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Cultivating Modern Practices

Flower World, a 15-acre retail nursery and produce market, is one of the largest retail nurseries on the United States West Coast. The park-like setting offers guests perennials, shrubs, trees, flowers, and three acres of greenhouses, including one with tropical plants, turtles, and fish. Additionally, the adjoining produce market features freshly picked fruits and vegetables, herbs, jams, chicken and duck eggs, specialty ciders, vinegar, and fruit wines.

Filip Hantson was brought in as Director of Operations at Flower World three years ago. He was charged with spearheading an organizational transformation from the owner-operator model that sustained the company for 50 years to a distributed model. A primary component of his charter was to modernize operations through shrewd technology deployment.

Hantson remembered, “Everything was completely manual and required massive amounts of paper. The staff still used physical timecards and a punch machine. We had no sales data or purchasing data. We were driving blindfolded." Furthermore, Flower World had an aging server and wanted to avoid being blindsided by a crash or invest in new hardware.

Strategic Decisions

One of Hantson's priorities was deploying a point-of-sale retail management system. He elaborated, "The primary objectives were to streamline the checkout process and gather data about what we were selling." After evaluating several options, Hantson selected the Epicor Propello solution.   He explained, "Epicor Propello was the only solution designed for a nursery business and had the features we needed for business continuity and was an essential criterion.”

Fruitful Returns

An immediate benefit of Epicor Propello has been a profoundly enhanced customer experience. “During our Spring high season, approximately 2,000 guests visit daily," Hantson continued. “Before, customers would roll their cart to a register, and the employee would walk around the cart and note each item on a pad of paper, then key the amounts into the register, and input the transaction onto a PIN Pad.” Even though Flower World hosted 14 registers, the inefficient process meant it could take over five minutes to check a customer out. In turn, that inefficiency created cumbersome long lines.

With Epicor Propello, Flower World moves customers through checkout in less than a minute, allowing us to cut the number of open registers from fourteen to five.

“With Epicor Propello, Flower World moves customers through checkout in less than a minute, allowing us to cut the number of open registers from fourteen to five,” Hantson highlighted.

The goal of continuous uptime has also been achieved: "A freak accident down the road created a one-and-a-half-day internet outage several months ago. Epicor Propello made switching to the offline capability easy, and when the connection was restored, data automatically synced and updated quickly.”

Easy as Pie

The intuitive user interface makes training a breeze. Hantson described, “The old way required at least a week to get a new hire up-to-speed. With Epicor Propello, an employee can be productive in fifteen minutes.” Flower World utilizes seasonal employees who no longer require a significant investment in training to add value quickly. It is also easier to retain talent because the processes are not frustratingly inefficient. And just as importantly, Epicor Propello has allowed Flower World to handle the same volume of business without adding headcount.

Exceptional ease of use also means that Flower World no longer requires three front-line supervisors to support cashiers. Today there is just one supervisor per shift, which has another positive bottom-line impact.

Harnessing Information

With data from Epicor Propello, Flower World management is gaining an ever-stronger understanding of the business. “We have 15,000 SKUs. We now know exactly how much we sell per category daily, which allows us to align production to demand," Hantson imparted. This has yielded a dramatic drop in waste as more plants move out the door and fewer are added to the compost heap.

Data has helped Flower World shift from a bulk grow for each season to batch growing, creating a more just-in-time (JIT) production process. Hantson shared, “This change offers our customers fresher, more attractive products with a much smaller maintenance burden because we do not need to tend to products for the breadth of the season.”

Features such as minimum/maximum inventory controls enable Flower World to reduce space allocation for identified products. “Because we have a massive footprint, the upkeep costs associated with caring for live plants can be quite high,” Hantson said. “Using data to optimize our space mitigates those costs. For instance, some of the cleared space will be used to house teak wood and furniture from our Belize teak plantation. That requires little maintenance and offers a better margin.”

Hantson is also utilizing Moving Annual Total (MAT) to identify trends such as what is selling, the type of customer, and what they are buying from year to year.

A Bushel of Ambition

Not one to rest on his laurels, Hantson is currently adding Epicor Payment Exchange (EPX) merchant processing to manage credit card authorization, settlement, and reporting. “The volume discount delivered by EPX will offset the cost of Epicor Propello,” he divulged.

My job is to drive digital transformation and business process optimization initiatives. Epicor is helping me achieve those goals.

Hantson emphasized, “My job is to drive digital transformation and business process optimization initiatives. Epicor is helping me achieve those goals.”

Company Facts


  • Outdated, inefficient paper-based systems
  • Inadequate customer experience at checkout
  • Obsolete server threatened business continuity


  • Cloud-based POS streamlined the checkout process and enhanced the customer experience
  • The intuitive interface provided fast staff training and required less management supervision
  • Seamless business continuity during internet outages with offline capability

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