Blog: V-day ... the countdown is on!
V-day…the countdown is on!
From the desk of Angie Lopez
It’s a magical, overwhelming, and exciting month for us at Frank Adams. Valentines day is kicking into FULL gear! The buying departments in both supplies and fresh have been hustling to get availabilities and price lists from our vendors and farms since the beginning of December. Then we determine what gas/freight costs will be to get products from around the world landed here in Portland. It’s spreadsheets galore as we enter the numbers and let excel do the rest. Offers have been sent out, calendars have been set, and product is starting to be secured.
This time of year, team work is crucial. The decisions being made are a beautiful yet unnerving mix of educated guessing and gut feelings sprinkled with experience. What product to buy, where to buy it from, and how much to buy. What day of the week the holiday lands on. When will our customers want to start receiving their flowers? What day do we ship from farm to ensure the freshest product is available? And one of the biggest…..are we competitive with our neighboring competition???
These things don’t even begin to account for other uncontrollable variables such as weather at the farms in both South America and California which affect last minute availability, flight delays out of South America which could affect our departing trucks, said trucks traveling safely from Miami to Portland….
I’m quite certain everything above seems quite dismal and stressful but it’s actually what we live for. The unknown, the hustle, the constantly changing variables. There’s excitement in seeing semi-trucks loaded with our flowers come in, become organized, and miraculously fit Jenga style into our coolers! One day later, that same cooler starts to empty as orders are pulled for the following day’s deliveries and pick-ups. All hands on deck and everyone on point! We are a well-oiled machine that thrives on 2 months of planning for a 1.5 week window of incoming and outgoing perishable flowers.
Blog: From the desk of Jenny Larson, Supply Buyer& Manager
From the desk of Jenny Larson, Supply Buyer& Manager
So in the late 80’s, I, like many, discovered and loved the work of artist Keith Haring—raw, bold, current-his work connected me to the world outside of Wheeling, WV. My mom, armed with an 800-number phonebook found a poster shop in Manhattan that sold his work, as nothing even close could be found at the Ohio Valley Mall. She found a large poster that she knew I would love and ordered it. The sales guy was more than happy to complete the sale and even giftwrap and then my mom said this,
I need this shipped to West Virginia.
Oh ma’am we don’t ship-you’ll have to come in and pick it up
But I live in West Virginia…
Is that in Brooklyn ma’am-can you take the #whatever and then crossover on the #whatever to get to the subway to get to Manhattan?
No, it’s a different state-in between Ohio and Pennsylvania-just up from Virginia…
I’ve never been out of the City lady, but we don’t ship-you have to pick it up.”
Never out of the city, have you ever had homemade Christmas cookies?
Homemade Christmas cookies? Not sure what you mean, there’s a bodega two doors down-they have cookies-not sure who makes them…I know my mom never made a cookie…”
If I send you some of my homemade Christmas cookies will you send me the poster?
I’ll walk it to the post office myself.
And so she sent him a tin filled with cookies that she made herself. He got them and I got an incredible Christmas present.
I think about this story often for several reasons. It’s hard to remember a time that everyone didn’t ship everything everywhere—I’m sure as this transaction occurred Silicon Valley was forging the trail to e-commerce as we know it today. Look at how far we have come in a pretty short period of time. I am not anti-technology whatsoever but I love the human aspect of this story-I hope as we rely even more on computers that we do not relinquish the human experience completely.
I also love the resolve from this tale. My entire working career has involved customer service and even though my mom was the customer, this story taught me to think outside the box. Often, customer service can be a problem-solving mission-how can you get what your customer needs if there is an issue with shipping or availability or something is time sensitive? I don’t do well with a flat out “no”-not without exploring every avenue. And because online shopping is such a fierce competitor, now more than ever customer service—the human experience is more important than ever. I do appreciate the ease of shopping online but I also love walking through doors into the space of someone’s life work and passion—I appreciate a well done site but I love the smell of a wood sculpture and I have to touch a throw rug—while online shopping is about me-a brick and mortar experience is about both buyer and seller--a connection.
My job allows me to travel a few times a year to shop for the Supply department. I go through a ton of showrooms and touch everything. I think about my customers as I am sifting through trends, colors, textures and lines.
I wonder if they will be surprised at how light something is like I was-or how amazing the color combo on a ceramic is…again, a connection.
Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping to all this season. I hope you find what you looking for and if you are lucky, I hope you make a connection-with cookies or without.
The Fall Annual Festival was a great success
Frank Adams presents... Floral Chopped and 1 Day Profit Blast!
The 2nd annual Floral Chopped Competition on October 5th 2018 was a tremendous success. We will definitely be doing this again, check out some of the great pictures we captured that day. The weekend was full of activity and excitement as we hosted these great two events for our industry. Floral Chopped featured students from our local highschools, and the 1 day profit blast brought to us by SAF featured great industry insight from industry leaders.
2018 Petal It Forward
On October 24, our staff loved supporting the wonderful industry event Petal It Forward where florists nationwide randomly surprised peopleon the street with flowers in 410 cities in all 50 states, plus D.C. Lucky recipients received two bouquets — one to keep, and one to share with a friend, family member, co-worker, or even a complete stranger. There were a lot of smiles going around as the country experienced flower power.
Profits ... they determine success or failure in every business.
Every business owner should constantly be seeking ways to improve them. Profits can be a slippery slope, managing the cost of goods, inventory, shrink or loss all play a role in determining the profit of a business large or small.
The top seven Theories of Profit are a short list of what Profit is.
These are all captivating articles or theories but how does it apply to you? For me it’s the bottom line of the balance sheet, what is reported for taxes, the line that shareholders look at, and like every other business…there is always room for improvement.
Frank Adams is hosting Society of America Florist one day Profit Blast in October. Its schedule is filled with a who’s who in the floral industry.
Derek Woodruff, AIFD, CFC, CF, PFCI of the Floral Underground kicks things off with Money Making Mechanics. Time is money and he will show us how increase efficiencies and grow the bottom line.
Derrick Myers, CPA, CFP, PFCI follows with “Treasure Hunt” finding your hidden profits. He will teach us formulas and worksheets to improve your profits and the black holes of lost profits in every business.
After lunch Tim Huckabee who has visited roughly 6000 flower shops, training florist in the art of sales will present and detail the processes that will improve your shop’s customer satisfaction and lead to fatter profit margins.
To end the program speaker Crystal Vilkaitis, owner of Social Edge will show us the in’s & outs of social media. How to target Facebook ads with a high ROI, and why messenger bots will be a game changer in customer communication.
So unless you just won the lottery and have a mountain of cash you haven’t even counted yet, I bet you and your business could benefit by attending this one day seminar on October 7thRegisteand start improving your Profit.