Water Tanks

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

Introduction

Water is becoming an increasingly large part of our business, the message that we portray in the water conservation section sets the feel for the rest of the nursery. We need to be up to date with products available and providing the best service possible.

Conservation

We are willing to sacrifice sales for conservation.
The first objective is to sell sustainable living solutions to all customers at the best value possible available. This is at times going to involve suggesting customers buy less product, or different product or at other times to make significant investment in product, e.g grey water system or rain catchment solutions. The focus at BAAG is always to provide a holistic approach and not a product sale driven approach. For example we should be selling consultancies, planting/lawn options, stormwater runoff sometimes as alternatives to pop up sprinklers. Explain to the customer ways of reducing water use, for example mulching and appropriate planting. Make sure the customer knows how to use the system they are building.

Ordering

Tank orders MUST be written up in the tank invoice book. Make sure that all details are filled out and the correct delivery is charged when appropriate. It is very difficult and wastes a lot of time to alter orders once it’s in the system, so it’s best to be meticulous with the customer when filling out the details. To avoid customers cancelling orders prior to when their tank orders are ready, payment is required in full BEFORE any orders are placed. Once an order has been made the relevant tank company must be contacted ASAP via the relevant tank companies preferred method of ordering (preferred method stated in front of the RED tank folder). It is better to order large tanks for direct delivery as soon we receive the order. All tank orders must be recorded in the ‘tankorders’ database in Microsoft Access.

When ordering or contacting tank suppliers via email, always get them to reply to tanks@baag.com.au. If all emails are forwarded to that email address all staff are able to keep informed on current orders and also any important updates (eg lead times).

Tank orders which arrive for customer pick-up or for the yard to deliver must be stored in Siberia to the ‘RIGHT’ of the excess driveway sellable stock. Excess stock that is kept in Siberia must be monitored closely; there should be a maximum of one months stock at any time (less if the lead times are less then 2 weeks). Tank margins are very low, if we are left with old looking/odd coloured tanks the section quickly becomes unprofitable.

Contacts should be maintained in the contacts system, this makes it easier for both you and the remainder of the staff if something needs to be followed up and you are not available. Nobody wants the call on a day off that somebody can’t find a number or contact that is not in the system correctly.

Display / Maintenance

Tanks need to be displayed in a way that promotes the range of tank sizes and colours. We want to create the feel that we have a range that will suit every situation. Even if you sell large numbers of one type of tank it is best not to overstock the displays with that single type. People are more accepting of our claims of being ‘the experts’ when we look like we have a comprehensive range. Customers who want more information on prices and dimensions can also be directed to our website which has our whole range online.

Safety should always be considered when moving tanks around and positioning tanks (especially on the high racks). Tanks need to be in a position that will allow customers to view the tanks without being in harms way of traffic in the driveway. Tanks should be pushed back on the wall as much as possible.

Water conservation house

The water conservation house needs to be continually maintained to ensure that it produces the interest and subsequent sales of the products that it is promoting. This display is a significant investment and continual maintenance will ensure that it remains relevant into the future. Ensure that the gardens are always looking good and that there is adequate water in the tanks for all the working displays to operate.

The water conservation house not only reflects on the irrigation section but the nursery as a whole, it is used to convey environmental awareness to the customers as well as show them that we are fair-dinkum about such issues.

Pricing & Signage

Clear pricing in the tank display area saves time for customers and staff. A large number of customers have an idea on what they can fit into a particular area so displaying dimensions is also required. Tanks which are available to take home from our stock should display the ‘take me home today’ sign.

Computer Irrigation List

All irrigation data is kept in the public irrigation directory. The stock list on the computer must be kept up to date. Make sure you enter new products as you get them in and price changes as they happen. (Both wholesale and retail).

Internet tank webpage

Its imperative that our tank range is kept up to date on our internet page. Having discrepancies between pricing on the web and in the nursery makes us look bad and very disorganised. All dimensions must be 100% accurate as obviously it’s a very important aspect when customers are choosing tanks. Any discontinued tanks, new tanks or price changes must be changed on the website.

Handouts and Information Sheets

Tank sales normally require more than one visit by the customer. In most cases they will come to grab a handout and then go home to measure up and work out prices. We need to make sure that we always have enough handouts available. Mention to customers that all the information is available on our website. All handouts should include the nursery name, address, phone and email (tanks@baag.com.au). Ensure all handouts are readily available at the front counter in the filing cabinet.

Discount cards

As a point of difference to other tank suppliers we offer customers a discount card when they purchase their tank. This card gives them a discount off the majority of our products for a period of 30 days. This should be mentioned to all customers interested in buying a tank and given to customers who have purchased tanks. The cards must be dated and signed by a staff member before giving them to a customer.

Pricing, Buying & Gross Margin

Tanks are extremely low margin products, as a result the margin for error is far lower. You need to be up to date with pricing at all times. We can quickly lose heaps of money if a supplier alters their wholesale price and we are still selling at the old retail.

Tank purchasing needs to be stringently controlled. It is up to you to ensure that we don’t run out of tanks in the driveway but are also not over stocked.

Pricing

Its also very important to keep up to date with other competitors pricing, as we can lose many sales due to being considerably over priced.

New Products / Product Range

There are a number of new tank manufacturers popping up. Before making any decisions on the stocking of their range you will need to comprehensively research their products, service and history. We only want to stock tanks that are made from quality materials from honest and solid wholesalers. (eg if a wholesaler was increasing their business by expanding into Victoria from NSW, we would be interested, alternatively if they have only just started out an are importing tanks for overseas less keen). After our bad experience with OZ AQUA tanks where many of them have split, its best to avoid all imported tanks and stick to trusted Australian made water tanks.

Point of sale signage

Point of sale, including that which we produce internally, is entirely your responsibility as the staff member in charge of the section. Good point of sale will generate sales and reduce customer questions and can make Bulleen Art & Garden a more interesting & less frustrating place for our 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 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 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.

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