Packaged Seeds

Updated May 2010

Packaged seeds – job description
This job description should be read in conjunction with:
(a) Bulleen Art and Garden Environmental Weed Policy
(b) Guidelines for staff in charge of a section
(c) Guidelines for buyers

Introduction
This is a section that helps generate sales for the nursery. If well maintained, it gives the customer a sense of an extensive product range and choice in the nursery. It is therefore important that this section be well maintained on a regular basis.

It is imperative that the seed section be neat and tidy. After each weekend and before each weekend, ensure that the seeds are in their corresponding sections. Any missing labels should be replaced. Keep the area dusted, swept and tidy.

The seed section changes during July for spring/summer seeds and in February for autumn/winter seeds. It takes a larger shop area during spring/summer and shrinks back over winter. The seed section works closely with sundries and nursery (produce, seedlings and bulbs). There are also links with books and the environmental officer.

Keep all related products professionally displayed in the same area eg. Seed raising mix, trays, small glasshouses, hot houses, root hormone powder, propagating kits, cutting powder, etc. Keep an eye on the sundries restockers blocking off access down aisles, report to hardware manager if this happens. We have tried setting up a potting up bench and mini hothouse in the area during winter/spring. This sold a couple of each and helped inspire people and define the area and possibly boosted sales. We are trying to keep a fronting of related sundries products on the shelf above the area to give it a higher profile. Information about how to sow seed has also been modernised and displayed to make the area a bit more self-explanatory.

Main Suppliers and Range
We currently use a range of suppliers. We preference Goodmans as they are an Australian company based in Bairnsdale and we have an agreement with them whereby we prioritise them as our main vegetable and herb supplier and they give us a further 10% discount (which means we get a wholesale discount of 40%). If Goodmans don’t have a variety then we will source Eden, Greenpatch, Lost Seed, Mr Fothergills, Yates and then Erica Vale. Doubling up should not happen eg. You should not have Goodman, Yates, and Fothergills Baby Carrots, or Tiffany Sweet Peas.

The area is split into main categories: Flowers, Vegetables, Beans and Peas, Herbs, Italian, Native and Sprouts. The Vegies can be further sub-divided into Leafy Greens and Asian Vegies.

The database of seed varieties and suppliers is located at M:/Data/Hardware/Seeds
There will be two major changeovers of seed varieties. The first is towards the start of February and the second in late July. Run down any stock of seeds that cannot be planted all year round, towards the end of the season, and special off any that are very close to their plant by date.

Some sundries products are your responsibility to order also. Cedric, the rep. from Sage Horticultural comes every three weeks or so. From him we buy seed trays, ecofibre pots, propagating units, potting benches and mini greenhouses,

Ordering Stock

Fortnightly on Monday or Tuesday morning, write down your order on a printed out copy of seeds stocktake list for current season. When varieties get down to 3 or less, order another 5. Keep your stocktake list for future sales reference, to drop lines if they are not good sellers (check with nursery manager first) or to increase the order more than 5 if selling out too quickly at certain times of the year.

(To get stocktake list, go to Data/Hardware/Seeds/seeds.mdb/Queries. Then either go to ‘Spring seed Stocktake’ or ‘Autumn Seed Stocktake’. Then right click mouse on a blank square in ‘N/A’ column and left click on ‘filter by selection’. Do the same for the ‘Dropped line’ column. This means only current lines are left on the screen. Click the print icon, go to ‘properties’, change to landscape orientation. Print then staple together.)

1. Go into access for windows.

2. This can be opened from the hardware/seeds subdirectory.

3. Open the Queries ‘Spring Seeds Order’ for the spring and summer months.
or
Open the Queries ‘Autumn Seeds Order ‘ for the autumn and winter months.

4. Delete all records in the order column. (This is easily done by deleting and re-creating the column… see the instructions at the end of this document)

5. Remove all N/A lines & Dropped Lines from the screen by right clicking on a
blank square in N/A column then left click on filter by selection. Do the same
for the Dropped line column.

6. Adjust the order column as per your list, usually order in 5’s unless line keeps selling out before next order, in that case go up to 10.

7. Once the data has been entered save it then open the Reports ‘order forms’
for each of the suppliers and print each of the orders.

8. Fax the Goodmans order to Multicrop
fax. 9720 5051, Ph. Multicrop, 9720 2200
Tony 0425 812 082, Goodmans 5152 5988

Order the Yates seeds via the Danks website, www.danks.com.au,
User Name C5611076 & Password: Bulleen1609

Fax the Erica Vale order to Wrights Wholesale
fax. 9725 6581, Ph. 9725 6580, Heather 0438 387 607

Fax the Fothergills company order form to Fothergills
fax. (02) 4577 6892, Ph. (02) 4577 5457, Richard 0412 557 814
Customer Number B643

Eden Seeds fax (07)5533 1107,
Ph. Toll Free 1800 188 199,Ph. (07)5533 1108

Pheonix order by email phnxseed@ozemail.com.au
Ph. 6269 9663 (can leave message & small orders),
Fax. 6267 9592 (not always turned on)

Zorzi, Ortovivo & PDF Seeds through Bonfoods
fax. 9460 5243, Ph. 9460 3588, Adrian 0418 146 854

Franchi Seeds to The Italian Gardener, order by their website
www.theitaliangardener.com.au Log in with your email and username. (You may need to set this up if you don’t have one)

Fax the Greenpatch company order form to fax (02) 6551 4240

Fax the Lost Seed order to 03 6491 1010.

