and technical support throughout the entire project, ensuring that the app integrated with all our data seamlessly. They also helped one of our biggest wholesalers get set up with the Evoke app too. This proved to be a smart move, as we received a record 3000 orders from them this spring.”
“Using Evoke has been transformative for the business. This spring, we increased our sales volumes significantly and I do not think we could have manged without the app and the automation in place. We plan to further develop the functionality of the app next year to create a seamless end to end order processing and fulfilment system – in good time for next spring.”
Bob Markowitz, sales executive at BlueFinity International says, “We are delighted to have worked with Classic Groundcovers to develop this business-critical app which has automated their sales orders and helped them achieve record sales this Spring. This demonstrates our low code/no code platform Evoke can simplify and speed up the app development process and enable businesses to become far more productive, efficient and competitive.”