Lean in the Green

Lean Flow in the Green Industry

Most growers started and grew their businesses by growing and selling high-quality products; however, getting that quality product to market was often a large piece of profitability that did not get the attention it needed. This is where FlowVision can help. While FlowVision has over 16 years experience implementing Lean Flow in over 200 growing facilities, we don’t focus on the growing process but rather on how to efficiently get green products to market. Whether you are looking for help with how to produce more efficiently, resourcefully harvest/pull and ship product, or keep your plant maintenance costs to a minimum, FlowVision can help you quickly realize financial benefits.

Business Assessment

Every growing facility is different and has different needs. Regardless of your operational requirements, FlowVision can help by first visiting your facility and performing a Business Assessment. During the Business Assessment, we will collect data, review your entire operation and interview key operations and management personnel, while working together to come up with implementable potential ways to improve the process. We’ll baseline your business and provide you with the expected costs, benefits, ROI, timeframe and expectations.

What We Typically Deliver

Typically, labor is the biggest slice of the cost pie in the green industry. Whether we are in a strong or weak economy labor efficiency is paramount; FlowVision works to make the people that you have more efficient. We’ll work together with your team to come up with the most appropriate solutions for your business, and then we’ll guide you to bring those concepts and visions to reality.

FlowVision can help with harvesting and shipping product by leveraging our popular and proven Dock Shipping Supermarket methodology. This methodology helps you master pull multiple orders and loads to a supermarket at a time, pick to order from a smaller footprint, and then process and stage, all linked and balanced together via a pull methodology. Regardless of whether you ship to big box retail, wholesalers, IGCs or landscapers, FlowVision can help you improve your shipping process. Typically, our customers see improvements of 15 – 40% in productivity.

For production processes, FlowVision can help you set up your sticking/transplanting lines in a progressive flow. We will teach you to run the lines so that the workload is balanced between all the operations, as opposed to having a bottleneck process that paces the entire line driving down everyone else’s efficiency. Using FlowVision’s holistic approach to designing facilities, we will also link the upstream processes supplying the inputs as well as the downstream processes responsible for organizing and laying down the output.

If you are processing seeds, we can show you how to set up your processes in a progressive flow so you can reduce your lead time and get your product to market quicker. An additional benefit is that you will be able to reduce your work-in-process inventory between each of the machines, thus freeing up working capital and backlog and reducing lead times.

Getting strong control over your production and fulfilling processes is only one piece of the puzzle; it is important to have a good understanding of the labor responsible for maintaining your nurseries and greenhouses. There’s watering, pruning/trimming, dead-heading, spacing (in place versus moving and then spacing), weeding, fertilizing, applying herbicide, etc. Regardless of the work, we’ll teach you how to manage that labor and plan your maintenance tasks in an efficient way so that your team can keep up with the workload while keeping labor to a minimum.

Enabling Continuous Improvement

While it is important to understand that implementing Lean Flow throughout a facility and organization is a continuous process, part of our deliverable at the end of a consulting engagement is to provide our customers a road map for further improvements. Lean Flow is not a destination, it’s a journey. You’ll want to take what you’ve learned and carry that torch further. FlowVision will continually teach from day one, working with your team to come up with the best way to analyze the situation and come to the best solutions. Our math-based solution allows us to design custom layouts based our customers’ nuances.

What our clients say

" Utilizing lean/flow concepts in our packing and shipping area has allowed us to more than double our throughput with the same resources. FlowVision took the guesswork out of implementing lean/flow which facilitated our ability to accurately process more orders and grow our business. "

Karl Batschke

Production Manager

Ball FloraPlant, Costa Rica

Turning Vision into Reality