Ponds and accessories

Updated 16th May 2006

Deletions for consideration by manager

Hardware: Ponds and accessories
This job description should be read in conjunction with:
(a) Guidelines for staff in charge of a section
(b) Guidelines for buyers

This responsibility requires you to order and maintain both the water gardens and pond accessories sections.

Display and maintenance

1. The Universal rocks display should always be up to date, clean and in working order. This display area represents a significant investment and directly relates to the number of sales that are made of this product.
2. All ponds, cascades and waterfalls in the racking must be labelled with a white marker pen and priced, they must also be sorted to their correct position as to prevent any confusion
3. All pumps and pond accessories need to be correctly labelled with details on power usage, flow, head height and price listed on a small data label in front of the product. The number of pumps on the shelf should be limited to two or three per line with excess stock stored below the counter. This helps prevent loss from the area.

Pricing and buying
Individual product details are found in the hardware database

1. You are expected to make any new product purchasing decisions. Consult the shop manager where necessary.
2. When buying new products bargain for the best buying price and stress our possible volume. Do deals. Periodically check prices against other suppliers. However, don’t change preferred suppliers without approval of manager.
3. We aim to archive a minimum mark-up of 65% on most pond lines. Where possible we would like to get a greater mark-up but don’t be outrageous. On known value lines we may decrease the mark up to 50%. It is important that we are competitive on these products as this is what our customers perceive our entire prices on.
4. All products must be clearly and correctly priced so the customer can see them at a glance. The price should ALWAYS be in the top right hand corner of the product. This will save a lot of time for other staff searching through price lists they are unfamiliar with.
5. Products are to be priced as they go onto the shelf and not in the store.
6. Shelf labels should be put in front of each facing of products and they should be updated each time the product changes in price. These price changes should be made when as soon as an update letter is sent.
7. Any changes to prices in the price book must be noted immediately in the signs in tray.
8. As a general rule no more stock should be bought than can be sold in a two-week period. Excess stock on the bench or in the store is money wasted. The obvious exceptions to this rule are if additional orders have to be made to get a delivery of another product and when pack sizes are too big. For bulk discount buys only buy what we can sell in a 6-week period and only with a discount of 10% or more.


Handling needs to be supervised and lifting techniques taught. Rigorous lifting training of restockers must be done on initiation and supervision is needed after initial education.
Keep emphasing to your restock crew to tidy as they go. Hassle them and regularly review and inspect their work while in progress. Once they get into bad habits it is very hard to change them.
Regularly go over the restockers job description with your staff and always go over thoroughly when you start a new restocker.
When restocking, restock from the back of the bench. The old stock should be at the front so it sells first.
If a product is regularly running out on the bench, allocate more facings to it and reduce the facings that a slower moving product has.
Keep a minimum number of restocking trolleys in the shop area and make sure they do not block the aisles or create a hazard. Ensure these trolleys and any pallets are put away at lunchtime, at the end of the day or when you will not be using them for a while. Safety with quite frail older customers is something you have to be continually aware of.

Restocking from area at the back of yard.

Be efficient when you go down the back. Always multi stack pallets with the different products required.
Similarly be efficient with restocking from your store. Minimise double handling and unnecessary carrying when possible.
Every product on your product reorder list must be checked weekly and it should be indicated on your list that they have been checked.

Product range

A new product should only be introduced if there is space available without cluttering displays, or if you are confident it will sell better than a product we have on the bench at that time. If you are going to replace a slow moving product then get rid of it quickly so it is not cluttering our displays.
Monitor your product range. You should keep a slow moving product on display only if it is the sort of product that a customer will come specifically to the nursery to buy. Do not put these products in key sales areas.
Your product list must be up to date. Note alterations to your product range immediately, retail and wholesale prices and product location onto weekly stocksheet and regularly update the computer. This product list should be updated every six months checking all cost prices, retail prices and margins. A folder with your weekly stocktakes should be kept for management to check if they wish.

The store and deliveries

All deliveries are to go into the store and not dumped around the cash registers. If products are delivered to the shop area contact the driver or supplier and insist that they deliver to the store in future. Pallets of goods should be placed inside the store immediately and not outside the entrance. Deliveries should be unpacked as soon as possible after they are received and the delivery area inside the store kept clear all the time for the smooth functioning of the area and for the safety of people working in the area.
All products are to be checked against the invoice to make sure the correct number of the right product is delivered. The invoice prices should also be checked.
It is important that any damaged products or short deliveries are clearly marked on the relevant invoice, the supplier informed immediately and the action taken is noted on the invoice.
The store is using valuable space, it must be used properly.
Broken bags / boxes should not be left in store, toss them out or give them to other staff. Slow moving stock should be specialled, tossed out or returned to the supplier. There is a specific area for Danks and other supplier returns.


(a) Your price lists and catalogues must be kept up to date. Up to date filing will save a lot of time for you and other staff. As soon as a new price list becomes effective the old one should be thrown out to avoid confusion.


