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An AmericanHort Member Benefit




The Year Ahead “2019 is up and running and our team at AmericanHort is energized by the opportunities that await our industry. I hope you’ll join us as we strive to unite, promote, and advance the horticulture industry— because what we do together matters.” —Ken Fisher, President & CEO, AmericanHort

FEATURES A Year of Opportunity


Increased Intellectual Property Protection Options 6 Marketing Mindset: Know Your Audience


HRI & ADVOCACY UPDATES HRI Scholarship Recipients

UPCOMING EVENTS Industry Insider Report 10

2019 Advocacy Agenda and Outlook 14


Cultivate’19 19 Plug & Cutting


Impact Washington Summit 19


By Ken Fisher, President and CEO, AmericanHort, KenF@AmericanHort.org

It’s always fun to start a new season. If you’re a baseball fan, that includes the anticipation of Spring Training starting February 21 while your favorite team is still “undefeated” with a sure path to the World Series. It’s energizing to have something to look forward to, dust off our positive attitude, and apply it to a new season.

With 2018 in the books, 2019 holds great opportunity for our industry as well. I hope you’re excited to build your business on the success of 2018—which proved to be a strong year for most in our industry. There has been good energy and buzz at the January industry tradeshows and events. While we can’t control the weather or the stock market, at AmericanHort, we are working hard to improve the business environment for your success in 2019. Helping you and your business Perform Better, Grow Stronger, and Prepare for the Future is our focus and we have a great line up of programs and events in 2019. 2 | AmericanHort.org

Our advocacy team continues to work diligently to improve labor, trucking, and the horticultural regulatory environment to make it easier to run your business. Our Horticultural Research Institute has completed a strategic roadmap to help focus our research dollars on highly leveraged opportunities for the industry. We are expanding efforts to capture more consumer discretionary dollars for our industry through Loveyourplants.org. And in 2019, we will expand our sustainability programming; helping the industry understand best practices around pesticide, fertilizer, water, energy, and recycling use.

• Plug & Cutting Conference: The 2018 event was rescheduled due to the occurrence of Hurricane Florence. In 2019, we look forward to hosting this popular conference September 4–6 in Concord, N.C. where participants will have a chance to visit Metrolina Greenhouse and Rockwell Farms. This conference provides knowledge to help young plant growers perform even better in their businesses. • Impact Washington Summit: Our legislative fly-in is September 16–18 in Washington, D.C. We are proud of the important progress our Advocacy and Research Team is making on key legislative and regulatory issues affecting our industry. This gathering will educate industry business leaders on the latest legislative issues impacting us and will create the opportunity for you to

EK & F I


A Year of Opportunity

• Cultivate’19: Horticulture’s largest all-industry event, is to be held July 13–16 in Columbus, OH, marks the 90th year for this important industry gathering. We will again offer cutting-edge industry tours to share industry best practices, and host over 150 educational sessions to provide current information on industry trends and business practices that will help businesses grow faster. Not to mention our 373,000 sq ft trade show and premier networking events.



• Industry Insider Report: This month on our website (Americanhort.org) we will be featuring our newest Industry Insider Report on Garden Retail Profitability, a four-part video series by Steve Bailey, an expert on using financial and operations data to help improve profitability. While focused on garden center retail operations, the information shared on profit margin, pricing, inventory management, and return on investment can benefit all green industry businesses. The series will culminate with a virtual panel discussion of business owners who share how their practices have improved due to using the financial tools discussed in these videos.


A few specific highlights to get on your calendar:

Seek & Find ! In each issue, we’ll be “hiding” a new small graphic. When you find it, email us at ConnectSeekAndFind@AmericanHort.org, and tell us where you found it. (For example, “bottom left corner of page 5.”) When you respond by the 1st of the month after the publication is issued, you’ll be entered into a drawing for an AmericanHort super prize pack. For this February issue, respond by March 1.