Steps in changing over stock

Check prices, time to get new stock in.

Call each seed company and ask them to email or send a current season availability list. You can check these lists for any dropped lines, new lines and price increases. If there are changes, there is an excel file named Hardware/Seeds/seed prices where you can work out the retail price. If there are any N/A, put an x in the ‘N/A’ column under seeds/table.

After going through last years stocktake sheet either for spring or autumn, see if there’s any lines that didn’t sell last year, list them and check with nursery manager if they can be dropped, if so, put an x in the N/A column. See if seed companies will take back any N/A or dropped lines. If not, special them off.

Compare and Order New Season Stock
Print off the new seasons stock list from Access – Hardware/seeds/reports Queries:Spring Seeds Stocktake or Autumn Seeds Stocktake. Some varieties of seeds are suitable for planting during all seasons of the year, hence will appear on the current list and should be left on the shelves (So you don’t need to reorder more of them) . Make a list of dropped lines so that these seeds are not kept for next year. They can be returned with out of stock.

Print Labels and Change Over Stock
Take off any varieties and their labels that do not appear on the list. When removing the seeds, keep them together with rubber bands and group them according to their supplier to simplify the task of returning them. Make sure you remove all labels from the shelves as the stock is removed. Keep aside any out-of-date seeds to return to suppliers or use in nursery.

The labels for the seed racks can then be generated from Access. These labels are
stored in the ‘seeds’ sub-directory under Reports.

1. Go to seeds.mdb/seeds/tables/seeds
2. Clear ‘Print’ column. (follow directions for clearing ‘order column in appendix)
3. Go to Queries/Autumn or Spring Seeds order
4. Clear all dropped and N/A lines off the screen.
5. Select all remaining ‘print’ boxes.
6. Go to reports/Labels Selected Seeds Only
7. Briefly scan that they are all there and nothing there you don’t want.
8. Put enough orange paper (stored in zip-lock bag under photocopier) for the labels in the printer and print off.
9. Laminate then guillotine and fit into shelves.
10. Any extra shelves and props needed are stored in the room above lunch room.

Organising Returns of Out of Date Stock
Most seed companies don’t have reps that come and visit the nursery so returning out of date stock or dropped lines can be quite hard. Often putting them at a special half price and displaying them somewhere near the seed area makes them quite popular. Customers are happy and we are at least getting our money back.

When seeds are actually returned to suppliers because they are out of season or out of date, ensure you get a credit note/invoice from the rep and place in the invoices tray in the office. This way we ensure that we receive the credit from the supplier that we are owed.

Margins and pricing
An excel file – Hardware/seeds/seed prices allows for adjustments in the wholesale or retail prices to check the margin or retail price we should charge. Current mark up is around 80% – 100%.

Merchandising and maintenance
propagation

Point of sale and info
Include environmental information section (non hybridised) –explain non-hybridised, open-pollinated and no genetic engineering on any of our seeds.

Sub-sectional signage that should be up: Vegies, Flowers, Herbs, Non-hybridised, Kids Seeds, Beans and Peas, and Italian Seeds. Often you can divide the vegies into sub groups such as Asian vegies, Tomatoes, Leafy greens etc.

We should be promoting growing from seed in Produce section. The seed section has increased heavily in produce seeds and kept flower seeds to a minimum.

Appendix

To clear the order column in the seeds database
To save having to manually delete each entry in the order field you can delete and re-create the order data field. There are a few steps to do this successfully and you need to follow these instructions exactly or all associated reports, queries and forms will stop working.

To delete the field

1. Open the table ‘Seeds’
2. Highlight the ‘Order’ column by clicking the header ONCE with the left mouse button (the entire field should turn black)
3. When the field is black click the header again with your RIGHT mouse button.
4. The second command from the bottom is ‘Delete Column’. Select this option, then click yes to confirm.

Now you need to re-create the field.

1. Under the ‘Insert’ menu at the top of the page select ‘Column’. This will create a new column called Field1
2. Right click the header again and this time use the bottom option ‘Rename Column’
3. Re-name the column to ‘Order’, remembering to use an Upper case ‘O’
4. Under the ‘View’ Menu, select ‘Design View’
5. Scroll all the way to the bottom where you will see ‘Order’ under Field Name and ‘Text’ under Data Type.
6. Click your mouse in the box that says ‘Text’ and you will see a small arrow appear.
7. You have to change this from ‘Text’ to ‘Number’
8. Save your changes using File | Save
9. Exit the design view by selecting View | Datasheet View

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