C&O Nursery has been providing the finest fruit trees for over 100 years. Though their legacy accounting and inventory systems weren’t quite that old, they were becoming obsolete. The answer? A modern, comprehensive, and fully integrated cloud ERP solution that could scale with them into the future.
There’s a new apple that hit the stores last month, reports USA Today, and its name suggests that it’s out of this world. ‘Cosmic Crisp’ is the largest launch of an apple to date. It’s also one of the first fruit varieties developed in Washington state and C&O Nursery has the privilege of growing the rootstock and trees for the tasty new crop.
Why is this new variety of apple important to Acumatica?
Because C&O Nursery relies on Acumatica’s comprehensive and well-designed cloud ERP solution to manage their accounting, inventory, and customer management needs as they focus on their 113-year-old passion: growing apple (and pear and cherry) trees.
C&O Nursery on Acumatica cloud ERP: “We have not looked back”
The company was started in 1906 by Andy Gossman. He was a Minnesota schoolteacher who decided to invest his savings in apple tree varieties and rootstock, moving to Eastern Washington to follow his dream. His first nursery was planted near the Columbia and Okanogan Rivers, which was the impetus for his new company’s name, C&O Nursery.
Andy and his nephew, Bert Snyder, relocated the business to Wenatchee, Washington, becoming known for their superior fruit trees. Now, C&O is run by the third generation, continuing to sell fruit trees to orchard growers around the world as well as directly to individuals. C&O holds 20 fruit patents (including the first patent of a fruit variety, a peach).
In 2012, present CEO and President Todd Snyder and his team recognized that C&O Nursery needed to make a major change. For four years, they had been using Microsoft Dynamics GP for their accounting and payroll needs and special inventory software based on Microsoft Access 97 for their inventory needs.
The two disconnected systems were not getting the job done. What they required was adaptable financial management software, distribution management software, and inventory management software that they could mold to fit their specific agriculture-and-farming needs.
They turned to PC Bennett Solutions for help. Patricia Bennett, the founder and CEO of the technology provider, says in C&O Nursery’s customer success story, “It was a no brainer to introduce them to Acumatica, a flexible system built on .Net technology.”
For Todd, the decision to go with Acumatica’s cloud-based ERP solution, implementing Acumatica Financial Management, Acumatica Distribution Management, and Acumatica Customer Management suites, was the right one. “The customization of Acumatica [meets] all of our needs, including accounting, sales orders, inventory, stock, everything we could do, and we have not looked back,” he says.
Through the years, they’ve adapted to the changes and the growing complexity of the fruit tree industry, such as the change from growing on speculation (with a small percentage on contract) to nearly 80% sold on contract today (presold orders of specific varieties, primarily of varieties with a patent and royalty surcharge). The company’s customer success story explains the changes in detail but moving from their legacy systems to Acumatica’s single cloud ERP solution has helped them adapt even more.
“Acumatica has been able to provide almost anything we’ve wanted,” Todd says. “And with customizations, we’re ahead of where some of our competitor nurseries are.”
C&O Nursery on Acumatica cloud ERP: “We appreciate Acumatica”
So, how exactly has C&O used Acumatica’s cloud ERP software?
- View and track their inventory (which has different growth stages, different time lapses, and more) in one system in real time: “We have full visibility of what’s happening out in the field at any point in time,” Todd says.
- Access information anywhere, anytime: “Before, if we were out in the field and a grower said, ‘By the way, do you have X, Y, Z variety?’, we would call into the office,” Todd says. “Now that we’re cloud-based, we can actually log in, look at our inventory, and answer that person within about three minutes with an accurate answer.”
- Handle agriculture pay requirements (including regular and seasonal agricultural workers) with Acumatica Payroll and third-party software Attendance on Demand, replacing paper-based employee tracking: “Attendance on Demand made it a lot easier to keep track all our employees out in the field,” says Lilly Estrada, Human Resource and Payroll Manager. “It literally helps us know how many employees we currently have active, their hours, and makes sure everyone is accounted for properly for every minute they’re out in the field working.”
Additionally, they can now track royalties accurately, have eliminated manual duplicate data entry, and improved their customer service.
Todd says their customers really appreciate their accurate and prompt answers. “They don’t know that we’re using Acumatica, they just know we’re giving them the right answer, and they really appreciate that. And for us to give that answer, we appreciate Acumatica.”
C&O Nursery on Acumatica cloud ERP: “Open ended and customizable”
Cosmic Crisp, the new apple variety, is a great example of innovation in the fruit growing business, and C&O is right in the middle of it.
They plan on keeping their tradition of providing top-quality tree fruit stock alive, and their plans include possibly incorporating emerging technology, such as Alexa and drones, with the help of Acumatica. “Acumatica is so open ended and customizable, we can probably throw any tech at it, and it’ll take it and go,” Todd says.
He’s right, and one of the best places to witness Acumatica’s innovative cloud ERP solution is by attending our annual cloud ERP event. Acumatica Summit 2020 is taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, January 26-31, 2020, bringing thousands of customers, partners, and developers together in one place, at one time for superior training, networking, and fun.
For any immediate questions about Acumatica, contact our team today.