Congratulations to the following AmericanHort member who found December’s icon in our Seek & Find and are winners of our drawing for AmericanHort swag! Daniela Ott, Ikeuchi USA Inc Blue Ash, OH

meet face-to-face with lawmakers and share our position on important topics like workforce development, trucking regulations, plant health, and pesticide use to name a few. 2019 is up and running and our team at AmericanHort is energized by the opportunities that await our industry. I hope you’ll join us as we strive to unite, promote, and advance the horticulture industry— because what we do together matters. Sincerely,

Ken Fisher President and CEO, AmericanHort

2019:February | 3


Welcome New Members!

AmericanHort Member Benefit Feature: Industry Intel

Plus Members TerraVesco, Amy Grimes Birchmeier/ITB Co., Inc., Cheryl Barton GoDex International Americas, Melanie Hatzman

Did you know?

Basic Members Trees of Corrales, Courtenay Koontz

AmericanHort strives to provide relevant and timely intel to all industry segments. Covering everything from industry benchmarking data, business best practices, industry insider information, advocacy and research updates, and more—AmericanHort is your source for industry intel.

Crescent Garden, Barbara Wise

Industry Insider Report By Mary Beth Cowardin, Vice President Marketing & Member Engagement, AmericanHort

Coming this Month! AmericanHort is excited to announce the launch of The Industry Insider Report: Garden Retail Profitability. In this fourpart video series, which will conclude with a virtual panel discussion, Steve Bailey of Steve Bailey Consulting, an expert on retail business practices and using financial and other data to help improve retail profitability, will share his expertise in managing financial data to help you better manage your business performance. The video topics include a review of the income statement, or P&L, pricing, inventory management, and GMROI—Gross Margin Return on Investment. Steve will share definitions of key financial measures, benchmarking metrics, and provide tips for managing the financial health of your organization.

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The Industry Insider Report: Garden Retail Profitability series will launch this month (watch your email for details) with the release of the first video. This four-video program will conclude with a virtual panel discussion where panelists, retail garden center owners from the Garden Center Group and AmericanHort, will share their experience using this financial data to improve their business practices. While focused on Garden Retail Center, the information in these videos is beneficial to any green industry business. Learn more about this AmericanHort Industry Insider Report by watching the introduction video at AmericanHort.org/ InsiderGarden. Mary Beth Cowardin Vice President Marketing & Member Engagement, AmericanHort MaryBethC@AmericanHort.org

North Carolina Nursery & Landscape, Hannah Singleton The Dawes Arboretum, Peter Lowe Academic Members

Where can you find this information?

Crissa Nugen, Tarleton St. Horticulture Instructor

• The Knowledge Center – The industry resource for articles, media, and reports created for the horticulture industry. AmericanHort.org/KC

Derrick Hawley, Canada Blooms Ryan Dickson, University of Arkansas

• Connect Print – Printed newsletter received by your company contact 6 times a year, covering business solutions and hot topics in horticulture. • Connect Digital – Monthly e-newsletter providing resources and covering hot topics in horticulture. • Impact Washington – Bi-monthly e-newsletter covering all things advocacy and research happening in Washington D.C.

AmericanHort Board of Directors

• Webinars – Free live webinars and recordings are available to members on a variety of topics. • Industry Events – Conferences and tradeshows put on by AmericanHort provide world-class education, recertification credits, and networking opportunities.

Nominations Now Being Accepted until February 22. AmericanHort is seeking individuals that are dedicated to the horticulture industry and passionate about moving it forward to provide guidance, support and leadership while serving on the AmericanHort Board of Directors. Nominate an industry leader*, or submit your own application, at AmericanHort.org/Elections.

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Don’t forget to pass along your Connect Print Issue!

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2019:February | 5

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 2. to award protection to the breeder of any asexually reproduced plant variety; 3. to include as an act of infringement “sexually or asexually multiply…the variety as a step in marketing (for growing purposes) the variety”; and 4. to include asexually reproducible plant material in prohibited acts of false marking.

IP “fence” around their novel asexually reproduced plant variety. Thus, the Farm Bill 2018 has provided breeders of asexually reproduced varieties increased options for protecting their new varieties. *This article has been condensed from its original length. Read the full article by logging into the Knowledge Center at AmericanHort.org/KC.

See 7 U.S. Code §§2401(a), 2402(a), 2541(a)(3), and 2568(a).

