Grower Direct Farms was started by Leonard Van Wingerden in 1981. Bypassing the opportunity to buy flat fertile farmland in Somers, he acquired a 160 acre sand and gravel pit operation on its decline in the foothills of North Somers. The place looked like a moonscape with craters, rock piles, sand, stumps, some pasture fields, and wooded area. But Leonard saw potential in this land, and worked hard to cultivate it once more. Today Grower Direct Farms comprises 1,300,000 sq. ft. of crop protection structures, 43,000 sq. ft. of support buildings and 20 acres of outdoor growing area.
The key to their success? Grower Direct Farms excels at the fine balance of art and science with a highly trained work force, experienced management, and modern efficient facilities with rigorous conservation and sustainability practices as an integral part of the flower and plant growing regimens.
Working with major retailers like Home Depot, Grower Direct Farms needed to go and remove plants from the display. Whether it was because there were overstocked or had died, this information was crucial in figuring out stocking.
Gathering this information was easier said than done. Grower Direct Farms would fax the information back to their office. However, this system came with multiple pain points: not all forms returned to the office, employees struggled to decipher handwriting, and the hours spent re-entering that information back in their database to reflect inventories. This process wasn’t just slow, but also created opportunity for errors in their information.
Grower Direct Farms needed a faster and more accurate system.
In December 2013, Verizon introduced Grower Direct Farms to GoCanvas, the global leader in mobile apps for business. With their free trial, they received full support from GoCanvas as they moved from paper to mobile apps.
Each and every account gets a dedicated senior mobile app consultant. With their consultant, Grower Direct Farms was able to explain what they wanted and to create a mobile experience for their unique needs.
Grower Direct Farms found itself in the same position thousands of GoCanvas customers have; the GoCanvas platform—with 14,000+ customizable mobile apps, the app builder and real-time app management—strengthened their internal processes.
Their consultant created Grower Direct Farms’ first app as well as had a short training with their users. Then, their users were ready to go.
Today, Grower Direct Farms has 23 users, some on Android and other on iOS devices. They have experienced real, measurable benefits from implementing GoCanvas, including: significant efficiency, cost and environmental. Key results include:
Grower Direct Farms has leveraged Canvas’ cloud-based, “as-a-Service” mobile app to enjoy real-time, actionable intelligence. Employees visiting various retail sites can transmit in-store data from their devices via the GoCanvas cloud. This switch has allowed Grower Direct Farms to shift from ad hoc reporting to a systematic process for data collection that can be converted into actionable intelligence.
What once took hours to become part of Growers Direct Farms database can now be accessed in seconds. Saving time has a real monetary benefit as well: they estimate that they save $150 a week in peak season processing time. In one month alone, GoCanvas will save them $600.
More than faster data, Grower Direct Farms also enjoys more accurate data. Previously, employees had to enter in all information by hand, including type of plant and certain details about it.
With GoCanvas, Grower Direct Farms harnesses reference historical data, allowing them to pre-populate forms with data on plant type and details on it. This feature not only makes reporting quicker, but also improves report accuracy.
The improved data has created real visible changes for Grower Direct Farms. Today, they struggle less with demands for plants that are out of stock as well as making fewer emergency deliveries.
As a cloud-based mobile app platform, GoCanvas provided Grower Direct Farms with the flexibility to easily add features and functionality to each app as user and business needs evolve. With other mobile app alternatives, making even minor changes within each app proved cumbersome and diluted the effectiveness of the tool.
For instance, as they decided to use GoCanvas for their spring cull, Grower Direct Farms was able to copy their first app and edit it to reflect the plants and data they needed to collect.
GoCanvas allows Grower Direct Farms to do this quickly and easily. This flexibility allows them to be nimble and nuanced in understanding the needs of their retail partners, and ultimately, their customers.
Started on a seemingly unfertile land, Grower Direct Farm discovered opportunity and began to thrive. Today, they have over 20 acres of outdoor growing area, and 1,300,000 square feet of protective and support structures. In 2014, the GoCanvas mobile app platform allows Grower Direct Farms to have complete, accurate information in real time, helping them achieve even more success.
Discover how much you can save by going mobile: Send us your form and we'll convert it into a custom app for free. Or search from our collection of customizable mobile form templates for Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing in the GoCanvas Application Store to find something to use as a starting point.