We live in a beautiful world, yet in strange times. The effect of COVID-19 on our daily lives is unimaginable. People are staying put in their homes, schools are out and restaurants are closed. Grocery stores are trying hard to keep up with inventory. There has been a huge demand for delivering products to customers’ homes. People are sharing ideas about what to do at their homes on social media.
Don’t forget, Spring is here!
I have an idea! Spring is here. Which means it's time to plant and produce your own food. While more and more people feel claustrophobic and are looking for ways to exercise their bodies as well as minds, gardening gives an outlet to fulfill those needs.
While uncertainty continues, plan to eat from your own garden.
Gardening provides an ideal way for parents to engage with kids, and adults to engage with each other. Plus, you get the benefit of eating from your own garden, and of course all without leaving your house.
Now more than ever, people need services that help them stay home and enjoy it
There has been a surge in demand for people ordering products and services online. Even though social distancing is encouraged to help prevent and reduce the spreading of the virus, we shouldn’t mistake it to mean being anti-social. People are looking for things they can order online. When it comes to gardening, people would love it if they could order nursery supplies online and get started on their garden.
Deliver nursery products to customers
A lot of nursery suppliers and shippers are struggling, as most of their customer interactions happen in person, in the store. By providing your products and services online, you are not only offering a valuable service, you also have the opportunity to build new clientele.
This is exactly what Julie Snell and Lisa McDonald Hanes are doing by pivoting their nursery business, Redbud Native Plant Nursery, figuring out online sales and curbside pickup of everything from quart-size pots of perennial plants like coneflowers and coral bells to seven-gallon containers of winterberry holly and serviceberry shrubs.
Home delivery makes sense, but is it easy to do?
There are some easy delivery management technologies like FreightPrint that make it possible for you as a nursery supply business to provide delivery service. FreightPrint is a simple web and mobile app that connects your products to your customers and offers seamless delivery experience.
Have multiple yards to ship from?
For example, with FreightPrint you can receive delivery orders from customers and ship it out of multiple yards. Every yard can keep track of their inventory and shipment. You can handle yard-to-yard movements and FOB (freight on board) as well.
Have multiple drivers or carriers who deliver to customers?
Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to buy dump trucks and start a brand new operation. All it takes is to find and network with dump trucking companies in your area, and dispatch loads to them. FreightPrint makes dispatching easy. You can also work with brokers who specialize in finding semi dumps, or tandem triple axle dump trucks for you. How about getting bids on rates from a list of truckers, without calling or emailing them? All of this can be done in a manner of a few clicks, thanks to FreightPrint making this process super simple for small business shippers to use.
Create traceable tracking for each shipment
Having a technology like FreightPrint not only helps your business have superb delivery management, but it also helps your end customers have the visibility and transparency they’d like. For example, every shipment processed through FreightPrint comes with a unique tracking number. Customers can look up what they ordered online and see the status of their order, just like they would on other e-commerce services like Amazon, Ebay etc. Did I mention you can even receive electronic signatures from each customer as proof of delivery?
Get invoices from each carrier automatically in one place.
Having to work with multiple third-party carriers and drivers doesn’t mean you’ll have to hire additional staff to process all the invoices and billing. Upon each delivery, FreightPrint will create an invoice from each carrier and will send it to you automatically. Imagine having all the invoices from each driver or carrier you work with all on one page!
Scaling without breaking is possible!
Here is what one of FreightPrint's customers, a nursery supplier business, has to say. “We grew our business 10x in a matter of a year. FreightPrint made it possible to scale our freight delivery without breaking us.” FreightPrint has been focusing on helping small regional shippers more productive and be more profitable by offering more value to their customers.
Is this something that you could implement in your company pretty quickly?
Having a delivery logistics technology to enhance your business is nice. However, usually such automation and technology comes with a high implementation cost and long and steep learning curve. This is why it makes sense to use a solution like FreightPrint, which can be set up in as little as 20 minutes and has affordable monthly plans, as low as $99, with no long contractual obligation.
As the world is on lock-down to fight and prevent the spreading of the virus, offering people products and services to meet their needs at their homes is of critical importance, now more than ever before. In many places, governors are asking all businesses that aren’t life sustaining to shut down. Luckily, nurseries are often not on that list.
If you are a landscape or nursery supplier and would like to know how you can pivot or scale your business using FreightPrint, please click below to sign up for our upcoming free webinar.