Increased IP Options for Breeders of Asexually Reproduced Plant Varieties By Stephany G. Small, Ph.D. & Travis W. Bliss, Ph.D., J.D. from Ingersoll Buchanan & Rooney PC.

On December 20, President Trump signed into law the Farm Bill 2018, which is officially known as the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018. For breeders and growers of asexually reproduced plant varieties, this law is monumental as it broadens The Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) to include asexually reproduced plant varieties, thus opening a new intellectual property (IP) protection avenue to these breeders/growers. Until now, IP protection for asexually reproduced plant varieties (e.g., reproduced by budding or vegetative cuttings) has existed only in the form of patents (Plant Patents and Utility Patents), which issue from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In contrast, plant varieties that are propagated sexually (i.e., through seeds) or through tubers could be protected

More specifically, the Farm Bill 2018 amends the PVPA at four Sections to incorporate protection of asexually reproduced plants:

Did you know? The AmericanHort Knowledge Center is full of great information on the latest in advocacy, research, technology, and more. This member-only benefit can be accessed by visiting AmericanHort.org/KC and logging in with your credentials. *Having trouble accessing the Knowledge Center? Click the forgot username or password link. If you continue having issues, contact our office at 614-487-1117 or Hello@AmericanHort.org.

via a Plant Variety Protection (PVP) certificate under the PVPA, which is issued by the United States Department of Agriculture. This has now changed with the passing of the Farm Bill 2018, which extends PVP protection to asexually reproduced plant varieties.

1. to define asexually reproduced as “mean[ing] produced by a method of plant propagation using vegetative material (other than seed) from a single parent, including cuttings, grafting, tissue culture, and propagation by root division.”;

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As a result of this change to the law, there are now three intellectual property protection options in the U.S. for asexually reproduced plants: Plant Patents, Utility Patents, and PVP protection. Each of these has different requirements and scopes of protection, thus allowing breeders to select one or more of these IP protections to pursue depending on their needs and the particular type of plant that was developed.

In summary, the Farm Bill 2018 has provided breeders of asexually propagated plants a new avenue of IP protection to consider. Because the scope and requirements of Plant Patent, Varietal Utility Patent, and PVP protection differ in certain regards, breeders can now choose to pursue one form of protection or another, depending on their needs, or can choose to pursue two or more forms of protection to form a stronger 2019:February | 7


Marketing Mindset: Know Your Audience By Katie Gustafson, Marketing Communication Specialist, AmericanHort

Marketing. Even if you work in marketing every day, it can be difficult to define. When people think of marketing, they might think of coupons, radio ads, social media, sales, emails or a whole host of other things, but it comes down to this: Marketing is anything you do to get your customers interested in something.

Advertising in a magazine or newspaper? Marketing. Posting pictures to social media when the delphinium comes into bloom? Marketing. Donating a truck full of shrubs and perennials to a local community center and taking your team over to plant everything? Marketing. Placing a shipping container you bought for a steal next to the highway with a floral mural your daughter painted and your logo loud and proud in the center? Yep, still marketing. There are a million and one ways to market a business, but where do you start? How do you know you are using the right strategies? What does a successful marketing plan look like? Well, you can’t get anywhere until you Know Your Audience. The more you know your audience, the more powerful your marketing will be. On the other hand, if you don’t know your audience, 8 | AmericanHort.org

you won’t know what strategies to choose or what messages they will react to. Once you figure out who your audience is, what they are attracted to, and how to engage them, you have the foundations for a solid marketing plan. So how do you start?

Research Researching can be as simple as asking a customer a quick question at the register or as in-depth as setting up a series of quantitative surveys. Ask questions to figure out who your customers are: their personality traits, where they live and work, their age, their interest and values, their opinions, and more. Knowing these demographics will help you focus your messaging and optimize your marketing budget. You may be thinking, “Oh, I’ve lived and worked in this community for 50+ years. I already know my audience inside and out, so I don’t need to do any research.” Good for you, however, be cautious in

“No one can be all things to all people, and it’s the same with a business.” making assumptions. You are starting from a great position, but it’s always good to confirm—particularly in today’s world of fast-paced change. In almost every case, when a company surveys its customers for the first time, they find something new that was an ultimately meaningful part of their marketing plan. Research can be the difference between an average marketing plan and one that is extremely effective. So, after you’ve done your research, what’s next?

