Minimizing Labor Costs — for Greenhouse Growers

Minimizing Labor Costs — for Greenhouse Growers

Many horticultural businesses face daily challenges in managing their labor force. This involves determining the tasks for the week and the required workforce size. Typically, these decisions are based on historical data, prior experience, and average figures, often recorded in Excel sheets. These sheets usually contain various assumptions and estimates, making the planning process complex. Labor planning — Complex and Difficult to analyze

As a grower, you have to take into account so many aspects, that it is difficult to manage it all in an Excel sheet. In practice, I see the following problems that make the planning of labor so very complex.

  1. Estimating Time for Diverse Activities: It's challenging to estimate the time needed for activities across a wide range of plant varieties, especially when growing in different locations. This complexity makes it hard to accurately assess the time and effort required based on experience and averages alone.
  2. Complexity of Customized Orders: The trend towards 'made to order' production adds complexity. Growers must consider customer-specific requirements like pot types, stakes, and growth mediums, and tailor activities like grafting, pinching, and watering accordingly, impacting labor planning.
  3. Variable Labor Demand Due to Growth Stages: The demand for labor fluctuates with the season, climate, and failure rates at different growth stages. This variability complicates short and long-term work scheduling, affecting staffing, budget, and cash flow planning.

Top 5 Advantages of Time and Labor Management

Time and labor registration in an ERP software package could help you to manage the issues by reversing the complexity back to easily comprehensible insights. Working with these systems can avert the problems mentioned above.

I would like to mention five advantages of managing time and labor resources in a software package as follows:

  1. Standardized Norms for Efficient Planning: Our software helps growers create precise activity schedules, offering clear insights into hour demands. This is achieved through predefined labor norms and standards, aiding in both short and long-term labor planning.
  2. Detailed Time Overviews for Informed Decisions: The software provides detailed overviews of time and labor requirements on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis. This data assists in making strategic decisions, like adjusting staff levels during peak periods or balancing workloads over certain periods.
  3. Productivity Insights for Cost Management: By using the software, growers gain a deeper understanding of productivity per product or group. This information is crucial in identifying major cost drivers and making informed organizational decisions.
  4. Comparative Analysis of Planned vs. Actual Productivity: The software allows for a post-analysis comparison between standard norms and actual hours recorded. This feature aids in more accurate planning for future crops and ensures optimal staffing levels and cost accuracy.
  5. Integrated Labor Planning with Other Business Processes: Our ERP software integrates labor planning with crop production and area planning. This ensures that the activity schedule is always current and reflects the latest updates in crop production, leading to more coordinated and efficient operations.

Mprise Agriware

Ultimately, using our software for labor planning results in highly reliable forecasts, freeing up your employees' time to focus on managing other critical aspects of the business.

Martin Jensen Agriware HD

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