(a) Returns are an area that needs constant attention particularly of the more expensive items. Clear the returns box weekly. If a returned product is less than $5 retail it is cheaper to throw the product away than to get a refund from our supplier.
(b) Keep your eyes open to make sure the delivery guys are not stealing from the store.
(c) Whenever necessary a special bin should be set up to clear slow moving or damaged stock.

You should control your reps, if you only need them in once a month you should be insisting that they come in once a month only, or if you need them in once a week. Representatives can waste a lot of time if you do not rush them a little. Watch out for pushy sales reps. If you don’t have an order ready, phone it through later when there is no pressure on you to buy stock that is not needed.

There should be enough information displayed in the pond-care section to enable all staff to give good, consistent advice on what products to use for particular applications, what pump to use etc.


It is important to report to manager if stock is running out on weekends and not being stocked up.

Point of sale
Point of sale, including that which we produce internally, is entirely your responsibility as the staff member in charge of a section at Bulleen Art & Garden.
Good point of sale will generate a lot of sales and can make Bulleen Art & Garden a more interesting place and a lot less frustrating place for our gardening customers to shop.
If our customers find Bulleen interesting and do not become frustrated solving their gardening problems they will come back and recommend us to their friends.

General guidelines for all point of sale.

(i) Never leave any point of sale which is tatty or faded out in your section.

(ii) Minimise the colours and use standard nursery colours whenever possible.

(iii) Display signs at uniform heights.

(vi) It is important that you make the effort to secure all signage properly to an appropriate stand. Frequently in the past we have incurred all the cost of producing the sign to see it lying face down on the ground a day later. This will not be tolerated.

(v) All point of sale must be authorised by your area manager.

(vi) Be efficient in your specification, communication and putting up off time, your time is costly and this exercise will become uneconomic if you waste time.

(vii) It is very important that all signage that might be used again is stored properly. Give it to the signage staff member or store it properly yourself. Look after your signs at all stages of their handling.

Internally produced signs

Internally produced signs are expensive to produce. It costs the business for your time in specifying them, the cost of the printing and plastic paper, any editing by your area manager and then your time in putting them out and maintaining them.
Your objective with these signs should be to make money out of them or provide information that is very interesting to the customer and might encourage them to come back or talk about us to their friends and neighbours.
Always think before requesting internally produced point of sale.

These guidelines must be followed when specifying internally produced signs.

(1) Always use minimum size for signs that will enable our customers to read readily. A5 in preference to A4.

(2) Always fill in standardised forms with all appropriate detail.

Signs produced externally

Need clear guidelines consistent with what BP & Maria work out or all signage to be processed or approved by Bruce.

Promotional material

We avoid using supplier point of sale because it gives a conflicting message to the customer, we lose control of the colours and type of sign and it reduces the impact of the primary message we are trying to get out, who we are and what we are doing.

Environmental Policy
and expectations of staff.

Bulleen Art and Garden aims to deliver a service to its customers that recognises the importance of environmental issues, both local and global. In this respect, concentrating on long-term custom, we are prepared to sacrifice individual sales to offer customers a range of environmental gardening options and outcomes.

Bulleen Art & Garden is prepared to sacrifice sales, but not customers on environmental issues. For example, if a customer asks for a more toxic spray than needed, we expect staff to suggest an alternative, even if it means not selling a product at all. However, we do insist that staff do not get into arguments over the environment with the customer, which may lead them to shop elsewhere. Our policy is strong customer education.

Bulleen Art and Garden aims to take the lead in respect of retail nursery practice, to encourage customer interest in an environmentally friendly approach to gardening that encompasses the following issues:

– To foster the concept that our land and gardens, however large or small, are not ours to ‘do with as we wish’, but rather, something we have the responsibility to care for and enjoy, leaving it good health for those who follow us.
– Fewer adherences to strictly formal garden design.
– Increased interest in produce gardening.
– Increased awareness of the environmental benefits of using native and indigenous plant species within the garden.
– A style of garden design and practice that encourages the use of water and soil conservation principles.

In light of these aims, staff at Bulleen Art and Garden are encouraged to consider the environmental implications of any advice they give to customers. It is hoped that staff will avail themselves of environmental information and literature available at the nursery, so they are able to give informed advice to customers.

Staff members are also encouraged, where possible, to draw to the customers notice environmental initiatives, information handouts and signage throughout the nursery.

Environmental Policy and Buyers.
Under Bulleen Art & Garden’s environmental policy, buyers in all departments must consider the environmental impacts and implications of the products they purchase. They must aim to minimize the purchase of goods that are environmentally unfriendly (eg. Toxic, from unrewnewable resources, at the expense of other communities, environmentally unsustainable) and where possible provide environmentally friendly alternatives. Buyers are encouraged where possible to provide a range of environmentally friendly products and have these merchandised in such a way as to encourage their purchase.
It would be useful if buyers could keep a record of environmentally influenced decisions made in their sections.

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