Define Your Target Market Too often, when people are asked what their target market is, their answer is “Everyone who can buy my product.” That is not a target market. No one can be all things to all people, and it’s the same with a business. It’s important to look at your current customers, your competitors’ customers, and utilize the research you just did to define your target market so that you can create meaningful messages that resonate with your customer, capitalize on your strengths, and lets you focus your marketing dollar.

Create Personal Relationships Personal relationships with customers can make or break your business, especially in horticulture. Interact with them on social media, volunteer in the community, meet them at their business, or just take the time to thoroughly go over a new varieties’ growth requirements. Getting to know your customers on an individual basis opens up conversations, makes the customer feel valued, creates loyalty to your business and your brand, and ultimately increases sales. Traditionally, horticultural businesses do this very well because their people are passionate about the industry. Creating an impactful marketing plan can look like a daunting task, however getting to know your audience gives you a solid foundation to build the rest of your plan upon. Ultimately, knowing your audience will let you figure out what marketing strategies will have the greatest return on your marketing dollar and be the most impactful to your customers. Katie Gustafson Marketing Communication Specialist, AmericanHort KatieG@AmericanHort.org 2019:February | 9

HRI SCHOLARSHIP focuses on the molecular interactions that occur between deciduous holly (Ilex spp.) and a newly emerging fruit rot pathogen, Diaporthe ilicicola.

The Usrey Scholarships

HRI Scholarship Winners Announced By Jennifer Gray, Research Programs Administrator, AmericanHort

Every year, our industry supports college students with a passion for horticulture through the Horticultural Research Institute’s scholarship funds. We are proud to announce the 2019 winners of these prestigious awards.

Bryan A. Champion Memorial Scholarship

The Carville M. Akehurst Memorial Scholarship

Bryan A. Champion, president of Herman Losely & Son, Inc. in Perry, Ohio, was a 5th generation nurseryman with a passion for the nursery and landscape industry. Champion understood the value of a quality education and the importance of industry research. Bryan passed away on November 10, 2011 at the age of 47. In honor of his legacy and dedication to the nursery and landscape industry, his peers established The Bryan A. Champion Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The Carville M. Akehurst Memorial Scholarship was established in 2002 by the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show, Inc. (MANTS). This scholarship serves to memorialize Mr. Akehurst who served the horticultural industry as one of the founders of MANTS. MANTS established this scholarship with the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) with the belief that the strength and future success of the horticulture industry lies in the solid education of today’s students. MANTS’ establishment of this scholarship reflects Mr. Akehurst’s firm belief that education begets one the opportunity to achieve.

This year’s winner of the Champion Scholarship is Rebecca DeMoss. She is a highly-motivated student majoring in horticulture at The Ohio State University and aspires to someday start her own landscape design business.

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Susie and Bruce Usrey of Monrovia Growers Inc. established the Usrey Family Scholarship in 2001 and the Susie & Bruce Usrey Education Scholarship in 2009. The Usrey family considers graduating students in horticulture to be the lifeblood of the green industry. These scholarships are awarded annually to horticulture students enrolled in a California state university or college. Jose Guadalupe Gutierrez, the recipient of the 2019 Susie & Bruce Usrey Education Scholarship, attends California State Polytechnic University, Pomona pursuing his Master’s in Landscape Architecture with the admirable goal to improve the quality of life of California residents’ living near a freeway by creating green spaces. Christopher Chen received the 2019 Usrey Family Scholarship. He is passionate about viticulture and is pursuing his PhD at University of California Davis. After graduating, he is planning to continue to research grape vines with the objective of improving the lives of growers, wine makers, and consumers.

Timothy S. and Palmer W. Bigelow, Jr. Scholarship The scholarship was created in 1988 by the Bigelow family to aid students from New England who are seeking a career in horticulture. The scholarship was dedicated initially to one of the family’s children, the late Timothy Bigelow. At Palmer W. “Bill” Bigelow’s death, the name of its creator was added. The Bigelow family considers student scholarships the most important commitment the horticultural industry can make to ensure the growth and development of the nursery and landscape industry. The recipient of the 2019 Bigelow Scholarship is Soleil Kurowski-LaBelle. She is attending the University of Rhode Island where she is the Vice President of the Horticulture club and works in the university greenhouse and gardens to get more hands-on experience with ornamental horticulture.

