Lean in the Green Industry

Living Product, Seasonal Markets, Efficient Facility

The Need

In the green industry, you face more challenges than most. Your products are alive, their condition is ever-changing, weather and sun are unpredictable, your product mix is broad, your markets are seasonal and capricious, and nature – not labor or equipment – adds most of the value to your products.

To be both profitable and competitive, you must:

  • Add value, not simply cost, with every labor “touch”
  • Achieve economies of scale and motion on your low-volume products, not just your “high runners”
  • Increase and maximize sell-through
  • Provide the highest-quality products, with the fewest shipping errors
  • Respond quickly – and efficiently – to last-minute order changes due to weather, product mix and condition, and customer requests

These daunting goals require expertise, experience and Lean Flow techniques. They require project-style focus and leadership. They need to be sustainable when the project is done. And they need to be better than whatever your competition is doing.

You need FlowVision – we help you create The World’s Most Efficient Facilities, we use proven techniques, and our expert team members have decades of real-world experience. We lead, we guide, and we transfer our techniques to you, so you may complete your Lean and Flow project into a sustainable Lean and Flow business strategy.

The Approach

We are Lean and Flow experts. You are experts in your products, processes, markets. We work with you to define, and then execute, a Lean Flow implementation plan tailored for you.

First, we spend time with you, your products, your processes and your data. We create a Lean Flow Business Assessment. This concise, custom document outlines your best Lean Flow opportunities, proposed scope, quantified ROI (return on investment), “Rapid-Lean” timetable (weeks or a few months – not years), team members and roles, applicable Lean Flow techniques, and sustainability plan.

Next, FlowVision and your team execute your Lean Flow implementation. We use proven, time-tested, math-based techniques and tools – including kanban, takt, balance and service level. For sustainability, we teach and transfer these techniques and tools to your team and your business. Our math-based approach utilizes three fundamentals, in this order:

  • Data
  • Calculations
  • Physical Layout

This approach employs your reliable, confirmed data, ensuring that your team makes sound, fact-driven, emotion-free decisions. If you don’t have good data, we help you get it. We help you formalize this data, so you don’t lose it or let it become outdated. We teach you the calculations and their application to your environment.

Our physical layout methods incorporate appropriate aspects of 5S, quick-changeover, cells, kanban supermarkets, flexible employees – and likely all those layout changes you have long wanted to make!

Our productivity improvements, particularly in high-labor processes such as sticking, transplant, laydown, phased moves, fixing, cleaning and tagging include progressive off-belt planting, dedicated material handlers and daily planning.

Our math-based techniques extend beyond just your four walls: Our proprietary, patented Statistical Kanban® tools enable you to achieve your strategic on-time targets, along both your supply chain and your demand-fulfillment chain. Statistical Kanban®, combined with our shipping-dock and store-level “supermarket” kanban methods, maximize your sell-through.

The Benefits

Just as your business is different than any other business, so your Lean Flow benefit potential is unique. Typically, our green-industry clients experience labor productivity improvements of 20%-40%, on-time delivery over 95%, sell-through of over 95%, shipment accuracy over 99%, and low-stress peak seasons.

The Costs

Like anything else of value, real Lean Flow has a cost – not a mere expense, but an investment with a compelling return. Typically, these costs include:

  • Consulting – FlowVision consultants are skilled, seasoned, real-world, hands-on, practical and motivated
  • Training – up-front education for your Lean Flow implementation team members equips them to complete the implementation as well, and as quickly, as possible
  • Physical facilities rearrangement – often, physical layout impedes optimal Lean Flow

Many of our clients experience a first-full-year payback of between 4-to-1 and 10-to-1 on their Lean Flow investment. We are confident you will find your Lean Flow benefits, detailed in our Business Assessment, to be most compelling.

Contact us

Call FlowVision at +1.970.262.6536 or contact us to get started with a Business Assessment for your company.


Lean in the Green Industry



We have been extremely pleased to have FlowVision help us with increasing our efficiencies at our nursery. Using math-based analysis, we figure we have received a return on our money within 6 months on each implementation we have done. Increasing our shipping capacity by 20% with no capital expenditures and increasing our propagation productivity by 30%,We have been working with FlowVision for several years, and continue to see the value in it. We think so much of FlowVision’s abilities, we put on a seminar for our key customers so they could see the benefits also. I highly recommend FlowVision, and encourage anyone to investigate what they can do for your business.”

Dave Van Belle
Van Belle Nursery