Photo courtesy of Kraemer’s Nursery

Timothy O’Connor, information system manager at Kraemer’s in Mount Angel, Ore., says that in the 30 years of his career, he’s never found a perfect business software solution, but finding an implementation partner and developer that can help you effectively span the gaps, like Practical Software Solutions does, is critical.

“When you have a service provider like Practical that is genuinely engaged with your project, takes the time to get to know your business and is highly capable of supporting and developing the product you are looking to deploy, that is probably [the] quickest and greatest return [on your investment] you will see,” O’Connor says.

Practical Software Solutions provides business management software that can be used in all areas of a business, including accounting, manufacturing, distribution, construction and real estate, service management and professional services, according to their website.

However, O’Connor says one of the biggest advantages of using Practical Software Solutions systems is how it can mold its systems to the needs of growers. Specifically, he says Grower Vertical, one of Practical’s software systems, is the perfect fit for growing operations.

“Growing plants or working with live material is not like making a widget,” O’Connor says. “Many variables, from weather to genus-specific grow times, impact a plant’s delivery timelines and care requirements. Grower Vertical has a great foundation for tracking these variables in production. There are several additional variables such as color, series, size, etc. that can be tracked with each item [or] plant as well. With Practical’s help, all of it is fairly easily customizable to your specific growing operation.”

The ability to tailor the product to O’Connor’s specific business was the biggest selling point for him. He has used Practical Software Solutions at two different companies, first at Terra Nova Nurseries in Canby, Ore., and then again when he moved to Kraemer’s.

“[At] the first company I did a pretty in-depth amount of research looking for companies that offered tailored solutions for growers and ran across Practical as one of the options,” he says. “Practical showed a stronger knowledge of growers than most other companies, and their product was geared more toward production planning than anyone else.”

“Practical has lots of experience with EDI [electronic data interchange] and can help you connect with your box stores, vendors, etc.,” he says. “In my opinion, their product and development options are one of the best in the grower-specific software industry.”

In the five years O’Connor has been working with Practical Software Solutions, he has come to know every employee and knows they are dedicated to their mission.

“They work very hard to deliver a quality product in Sage [and] Grower Vertical and back it up with great customer service and support,” he says. “Many times, they have gone out of their way to make sure any concerns we had were addressed right away.”

O’Connor says he’s worked with a lot of developers through the years, but Practical Software Solutions is superior.

“Practical really is one of the best I have had the good fortune to work with,” he says. “Implementations of this magnitude have a huge impact on a business. Getting a partner like Practical that owns the success of the project with you from the very start, and is there to support you moving forward, makes all the difference in the world.”