The Horticultural Research institute is proud to support students pursuing degrees in horticultural fields. Check out the rest of the HRI scholarships and recipients in the 2018 December Connect Print issue. Jennifer Gray Research Programs Administrator, AmericanHort JenniferG@AmericanHort.org

The 2019 Akehurst Scholarship has been awarded to Isabel Emanuel, a secondyear graduate research associate in the department of Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University. Her research at the ornamental pathology lab 2019:February | 11


Daniel Greenwell, 2017 HortScholar Alumni

Early-Bird Registration is Coming! February 11–22, 2019 Register as an Early-Bird and receive an assigned date to book your hotel for Cultivate’19. Get all the details about the registration process at Cultivate19.org/Reg.

Horticulture Program Director, Piedmont Technical College

How did the HortScholars Program impact your future? Prior to being selected as a HortScholar, I had no knowledge of AmericanHort or Cultivate or how important of a presence they have in the industry. Now, well after my experience as a HortScholar, I continually reap the benefits of being a part of AmericanHort by attending Cultivate on a regular basis and staying plugged into its advocacy and research efforts. The HortScholars program did a good job of connecting us with important figures in the industry which helped me build my confidence in networking with new people. More important than anything, in my fellow 2017 HortScholars, I gained five amazing new friends and peers from very diverse backgrounds that I would never have met otherwise.

“The HortScholars program did a good job of connecting us with important figures in the industry…”

Job Responsibilities:

I oversee the implementation and continual development of the Agriculture and Horticulture degree programs at Piedmont Tech. In addition to my directorial responsibilities, I have the privilege of getting to know the students through teaching four to five horticulture classes each semester. I think that it is accurate to say that, ultimately, my sole job responsibility boils down to cultivating enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and skilled horticulture professionals prepared for the industry. If that is not happening, I am doing something wrong.

Proudest Accomplishments:

One of my proudest accomplishments would have to be earning my Masters of Science degree in Horticulture from Auburn University. Before taking the leap into graduate school, I was resistant to the idea of doing research and writing a thesis. From a distance it looked both impossible and boring. Wise friends and family counseled me on the opportunities that a Masters degree would open up and I decided to take the leap. It ended up being anything but boring and yet it did feel nearly impossible all the way up till the defense of my thesis concluded. It was a very characterbuilding experiencing.


Hiking, soccer, and traveling to new places.

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July 13–16, 2019 Greater Columbus Convention Center Columbus, Ohio USA AmericanHort.org/Cultivate

u o y l i w t a h W ivate? Cult Cultivate: An Event for the Entire Green Industry. Perform better, grow stronger, and prepare for the future as a member of AmericanHort, the green industry’s leading association. Experience where it all comes together at Cultivate, the industry’s premier event for new knowledge, products, varieties, and connections. Join us today, and see how we’re better together. AmericanHort.org/Join

2019:February | 13


Trucking and Transportation


2019 Advocacy Agenda and Outlook The American electorate seems to have an instinctual preference for divided government, and the midterm elections restored it, ending two years of Republican control of the Senate, the House, and the White House. Is divided government beneficial? From the optimist’s point of view, those who want to get something done are forced to listen and be willing to compromise. Divided government provides checks and balances against either party overreaching. For better or worse, this is exactly how our founding fathers intended things. For the pessimists, divided government may mean even more gridlock. With the longest government shutdown in history now underway, the pessimistic view seems to be prevailing. But, hope springs eternal! At AmericanHort, we are working to move the ball down the field on several significant industry issues, some legislative, others regulatory or administrative. Topping the list: • Labor and workforce solutions • Trucking regulatory relief • Driving horticultural research and innovation • Ensuring access to tools and inputs needed to grow and install healthy plants • Modernizing plant certification systems for access to markets

