6agriculture

Measurable labor and productivity improvements help grower see more green

This wholesale plant grower and distributor needed to prune its labor expenses and increase the performance of its workforce. The Powers Company worked from the ground up to establish measures of productivity, set expectations, coach supervisory skills and cultivate leadership. As a result, the company has reaped bottom-line benefits from sustainable labor savings, a higher volume capacity and a nearly 4-to-1 return on its consulting investment.

Our client is a South Carolina-based wholesale grower and distributor of perennial and groundcover plants. It sells some 14 million plants annually to national retail garden centers, such as Lowe’s, Home Depot and Walmart, and to other specialty growers and distributors. The company’s farm operations require crews of workers to tend to plants throughout the year. However, the wholesale flower business is highly seasonal: The 10-week peak selling season (April 1 to mid-June) accounts for 53 percent of sales. During this time, workers with tractors and trailers are given a pick list with the numbers and types of plants needed each day. Plants are then taken to shipping, assembled by order, placed on carts, directed to the appropriate trucks and dispatched for delivery.

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