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Gertens Garden Center & Nursery

Company Facts

  • Headquarters: Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota
  • Industry: Lawn and Garden
  • Number of Employees: 75 full time, up to 400 during spring and summer
  • Website: www.gertens.com

Gertens Garden Center & Nursery is a 100-acre retailer located outside St. Paul, Minnesota. The business has a 40,000 square foot retail store, 19 greenhouses, and more than 50 acres of growing area staffed with 75 full time employees, which swells to more than 400 employees during the busy spring and summer months.

Gertens has been began running on the Epicor Eagle retail business management system for nearly 20 years. They replaced their previous system with Epicor software to obtain faster retail transaction processing, improved inventory accuracy, better access to data for decision making, and best of all—increased customer satisfaction by helping more customers on busy days. A leader in using technology to solve business challenges, Gertens uses Eagle in innovative ways to make a difference in it’s bottom line.

Effective retail solution

Gertens prides itself on growing the majority of the goods they sell, providing a level of service, product knowledge, selection, quality, and value superior to their competitors. Approximately one-third of their sales are to contractors and the remaining two-thirds are retail.

In the late ‘90s Gertens more than tripled its retail store from 12,000 to 40,000 square feet. Gertens’ former system could no longer meet the demands of the increased inventory and sales transactions. Gertens’ IT team searched for a solution that was Micorosoft® Windows®-based—one that could handle a high transaction volume, accurately track their 40,000 SKU inventory, and empower nursery staff to answer customer questions. Eagle was the only economical solution to meet their stringent criteria.

Painless cashier training

Training hundreds of seasonal cashiers is a daunting challenge. Eagle software dramatically reduces the time required to train new cashiers. First, most employees are already familiar with the easy-to-use Windows interface. Second, the integrated Epicor training videos and tools give new cashiers ample opportunity to hone their skills before they face their first customer. It’s easy for employees to learn, and the training features allow Gertens to be more productive by reducing time spent on manual tasks. This allows employees to do what they do best, help customers get in and out of the nursery more quickly.

Operational efficiencies

Gertens relies on Eagle for all the usual business management functions—point of sale (POS), inventory management, accounts payable, accounts receivable, accounting, and reporting. Beyond the basics, Gertens uses Eagle technology to improve customer service and business operations. Contractor customers place orders, check on the status of orders, track invoices, and review their account balances by using the Epicor iNet eBusiness Suite at www.gertenswholesale.com. Contractor customers have 24/7 access and are no longer tied to Gertens’ hours of operation.

Modern RF terminals

Gertens dramatically changed processes to take advantage of radio frequency (RF) capabilities. Gertens uses RF guns to both receive inventory in a fraction of the time and noticeably improve physical inventory accuracy. In addition, physical inventory is conducted far more quickly. The real breakthrough is how Gertens uses RF to speed checkout during peak hours. While customers wait in line, employees armed with RF guns pre-scan customer carts and print a ticket. Customers simply hand the ticket to the cashier, who then scans a code at the bottom of the ticket to record the transaction and collect payment. With this solution, as many as 4,000 customers are more quickly served on peak days.

By using RF guns for remote POS, the team at Gertens is able to process transactions faster than they could before. Their customers are happier, and they move more customers through the store—generating more revenue.



Success Highlights:

Challenges

  • Teaching seasonal workers to use point of sale system
  • Expediting customer checkout during busy times
  • Offering expanded access to contractors

Solutions

  • Epicor® Eagle®
  • Epicor iNet eBusiness Suite

Benefits

  • Complete faster checkout for customers during high-traffic days
  • Train new and seasonal employees quickly
  • Manage inventory easily with RF guns and bar codes
  • Make informed decisions with daily sales and inventory reports

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