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Labor—Any Relief in Sight? For the new Democratic majority in the House, top immigration priorities will include advancing a solution for socalled Dreamers/DACA recipients, and for individuals with “temporary protected status” that the Trump Administration is allowing to expire during 2019. Some DACA and TPS folks are employed in horticulture, so these issues are relevant. An agricultural labor reform bill is possible even in a Democratic house, though it will look different than the ideologically far-right proposal some pushed last year. H-2B visa program cap relief is the urgent priority for our landscape sector. There was so much demand for H-2B visas for work starting April 1 that minutes into the new year, the electronic portal for applying to start the process with the Labor Department crashed! Demand appears to be at least three times the number of visas. Unfortunately, cap relief is tangled up in the government spending drama that led to the partial shutdown. One bit of better news: the Administration is working to modernize the H-2A ag visa program. A proposal out for comment would eliminate the need to run expensive and non-productive print advertising, relying instead on electronic job postings. Other process-streamlining and cost-reduction measures are likely to follow.

Transportation issues are a big deal for us. Costs are high and availability is a problem. We are pushing for more flexibility in the Hours of Service/ELD rules. My colleague Tal Coley continues to lead the charge for the clarification that our greenhouse and nursery growers fall within the rules’ agricultural exemption. Travel time within a 150-mile radius around the source of the agricultural commodity being hauled does not count toward daily and weekly hour limits. But the federal definition for this ag exemption is very vague and subject to interpretation. Growers need and deserve clarity that nursery and greenhouse crops are indeed agricultural. Legislation or regulatory guidance could solve this problem.

Research and Innovation In December, the outgoing Congress managed to pass a new Farm Bill. The bill strengthens investments in specialty crop research, as well as plant pest and disease prevention. Our focus now turns to making the most of these new provisions. Also, AmericanHort and the American Seed Trade Association led the effort to give plant breeders more options for protecting breeders’ intellectual property rights, so sights turn to implementation there, too. And we’re eagerly awaiting the report from the research priorities summit that the Horticultural Research Institute hosted in December.

Plant Trade and Certification AmericanHort is leading industry engagement in modernizing plant certification programs. The US/Canada Greenhouse-Grown Plant Certification Program has been revised, and we’re helping growers understand how to participate. The pilot certification program for plant cuttings produced offshore continues during the shipping now underway. And, the domestic Systems Approach for Nursery Certification (SANC) pilot program is nearing completion. Nineteen growing operations from coast-tocoast are participating. We’ll be discussing all these programs at Cultivate ’19 on July 13–16, 2019, and at the Plug & Cutting

HortScholars Application Now Open! The AmericanHort HortScholars spend seven, all-expenses-paid days in Columbus, Ohio attending Cultivate’19—horticulture’s premier, all-industry event. HortScholars are exposed to the breadth of the horticulture industry and its opportunities. They meet leaders of the industry, jumpstart their network, get plugged into fresh ideas, attend CareerUp, and present on a topic of their own expertise. Oh, and did we mention HortScholars get a free one-year membership to AmericanHort? The HortScholars program is open to any college student in a horticulture-related program.

Applications are due March 1. Apply and learn more at AmericanHort.org/Scholars.

Conference, scheduled for September 4–6, 2019, in Concord, NC. Speaking of September, go ahead and mark your calendar for September 16–18, 2019 to join us in the Nation’s Capital for Impact Washington, the legislative summit. It’ll be a great time to build and strengthen relationships with key elected leaders and policy makers. Craig Regelbrugge Sr. Vice President of Government and Research, AmericanHort CraigR@AmericanHort.org 2019:February | 15


“AmericanHort has a lot to do with our success. The connections we’ve made have helped us develop relationships and improve profitability for over 160 growers in all segments of the green industry and that number continues to grow.” • Lean Flow Facility and Office Design resulting in the world’s most efficient operations.

FlowVision, LLC. Dillon, CO

Founding partner, Gerson (Gary) Cortés shares how FlowVision puts their customers first to improve productivity and increase efficiencies that will improve profitability. FlowVision, LLC. is a Lean Flow and Supply Chain consulting firm that focuses on improving their customer’s profitability by reducing cost through improved productivity, quicker throughput, better quality, reduced inventory, lower working capital, and reduced shrink. Founded in 1998, all FlowVision’s clients were manufacturing companies. Since that time, they have traveled across the world implementing Lean Flow, working with companies like Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard, John Deere, Husqvarna, ThermoFisher, and many others across a variety of different industries. The FlowVision team now consists of ten people, including Gary and two others spending 100% of their time working in the green industry, which currently makes up about 33% of total revenue. According to Gary, “AmericanHort has a lot to do with our success. The connections we’ve made have helped us develop relationships and improve profitability for over 160 growers in all segments of the green industry and that number continues to grow.”

