Colasanti's Tropical Gardens is a monument in the Leamington region. The company has been around for decades and is well-known for being a garden centre and an entertainment centre, making it a tourist destination for families in southwestern Ontario. During the Canadian Greenhouse Conference Bus Tour, they showed how automation helps them.
If you want to play arcade games, mini golf, pet animals, have lunch, buy gifts or shop plants, it can all be done at Colasanti's. The 4th generation family business has been a monument in the region and provides family entertainment especially focused on younger children. This all in addition to their currently 3.5 acre greenhouse, providing tropical plants to their own retail operation and customers throughout Canada and the US. Especially their cactus plants are highly valued by their customers. In the next years their production will expand on a second location, so the focus can be on the entertainment at the current site.
During the Canadian Greenhouse Bus Tour, the company welcomed the 80 participants and explained how they are keeping their business up to date with challenges in the market like shortage on workers - an important topic since they work with over 170 people.
Thanks to the Dayforce app by Ceridian, the complete HRM system is now in sight. "This includes days off, scheduling and training information", Tammy Grant explained. "Employees have everything in sight and so do we. Our training schedules include mini tests so we can prove all employees have taken the necessary trainings and it is all in sight. In addition it is a complete payroll and HR system, so scheduling and days off can all be viewed by employees."
In addition also a second investment was made to use automation to help the company. The company started working with cash recycling solution Cashinfinity, enabling cash handling automation. "On a daily base we had 17 POS with money on the floor and counting done by our employees. It does not only save us time, it minimizes errors and increases the floats", they explain. "All data is reported in the system and it is logged who enters it in the morning and closes it off in the evening. Thanks to workers only having to dump their system in the machine, we've minimised errors. It was a big investment, but it is paying off in time and in worries."
Then Dennis Wiens, former grower, explained how he made the shift to IT manager - something fitting him well since whilst growing he also had to deal with data standards. Now he uses these skills to secure the data and help the company comply with the heavy standards applied by the payment card industry. This includes protection against ransomware and separating the networks used for sales from the ones used for desk work.