Mike Furlong, Ocean Breeze Farms, on inventory management software SMARTSystem

US (CA): “It is basically our interface to commerce”

Growing a good quality product requires a grower's full attention. However, what happens afterwards, like managing the inventory and customer base, shouldn't be forgotten either. "Not many growers give a lot of credit to what it does for their business", says Mike Furlong, Sales Manager at Ocean Breeze Farms. “It is basically our interface to commerce.”

For two years, this Californian flower grower has been looking for new inventory management software and finally found a system that was able to fulfill all their needs: SMARTSystem from Floral Computer Systems. “You can buy almost every program and force your people to work with it, but you can also give your staff a tool to allow them to do their job. That is the consideration you have to make.”

John, Mike, and Armando. 

Looking for a server-based system
Ocean Breeze Farms is located in Carpinteria and grows gerbera, mini gerbera, hydrangea, oriental hybrid lilies and a range of seasonal items on three properties on a total of 20 ha. They supply their products to traditional wholesalers who have been in the market for over 50 years, and also supply to the mass market, like bouquet makers, and to a few florists. “We have been looking for a system for two years as our old Windows based system was written 20 years ago. We were afraid no more updates would come, and having a system that isn't updated is a risk for our business.

Gerberas in the greenhouse at Ocean Breeze. 

When looking for a new system we discovered a lot of programs were web based, and they were extremely expensive as it was - and still is - a trend. As for us, we weren’t looking for a web-based program. At the time we purchased the system we didn't have the benefit of broadband internet, so we needed the reliability of a server-based program, so we could continue the business no matter the circumstances. But even last year, we were disconnected from the internet, due to fires and mudslides.”

Casey, Cagney and John of Floral Computer Systems. "These are the ladies that keep the show on the road", says John.

Interface to commerce
“After two years of searching, we found the SMARTSystem by Floral Computer Systems in late 2015, we felt this as a good alternative to replace our old system. It allows us to manage our inventory, our customer base and data and to give us a report of all of our sales. We are a grower, not a wholesaler, so we have a different demand than other clients of Floral Computer Systems. But what they sold us was practically perfect for us as a grower, comparing to all the other programs. The SMARTSystem is basically our interface to commerce, as we can fully focus on sales, our customers and our operation, and not worry about the program itself, because it is running clean and secure. It gives an opportunity to quickly process our sales every day. All of our paperwork like shipping labels are all completed through the system.”

Hydrangeas under shade cloth at Ocean Breeze.

"John Henderson, President of Floral Computer Systems understood that this system for us has to be operational at all times, so we have 24/7 tech support in case of an emergency. Although we haven’t had to make use of it so far, it is nice to know that help is always available. I am not sure larger companies could provide service as fast as they can.”

For more information:
Ocean Breeze Farms 
Mike Furlong

Floral Computer Systems 
John Henderson, President
2850 Swan Circle
Dunedin, Florida 34698
Office: 727-483-7451
Fax: 727-736-4215
E-mail: Marketing@floralcomputer.com  

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