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What sets FlowVision apart from your competitors? First and foremost, at FlowVision we pride ourselves on being customer focused and providing the best customer service and support of any consulting and software company out there. Secondly, we ensure that our customers are successful by achieving the benefits of reduced cost and increased profitability. Thirdly, we are a math-based solution that works with any product and any process. We are not theoretical, we are real-world practitioners who have worked in manufacturing our entire careers and have implemented Lean Flow all over the world. There is no other Lean Flow consulting firm that has as much experience in this industry as we do. We have developed several Lean Flow processes for the Green Industry such as Dock Shipping Supermarket, Progressive Work, and our Rack Item Optimizer (RIO) Software. Why is FlowVision unique? We are different than other consulting companies because are a one-stop solution. We offer a complete suite of Lean Flow and Supply Chain solutions for our customers.

• Lean Material Strategies (LMS) allowing our customers to increase customer service levels while decreasing inventory exposure. • Software Tools to allow sustainability of results and collaboration in decision making with customers and suppliers. • RIO – Rack Item Optimizer – Optimizes Rack Utilization and Increases Truck Payloads • ION – Inventory Optimization Network – Increases Customer Service Levels while reducing Overall Inventory What are some of FlowVision’s greatest challenges and how do you overcome them? The greatest challenge that we face is getting people to embrace the Lean Flow philosophy. Change is hard, and people get complacent with what they do and how they do it. When a FlowVision consultant goes to a customer site and shows an employee a different and better way to do what they are doing, it is not always well received. We hear all the time, “I’ve always done it this way, why should I have to change.” The way we overcome this is by educating and showing the employee how it works and how it will make their life easier. Another challenge is the perception that the goal of Lean Flow is to eliminate jobs, which is not the case. Getting good workers is becoming more difficult, so companies need to make their processes more efficient to get more output with the same number of people and at the same time make the employees job easier. Typically, we see a 20-30 percent improvement in productivity. This translates into getting up to 30 percent more product out in the process by doing

it more efficiently—the Lean Flow way. Once the process is up and running, the people who were doubters usually become believers, and in some cases champions. What was FlowVision’s greatest success in 2018? One of the great successes we had in 2018 was rolling out our RIO Cloud Based Software and getting our first patent on the software. Not many companies can say they have software that is patented, but we are proud to say, “Our software is patented.” We have a total of five patents with both of our software solutions. RIO has helped our customers increase the productivity at the shipping dock by utilizing Rack Sheets that tell the employees how many racks they need for each order, and what goes on each rack—no more guessing or trying figure out how to put the puzzle together. In addition to racks that have little air, our customers have also seen an increase in payload as much as 5% with trucks averaging 97% full loads. This is really important as trucking costs continue to increase and finding companies that want to haul live product becomes more difficult. What does 2019 look like for FlowVision? As we enter our 20th year in business we look forward to continuing to grow the Green Industry segment. We are continually adding new functionality to our software products to help our customers become even more successful. Based on the turn out that we had at our Cultivate’18 Lean Flow Sessions, we feel that 2019 will be even better than 2018. With our RIO software we are looking to get into the European market to help growers across the pond achieve the same benefits our customers in North America have realized. 2019:February | 17

