How Picas Is Focused on Helping Growers Address Business Management Challenges

Picas BI Screen Capture

The Picas Group Business Intelligence Platform

Revolutionary Software program Alternatives could not be a familiar name to growers in the controlled-natural environment marketplace, but Picas definitely is. This is exactly why the company made the decision to change its official identify to the Picas Team this earlier year.

Greenhouse Grower Senior Editor Brian Sparks caught up with two users of The Picas Team staff – Andrew Stallmer, Manufacturer Developer, and Ben Dill, Software Implementation Expert – to discover more about the company’s rebranding attempts, the significance of utilizing knowledge to make educated decisions, and some of The Picas Group’s choices.

Brian Sparks: Can you speak about the principal good reasons driving the organization rebranding?

Andrew Stallmer: Picas is a acknowledged manufacturer, but our previous business name was Innovative Program Answers. So at its main, the identify alter removed a very little little bit of confusion. But far more importantly, we improved our title due to the fact we desired to give ourselves the chance to reach a much larger audience inside of the horticulture sector, not just growers who are functioning our software but with any grower. Renaming ourselves to The Picas Group authorized us to just take gain of a brand name that experienced currently created a name in the sector and posture us in a way that can be extra conducive to advancement. Our eyesight is to be essential to growers in this market by supplying outstanding program, coupled with superb assistance, and the title adjust allows us to much more proficiently provide that eyesight.

The explanation we chose the phrase “group” for our company name is we needed to target on the group facet inside our enterprise and in the industry. We want all people who functions with The Picas Group to really feel like they are section of our team/local community. Growers have identical needs and interests, and this promotes collaboration with one particular a further in a team/crew ecosystem.

Sparks: What are the companies you at the moment deliver?

Stallmer: There are a few key expert services we can communicate about: Picas BI (Business Intelligence), our IT company, and web-site layout. We felt like through the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to pivot in sure areas and commence currently being resourceful with what we had been supplying to prospects. Their requirements were being shifting, and they had been searching to develop into as lean and effective as doable. We felt like we had a ton of unique skill sets as a enterprise that we wanted to get benefit of, which is why we introduced these providers. The website design was one thing we presently made available, and the extra I was operating in this house, the far more I realized the result that a powerful website can have. The horticulture field does not have a lot of strong web-sites, and it felt like a services that a good deal of growers could gain from. The objective is to make it possible for growers to employ a website that can assist them in making out their brand, showcasing item, and, if attainable, be an e-commerce remedy.

Information and facts Technological innovation (IT) is some thing that we had been offering on an “ask us” basis, and now we’re providing it to any person in the marketplace. It includes community set up and administration, safety, employee training, and additional. Growers can be uncomplicated targets for people today who have malicious intent, and most of the time are not well prepared to get on a hack or a breach of safety. It is significant for growers to have steps in place to secure them selves, and that is the intention of our IT assistance.

Business intelligence is also something that we carry on to establish out. We are actively developing our personal crew of organization intelligence professionals, so we can in turn better guide the growers we function with. When I communicate to these growers, a whole lot of persons obtain data as a protection net or to cover their bases, but they are not really making conclusions centered off that details. Frankly, looking at an Excel spreadsheet is unexciting and difficult, and can occur across as just some thing else on your to-do list. Enterprise Intelligence is a collection of graphs and dashboards, that  help you make proactive compared to reactive selections for your procedure.

Sparks: You mentioned e-commerce. More than the past few of several years, there is been a bigger press for it. How important is stock regulate to e-commerce?

Stallmer: Above the program of the pandemic, a person of the matters that we have been capable to do is build a Shopify or an integration with Shopify and let our customers to establish their personal site that they can provide on, but that also speaks to the Picas program. When they offer a little something on their internet site, it is also been up-to-date in Picas, so there is not confusion over how numerous units were really marketed.

Dill: The critical factor you described for e-commerce is retaining up with stock control. Our e-commerce integration began as a broker integration, and that has expanded to integrations with box merchants and chain outlets, and now e-commerce web-sites. It’s really all the identical type of features or mechanics, just utilized to a unique situation wherever now it is a purchaser on a web-site, as a substitute of a group of brokers advertising your item. We fully grasp the require for retaining correct stock, which is why we have produced it a precedence to have these built-in options.

Sparks: Let us go back to your stage about information. There is facts assortment, and there is figuring out what to do with it. Can you converse about the benefit of earning actionable selections based on the facts you’re collecting?

Dill: Gathering details is critical, and if you’re not collecting facts, you need to have to get started there and have some facts to get the job done with. Then we can discuss about examining it, placing it into a dashboard, and getting ways to just take action from that details. A person phrase I have read a number of instances prior to is, what gets calculated gets improved. After you have a measurement of a little something and are amassing details, you can now use that to improve some thing. At The Picas Team, we’re seeking to help growers recognize those people suffering factors, track information and facts from them, and use that information and facts to make choices on nearly anything from profits to provide chain. There are all varieties of issues that folks evaluate, and every 12 months it would seem like there’s some new aspect or performance we can insert to Picas to give growers a new way to glimpse at info and make improved choices.

Picas Group ConsultingSparks: What are some of the most pressing considerations growers are dealing with now?

Dill: It is definitely labor and the supply chain, and how to handle them. For the offer chain, it is far more vital than ever to know what you will need, when you require it, where’s it coming from, and how considerably it will expense. With labor, you require to know how quite a few persons means you want, when do you need them, and what they are meant to be accomplishing.

Getting it a stage further more, in this field we generally consider of labor as handbook labor for planting and filling trays, caring for vegetation, pulling products and so on. There is been a massive force for automation, and there is some amazing know-how out there. The future tier of that is automating your greater-degree positions: your management and your decision makers. How can we make life simpler for these people? If you know the jobs they are accomplishing, you can leverage computer software to make their lives less complicated and take some thing they spend two or 3 hours number crunching or processing by way of, and make a report to give what ever details they need to have. I’m enthusiastic to see where we go with that and what comes from that, mainly because in this labor current market, it appears to be like positions at every level are competitive, and corporations are struggling to keep persons at just about every stage. Together with the gains that we’ve designed on the handbook labor aspect, exactly where are there gains to be manufactured on the subsequent better-stage tier of people? I think we have the suitable crew in spot to be equipped to consider a major search at that.

Stallmer: I consider it’s also exciting due to the fact everybody variety of assumes that when you’re discussing efficiencies, you obviously default to guide labor. But the reality is that if you’re in a better-stage position, you might have X quantity of tasks to do in a day, and if you really feel like you really do not have the resources to get individuals tasks finished, they’re just currently being pushed to the again burner and you’re having them done when you can. Programs like Picas and other services we provide can assistance you choose up people responsibilities that were on the back again burner. For people occasions when you come to feel like you don’t have the assets to get issues carried out, a great deal of the time you almost certainly do have the means, they are just not becoming allotted the appropriate way. If you acquire edge of Picas or other computer software tools, you can get on some of individuals other duties that you felt like you earlier didn’t have the means to handle on your own.

Dill: Talking from my individual past experience operating for a grower (Wagner Greenhouses) and controlling people, the suitable technology can aid you program and organize well in advance and cost-free you up to do what you do ideal, and most appreciate accomplishing, expanding crops.  There are wonderful people today in this sector who have constructed astounding companies, but I consider at the heart of this field is a love of plants, and we just want to give an possibility for growers to get back again to undertaking what they enjoy.


Maria Flores

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