ASHS Nurserry Production Workshop ""Managing and Thriving in Tough Times, When Every Dime Counts!" "

If you didn't make the workshop at the ASHS Meeting it sounds like it was a good one.

Here is the report in the nursery working group report. This is what nursery owners and managers are doing to survive.

"Managing and Thriving in Tough Times, When Every Dime Counts!" was held on Sunday July 26, 2009 from 8:00 to 10:00. It was coordinated and moderated by Gladis Zinati. The workshop was well attended (>34 people), well-rounded, included five speakers who spoke from different perspectives (industry, research, and extension) and the feedback was excellent, lots of interaction between the speakers and audience both during and after the workshop. Dr. Charles Hall (Texas A&M University) discussed current economic trends and their impact on the industry. He reminded us that economics goes in cycles and we are currently in a downturn but have probably bottomed out. Supply and demand is working and things are beginning to improve. Housing market and the weather have large influence on the green industry. In a period of “hypercompetition,” successful firms have increased sales and profits by innovating and reducing costs, tweaking value propositions, and reserving enough capital to outlast the competition. Dr. Robin Brumfield (Rutgers University) spoke on strategies producers in the Northeast are using to reduce costs and increase profits. These included promoting local production to reduce the “carbon footprint” and providing better service. Dr. Jennifer Dennis (Purdue University) discussed how producers can manage cash flow during tough times: need a written business plan with cash flow analysis, monitoring of inventory, and understanding the needs of the customer. Teresa Olczyk (University of Florida) discussed how Florida producers are coping by avoiding monoculture production and diversifying plant materials and services. Kim Lovelace-Young (Forrest-Keeling Nursery, MO) discussed how they are increasing production efficiency using Lean Production methods, BMPs, and alternative fuels and marketing for the ecosystem and focusing on quality.

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