3 Solutions to landscaper’s supply challenges during the Plantdemic (via GoMaterials)
It was the perfect storm for the green industry.
This year started with an already limited supply.
Then, as demand continued to climb, southern nurseries were hit by winter storm Uri, and many shrubs, trees, and perennials were killed or damaged.
As a result, plant nurseries already dealing with unprecedented demand from consumers and landscape professionals are now experiencing intense inventory shortages.
Experts are calling the situation a ‘plantdemic’. Business is booming, but landscapers face the day-to-day obstacle of sourcing.
The nationwide plant shortage doesn’t look like it will end anytime soon.
“This is the biggest demand we have experienced in our industry,” says Christian Amerson, Vice President, Amerson Landscape Inc. in Florida. “And to keep up, we must find more efficient ways to manage the green industry supply chain.”
Fortunately, there are solutions to ease the strain of the plantdemic, and landscapers across the U.S. are discovering new resources and innovations to help their business thrive in the new pandemic economy.
“Sourcing plant material is a huge drain on time and resources for most landscaping businesses. It’s just better to let someone else do the dirty work,” says John Amarosa, General Manager, Pine Lake Nursery & Landscape, Inc. in Florida.
Landscaping supply chain start-up GoMaterials, which recently expanded into Texas, offers a no-cost solution for landscapers struggling to find plants.
The company provides the services, technology, and logistics to source high-demand plant materials efficiently for landscape professionals.
They source wholesale plants, trees, palms, and shrubs from hundreds of verified wholesale nurseries from Texas, Florida, or across the U.S. and Canada.
“Wrong materials, wrong dates, last-minute no-shows, and the hassle to find replacements – it’s all part of the job, but it shouldn’t be,” says Marc Elliott, CEO of GoMaterials. “We make efficient and hassle-free jobs the norm, not the exception.”
GoMaterials sources products from a large selection of vetted nursery growers.
Landscape companies can send in a plant list for bid or installation, and the GoMaterials customer service team will take care of the rest.
Amarosa continues, “I have a lot of things to worry about. Being able to take the worry of procurement off of my plate has enabled me to pursue new contracts, manage my staff, and run my business better.”
Use Technology Strategically
Increased access to information throughout the supply chain, from inventory to pricing, can improve efficiency, consistency, and quality—which means more happy customers served.
If juggling multiple programs and systems to order materials needed for projects is the norm, it’s time to streamline the process.
Using a single integrated technology solution not only saves time spent toggling and “translating” tasks between programs but gives a centralized location for all business information tied to procurement.
“I know it can be difficult to implement new technology – after all, it takes time and resources – but the payoff is huge. We’ve been using landscape management software to streamline our operations for years, and I can’t imagine running the business without it” says Bret Decapito, Operations Manager, Nanak’s Landscaping Inc. in Florida.
Improve Communication Across the Industry
Customer experience is critical.
And given this year’s supply chain unpredictability and delays, it’s one of the most urgent areas in need of attention.
When it comes to communicating to landscape clients, it’s best to be upfront and transparent about the limited supply at the beginning of the conversation.
Many consumers are aware of the supply chain issues across other industries and have experienced it themselves.
They will appreciate the transparency and honesty given to them about the limitations within the landscape industry.
If the customer expresses frustration, explain what is driving this shortage and how consumer demand for plants is at an all-time high.
Communication is the key to determining the best possible solution for everyone.
Communication with Landscape Architects and Designers is also of crucial importance.
It’s important to set expectations about available materials and discuss substitution alternatives.
If the landscaping industry pulls together as one, it will be much easier to recover from the plantdemic.