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Be Aware of Unauthorized Hotel and Attendee List Solicitations As we approach the opening of Cultivate’19 registration, the amount of fraudulent communication around securing hotel reservations and trade show attendee lists often rises. We want you to know that the official housing vendor for Cultviate’19 is Showcare. By booking your hotels via Showcare you are getting the most competitive hotel rate available and the best service. If you register for Cultivate’19 via the early-bird registration process, you will receive an email directly from Showcare after February 24 with an assigned day to secure your hotel rooms. If you register for Cultviate’19 via general registration, which opens March 15, you will directly access Showcare and be able to book hotel rooms when you register for the conference. Only through the Showcare system you can book, modify or cancel your hotel reservations. It has come to our attention that various entities are contacting Cultivate exhibitors and attendees identifying themselves as being from Cultivate or AmericanHort and offering access to hotel rooms. Any hotel messages not coming directly from Showcare may be fraudulent and may come from these “housing poachers.” If you are contacted by anyone other than Showcare, please get as much information as you can (name of company, person, telephone, email, etc.), and contact Business Engagement and Events Director, Margaret McGuire-Schoeff at MargaretM@AmericanHort.org or 614-884-1143. Additionally, as the trade show approaches, you may be contacted by entities claiming to sell the Cultivate’19 attendee list. Please know that AmericanHort does not sell the Cultivate attendee list. Anyone outside of AmericanHort offering this information does not have authority to do so. If you have any questions, please contact AmericanHort at Hello@AmericanHort.org or 614-487-1117.


About AmericanHort AmericanHort is the national association of horticulture businesses and professionals across the spectrum of the industry. Without you there is no us, so AmericanHort undertakes the critical task of protecting, preserving, and promoting the national horticulture industry so that people like you can do what you love in an industry that thrives. Perform better, grow stronger, and prepare for the future as a member of AmericanHort, the green industry’s leading association.


Cultivate is the industry event that brings our entire horticulture community together. World-class education sessions, impactful industry connections, new products and varieties, and a huge trade-show are just the beginning. No need to get in line! Register anytime February 11–22 as an Early Bird and receive an assigned day to book your hotel room(s) based off membership and exhibitor status.


General Registration opens March 15.

Learn more at AmericanHort.org. AmericanHort represents the entire horticulture industry. No matter your specialty, we have the resources you need to cultivate a successful business.

SEPTEMBER Business Plus


Interior Plantscape


Generation Next



Garden Retail

Registration for AmericanHort’s 2019 Plug & Cutting Conference is now open! Join AmericanHort in Concord, NC at the premier event for young plant producers and growers to experience a connection-building tradeshow, a can’t-miss tour, top-notch education, and an in-depth workshop. See the latest in strategies, technologies, and techniques in the world of plugs and cuttings.



What are you waiting for? Register now at AmericanHort.org/Plug19


Hello@AmericanHort.org 2130 Stella Court Columbus, Ohio 43215-1033 USA


(614) 487-1117 Main AmericanHort Connect 2019:February © 2019 AmericanHort. All rights reserved. This material may contain confidential information and it is for the sole use of AmericanHort members. The information contained herein is for general guidance and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. It cannot be distributed, reprinted, retransmitted, or otherwise made public without prior written permission by AmericanHort. Please contact the editor at (614) 487-1117 for permission with acknowledgment.

Take action in Washington, D.C. at the Impact Washington Summit—a two-day advocacy summit for green industry business owners and leaders. Participants will hear from elected leaders, their staff, and other policy experts on issues of great impact on the horticulture industry’s business success. Our attendees will share their experiences directly with policy makers, providing realworld context and influence on the decisions being made.



AmericanHort.org 18 | AmericanHort.org

2019:February | 19

Thank you for helping move the horticulture industry forward by donating your time, expertise, and ideas!

Kellie Walters, Michigan State University

John Terhesh, Willoway Nurseries Inc.

Courtney Hughes, BFG Supply Company

Tiffany Heater, Ball Horticultural Co.

Daniel Greenwell, Piedmont Technical College

Jennifer Dyer, MasterTag

Mason Day, GrowIt!

Lindsay Chrisp, Tagawa Gardens

Chris Cerveny, The Farm Garden

Stephanie Whitehouse, Dickman Farms LLC, Community Coordinator

GenNext Community Connectors:

The GenerationNext Community Connectors are a group of passionate, young professionals that provide leadership to AmericanHort on topics such as: attraction and retention of young talent, generational transfer, career building, and the HortScholars and CareerUp Programs. Electronic Service Requested

2130 Stella Court Columbus, OH 43215 USA (614) 487-1117 AmericanHort.org

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Profile for AmericanHort

February 2019 Connect  

February 2019 Connect