Prides Corner Farms: Growing a Grower with TRAVERSE
Located in the eastern Connecticut countryside, nursery wholesaler Prides Corner Farms serves retail nurseries, re-wholesalers, and landscapers with the most diverse selection of hardy containerized plant material of any wholesaler in the Northeast. Prides Corner Farms offerings include woody shrubs, ornamental trees, perennials, ornamental grasses, fruit plants and roses. The plants are sent daily from March through December to an area that stretches from northern Maine to as far south as Virginia and as far west as Ohio. With sales of $15 million in 1999 and an annual growth rate exceeding 15%, Prides Corner has grown over the years from one greenhouse to 40 miles of greenhouses on nearly 250 acres. Prides’ state-ofthe-art shipping system and friendly, dedicated staff enables them to provide their customers with high quality plants—ready to sell—often within 48 hours of a call. This has proved to be an unbeatable combination of people, plants and selling programs.
Behind the scenes at the company is an accounting software system that helps make the Prides Corner Farms difference. Prides has been using Open Systems, Inc., products for the past nine years. Their system consists of a number of applications designed to handle payables and receivables, bank reconciliation, payroll and direct deposit, fixed assets, inventory, and both sales and purchase orders.
Prides started with a heavily modified version of OPEN SYSTEMS Accounting Software (OSAS). Because of the open source code of Open Systems products, Prides was able to have a customized system that allowed them to address the specific needs of their business. A customized order confirmation routine automatically allocates inventory to orders based on available quantities and substitutions, with manual intervention when needed. Processing that used to take weeks was now accomplished in days.
Additional capabilities include the custom printing of picking and loading documents, custom processing and printing of shipping documents, and custom pricing capabilities. An enhancement to the stock pricing system has allowed them to have control over which items received order and terms discounts.
Prides Corner Farms recently decided to move to a Microsoft Windows-based system with newer hardware and operating systems. IT Manager Christian Joseph and Controller Kathy Foley conducted a thorough review of industry standard accounting software packages to evaluate the options for replacing their OSAS system. Their rapid growth and need for a more robust system led them to choose the SQL server-based system offered by Open Systems: TRAVERSE Enterprise Edition.
Because TRAVERSE offers many of the same features as OSAS and has similar functionality, the learning curve typically encountered when moving to new software was greatly reduced.
Says Kathy, “The TRAVERSE system, combined with further modifications provides us with an accelerated process of physical data entry. What would take days to enter and several hours to update now takes just minutes.” In concert with changes implemented in TRAVERSE for document flow, Prides Corner Farms has also changed their business practices to decrease shipping-to-invoice time.
Previously, that time difference could have been more than a month, inappropriately giving customers longer payment terms. The shorter terms now provide a more immediate and consistent cash flow, adding to the bottom line for Prides Corner Farms.
About Open Systems, Inc.
Founded in 1976 on the premise of delivering powerful accounting software to small and mid-market customers, Open Systems is a single source provider of accounting, distribution, manufacturing, Not-For-Profit, CRM and eBusiness solutions. Products offered include OSAS for Windows, UNIX ,Linux, and Mac users; TRAVERSE for the Microsoft platform; and TRAVERSE eBusiness Solutions. Source code for Open Systems products is provided at no additional cost. For more information on Open Systems products, call 800-328-2276 or visit www.osas.com.