Current Inventory Availability Now Ready to View
After months of deciding the best way to make our current availability accessible to our customers, we are happy to announce it is ready to go! Just click the “Inventory” button on www.urbanforestnursery.com, and you will see a list of the varieties we sell, as well as what sizes are available. Although we started on this adventure a c0uple of years ago with a purchased solution; in the end, we found that a homegrown program built with an access database backend was the right solution for us.
In determining the right way to perform inventory on a product that is not static (i.e. it grows), we tried to research what other small nurseries were doing. In the category of nurseries that sell “in-the-ground” trees, it seems that no one has the perfect solution. Since all trees grow at different rates depending on variety, location in the field, weather, etc., there is no magic algorithm to determine what size a tree will be in 6 months. Because of this, we know we will have to re-inventory our fields at least two times per year.
Additionally, while we started out using a handheld solution that was supposed to save time, we found that it actually took more time navigating through the handheld screens in the field than it took to manually input the data back in the office. Now, our crew manager takes inventory in the field (takes about a week for 25K trees), and we have someone in the office input the data into our database. Although, technology is undoubtedly a time saver in most applications, we found that the handheld device in the field just slowed us down.