June July 2018

3 colorad o nga.org LooseLeaf  June/July 2018 MESSAGE FROMTHE BOARD By Dan Wise, CCNP CNGA Board President As we say goodbye to spring and hello to summer, we hear the yearly march forward of the familiar seasonal song of the green industry. Each time we turn the page from one season to the next, many crucial notes are played in that song that carries our nursery and greenhouse busi- nesses forward. Spring is all about execution of the plan: a frantic race to receive shipments of fresh stock, set up and plant new plants, start the long season of selling, and recruit and hire new employees. Summer is an extension of spring—growing, replenishing inventory, and yes, more selling—but it also time to plan and have an eye on the future. It is time to make plans for next year, and ask important questions. What plants do we need to order to meet next year’s demand? What new products should we be adding to our palette (and which ones is it time to say goodbye to)? What supplies do we need to have on hand to make everything happen? Are there investments in equipment and facilities that need to be addressed? Whether you are in wholesale or retail, summer is a great time of year to strengthen relationships with customers. Retail customers are now fully in the mode of outdoor activities—engaging them with unique experiences will help you become integrated into their thoughts (and buying habits!). Classes, farmer’s markets and live music are just a few ideas to drive consumers through your doors. In wholesale, it’s important to be available and prepared as customers prepare to buy for the upcoming season—and it’s time to get out and see folks! If your market is landscape contractors, then the selling season is now in full swing. For contractors, time is money, and the season is short, so prompt service and attention to detail is key. Being a trusted partner to them will pay dividends in customer loyalty. For those on the other side of the sales equation, it’s the time of year when it’s time to buy! We are all starting to receive reminders from suppliers to get requests for plants and materials turned in promptly  —and in the current market, those who hesitate may find they are out of options when it comes to sourcing those scarce plants. Having a good purchasing strategy to cover your needs in the current market will help you minimize gaps in your inventory. I feel fortunate to work in an industry so closely tied to the natural world. As in nature, the nursery and greenhouse world has exciting seasonal changes, and each turn is a refreshing return of an old friend. Welcome summer! Summer is for Planning & Relationships