Cut Flower and New Tech


To : Cut Flower Wholesalers looking to replace old Technology

From : Mel Carney 800 – 711- 7374

Date : June 10, 2014

Topic : The History of PDSI and the

Cut Flower Industry

WOW”, was the first reaction that a Cut Flower Wholesaler had, when they saw the attached list of software features for the Cut Flower Industry.

Every demonstration that they had seen, had been filled with drills, drill bits, and screws. In a ProTrac demonstrations he was only seeing, Stems and Floral Supplies. Instead of Contract Orders they were seeing Standing Orders, Holiday Orders, Freight charges, Delivery Charges, and reports that only a Cut Flower Wholesaler could love and understand.

Yes, Professional Data Systems, Inc. had come a long way since that first call from a Cut Flower Wholesaler in 2005. Since installing that wholesaler we have been designing and writing software for the Cut Flower Industry. The result of all of that effort is summarized on the following pages:

    • One of the first programs that we worked on for Cut Flower was Order Entry. It was rewritten to make it faster for a very busy Holiday morning
    • Then we added a faster and more responsive Query programs
    • Qty based pricing by stem and by customer was added
    • 180 Characters of notes may be added to each line on a sales order
      • A Sur-ChargeWith a Cap if required
      • Delivery ChargeFlat Charge for every delivery
    • Added a Freight Cost to each inventory item
      • We display the stem’s freight charge in the Trial Purchase Order
      • We display the total cost of freight on the Trial Purchase Order
      • When the shipper arrives and is posted the freight cost is rolled into the Average Cost of the stem.  ProTrac prices, using the Average Cost
      • Set up all varieties and colors to display in Order Entry
      • Print Variety and color on the Pick Ticket
      • Print Variety and color on the Invoice
      • Print Variety and Color on Customer Purchases for last year’s Holiday or Event
    • Added an Electronic Invoice
      • Electronic Invoice has the company logo and messages
      • The invoice can be printed and emailed
      • No more stamps or handling, it is all done electronically
      • Can send out a group of Electronic Invoices to one customer
    • Added an Electronic Statement
      • An electronic statement reduces printing
      • Reduces mailing costs
      • Reduces handling
      • Can be emailed with Electronic Invoices out of ProTrac
    • Copy a Purchase Order for Standing PO’s
      • 180 characters of Notes can be keyed for each line of a purchase order
      • The notes stay with the purchase order line
      • The inventory record for a line on a PO can be displayed with the # of products on hand and available
      • If the floral supply item on the PO has an alternate number, one keystroke will display how much inventory you have on hand of the alternate item
      • You can purchase by vendor or by a Product Line or Class, ie Glass, Candles, Ribbons and etc.
    • A Holiday and Special Event Code for both Order Entry and Purchasing
      • Valentine’s Day 2009 might have a code of Val2009
      • This code is accessed from both Order Entry and from Purchasing
      • A report can be run that tells the wholesaler how many stems are on order from the customer
      • How many Stems are in the cooler and how many Stems are on a Purchase Order
      • How many stems do they need to order to fill their Open Order, Holiday order, or just released Standing Orders
    • Internet Ordering by Florists
      • A florist can access your inventory via Pro Linc Software.  Anytime day or night
      • They can set up favorite orders and select an order without having to rekey the items
      • They can also select new stems or floral supplies
      • They can search for new stems or floral supplies
      • They can do an aging on their account
      • They can only see their open orders and they cannot change them
      • When they order via the Internet a picking ticket is generated at your company
    • An Inventory Requirement Report which eliminates the need for future orders messages to be written on White Boards, Sticky Notes, Excel Documents, and on stacks of 18” Legal Yellow Pads
    • A Customer Purchases Report / Letter can be mailed or faxed to a customer to let them know what they purchased for a Holiday, Special event, or Date Range,.
    • Bucket Trucks have been added to ProTrac
      • A bucket truck can be equipped with ProTrac, a laptop, and a printer
      • The driver keys the order on the laptop, gives the customer the paperwork, and uses a cellular connection to electronically ship that order directly to the HQ server.
      • This system is working in the hills of North Carolina

The Proof is in the Doing: Within a year of installing ProTrac, one of our customers

  • Dropped their employee costs by almost 2 % points, 11.7 to 9.6.  No one was fired.
  • The system helped the wholesaler
    • Increase revenue dollars
    • Reduce expenses
    • Reduce overtime hours.

The wholesaler has reduced the amount of time that he has to spend on the floor, because the system lets the employees take ownership of their jobs. With more time to manage, he has purchased a new building and will be moving in the next 4-5 months. He is getting rid of products that don’t sell or has a low profit margin and he is replacing those items with products which turns more profit, Using ProTrac lets him spend more time with his family, because the system is in place to give him that freedom. He says that ProTrac gives him a Business Model to run his company.

  • The SRs are helping with collections. One of the advantages of keying an order into ProTrac is the Account Receivable information is presented on the Order Entry screen. In Order Entry the SR can see the customer’s aging, open orders, and the # of days that an invoice is past due. He encourages the SRs to talk with their “favorite customer” and ask them pay their bill. As a result of their efforts, the company’s Accounts Receivable total and the Average Days to Pay have been reduced to well under 30 days.
  • Before he put in ProTrac, he was using an older UNIX system.  He was spending his time on the floor, micro-managing.  At the end of the day there was little energy or interest in taking time to review or make changes in their operational process.
  • Today he has time to manage the business and make more profit. Our customer has used technology to help him cut expenses while helping his people increase his sales revenue. Today his people spend less time to achieve more profitable sales.
  • He has fired a lot of overtime, which helps him reduce his employee expense.

ProTrac Information: As a company we look on the Cut Flower Wholesale Industry as a significant part of the future of our company. Since 1991 we have installed over 200 distributors in 44 states. The majority of these companies are a part of the hard goods distribution industry. Starting in 2005 we combined the business processes that are a part of the Cut Flower Industry and the knowledge gained from years of experience installing hard goods customers.  We were able to refine ProTrac and make it “the software” for Cut Flower Wholesalers

Our Website has a significant portion dedicated to the Cut Flower Wholesalers.

Click on and be taken to our Cut Flower Website.

We hope that you too will be saying “WOW” when you review this information.

Mel Carney 800-711-7374

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