More Efficient Labor Management Equals More Profit for Greenhouse Growers

For greenhouse growers, labor has become the #1 impediment to growth. Growers must improve efficiency in labor management & counter labor shortages/costs.

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    For greenhouse growers, labor has squeaked past the economy and declining customer bases to become the No. 1 impediment to growth, leaving room for more efficiency and automation in labor management. In fact, the results of Greenhouse Grower’s 2018 Top 100 Grower survey indicate that many of the top growers are investing in greenhouse operations and management technology and automation wherever they can to counter significant labor shortages (83%) and costs (73%).

    The grower survey asks: What types of technology and automation do they plan to invest in?

    The answer is this: The short answer is anything that will increase efficiencies. 59% of growers said they plan to invest in production automation. Computer software came in as the second largest area of investment with 47% of growers purchasing ERP and other software systems, and greenhouse structures and coverings was the third largest area, with 42% of growers building on or replacing structures. Irrigation controls was a close fourth area with 41% of growers focusing on watering efficiency, and LED lighting and growing media equipment landed among the top, both with 34% of growers saying they would be investing in these areas. 

    Eliminate Inefficient Time and Labor Management

    In the past, growers had to track labor activities manually or with the use of time clocks and spreadsheets – which definitely can give the desired result but it doesn’t have to be that hard. With Velosio greenhouse management software for growers, laborers can track their time in real-time through Agriware Labor Tracking by simply clicking start or stop on their tablet or phone. The time per activity is immediately updated into the Microsoft Dynamics + Agriware system (also available offline), showing tasks and time stamps for each task within a production. Up-to-the-minute information, advanced insights into your greenhouse operations and management of time and resources means you can react to the ever-changing market quickly when labor intensive activities are eating up profit and productivity.

    No Surprises at the End of the Month

    Without live insight into your current production, you won’t know your true cost until the next Financial, which is too late — you’ve not made a profit on a certain crop and you’ve already invested in planting it again next month. With Velosio for Greenhouse Growers, you can determine on the fly, by variety, how long it’s taking to plant a crop, and the true cost per item. For instance, if you’ve decided to plant a crop from tissue culture, you know how much to charge for it if it’s taking longer for laborers to plant the more delicate crop.

    With this real-time information, you can execute greenhouse operations and management decisions before it’s too late and ensures that you’re making money on every tray that you sell! Integrated Power BI gives management keen insight into productivity by line and by laborer so you know who may need retraining or reassignment to a different line.

    Greenhouse operations and management of labor example

    Real-time Insight Ensures Productive Greenhouse Operations and Management

    Microsoft Dynamics + Agriware software is designed for greenhouse growers to help:

    • Automate activities that you currently handle manually
    • Gain a complete view of your space needs based on both historical and real-time data so you can leverage every square foot of space
    • Equip your teams with data and insights for improved efficiency
    • Provide your team the tools to work collaboratively and achieve goals
    • Plan for the upcoming season by accurately ordering, tracking and using materials, plants and products for operational and financial success

    Green Circle Growers has been up and running on MS Dynamics NAV with Agriware added for nearly two years with great success. We were fortunate to have selected Velosio as our implementation partner and their expertise, diligence, and focus to get the job done has been exceptional. We highly recommend this combination of software and partnership for other greenhouses seeking to improve their operations.
    Charles Dressler, Chief Information Officer, Green Circle Growers

    Best regards,

    Todd Waterman
    Industry Manager, Agribusiness, Velosio

    About Todd
    Todd Waterman has spent over 17 years in IT for Agribusiness, including at his own consulting firm, and as Chief Administration Officer for EuroAmerican Propagators in California. From start-ups to enterprise-class organizations, his knowledge of the agribusiness ecosystem and products helps Velosio customers Todd Watermanmaximize ROI on technology investments.

    Today, Todd serves Velosio customers in his role as Industry Manager for Agribusiness. Todd is based in sunny California, and received his BA from San Diego State University in San Diego, California.

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