The Top Three Challenges of a Legacy Greenhouse Grower Software Solution

We’ve all heard the adage: “The only constant in life is change.” The Greek philosopher who originally said it, some guy name Heraclitus, wasn’t talking about greenhouse growers, but it definitely applies. The grower you are today, is not the grower you will be in five years, just as the industry today is not the industry it will be in 10 years. As your business evolves and the industry changes around you, do your internal systems have the agility to embrace new learning adoption – or are you continually struggling to stay ahead?

In our work with growers, we repeatedly see three challenges impacting business growth that result from limitations of their legacy solutions. Read on to learn about these and how they can be addressed by a modern ERP.

Challenge #1: Difficulty providing credible financial information to your bank

Banking institutions for the grower industry have stricter policies today than they did a few years ago. Why? Investing in this industry is risky, margins are tight, there is heavy capital needed in advance of the growing season, and revenues aren’t realized many times until consumers buy product from the shelf.

On top of this typical cost/revenue cycle, some organizations have inflated their inventory values to maximize operating lines of credit with banks while also leveraging their purchasing power with vendors, only to declare bankruptcy and restructure. Banks are adjusting. Gone are the days that inventory counts and values weren’t important. Gone are the days that strong accounting wasn’t needed, with costing and work-in-progress (WIP).  If you want a strong banking relationship, you need to provide credible financial information. Today, banks request more detailed information when you ask them to extend operating lines of credit.  Banks request inventory valuation in addition to an understanding of the cost, the cost deferrals, the components of labor, time and space associated with that item. Do you find yourself exporting data to Excel, and manipulating it to provide the correct information to your bank? And by the time you’ve sent it out, the numbers are no longer relevant.

Legacy systems simply cannot provide advanced accounting information like a modern ERP system. Did your legacy provider even promise you features/functions that have never worked, such as credit note control or multi-currency? With a modern ERP system, you can close books faster, deliver robust reporting, increase profitability with business intelligence, ensure global compliance, and much, much more. Your bank will be thrilled with the information you report, and will be happier to open up the pocketbook.

Challenge #2: Limited customer support

Legacy industry solutions are typically developed and supported by small organizations. They are scrambling to support their current customer base, develop new features to secure new customers, not to mention trying to keep up with new technology expectations. It is a lot for a small organization to handle, especially when there’s a high turnover rate amongst support staff. The features and functions that they offer to one customer must be offered to all customers, and they are going to charge a premium for it. Any changes must be considered and weighed and scheduled. As a grower, you must wait until it makes sense for the provider to provide. Some of the growers we work with even have to open a customer support ticket just to edit customer information – how frustrating is that?

In a modern, open system, you can change the column order or add fields on the fly. You can change your personal user interface. It’s very easy to make configuration or reporting adjustments to fulfill your needs, instead of being held back by a provider who is just trying to keep up with demand.

Challenge #3: What is the future of your legacy product? Your guess is as good as mine.

With most legacy applications, the “go-live” simply means turning the system on, whereas a modern ERP system is implemented to fit your business needs, and tailored training is provided on-site. With modern ERP, you can Google problems, and chances are, out of the large community of users, there are some who have had the same problem and you can easily determine how to fix it.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 in particular is used by over 160,000 companies worldwide. It is the flagship product for Microsoft, moving forward for small and medium companies. There is a huge user network and a substantial amount of information available to users to self-teach and understand. And, chances are, you are already using Microsoft technology at your business. Dynamics 365 looks and feels like the Microsoft products you are used to.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is developed and maintained by a word class software and technology company. They invest over $100 million a year in the development of the Dynamics solution. They focus on capabilities that are used by all companies.  Functions that support Sales, Purchasing, Inventory and Finance.  No other company can make this statement inside or outside the industry.

Velosio for Greenhouse Growers

Velosio has real experience in helping greenhouse growers better understand their profitability, maximize space utilization and gain end-to-end management of sales and operations to drive growth with modern ERP solutions.

Microsoft Dynamics + Agriware makes the perfect horticulture software solution for the sales, operational, supply chain, distribution and greenhouse analytics needs of your business.

Learn more at our upcoming Growers webinar: Modern vs. Legacy Industry Solutions, July 9, 2-3pm. Click here to register.


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