Smart Planning for Innovative Operations

Jeremy Hebert, Director of Operations at Excel Farms, Inc., in Homestead, Florida, shares insights on how he ensures business success and growth with savings opportunities like the BASF Grow More, Save More program.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your operation?

JH: Excel Farms is a 100-acre nursery that was founded in 1998 whose primary focus is tropicals, like hibiscus, gardenias and eugenias, but our claim to fame has been creating niche items. We typically find a commodity, such as a landscape bush, and try to create added value. I started working here in 2009, learning how the office operated before transitioning to writing our production management software. Now, I’m in charge of everything related to the nursery, including managing chemicals and production, and driving sales direction through product identification. 

How do you approach planning and purchasing for each growing season?

JH: We start with identifying items that we want to grow and ones that we see more demand for. For a lot of our products, propagation cycles take one to two years, so it’s constantly evolving. We take the time to see where we can improve, and we reach out to a lot of suppliers to connect with up-and-coming products. We’re fortunate enough to be on the BASF radar where they’re approaching us to trial new stuff. People are looking for innovation, and we want to be the nursery they think of for that.

How does the BASF Grow More, Save More Program help you create a plan for greater cost savings throughout the season?

JH: It’s helped us identify areas where we can save by analyzing the problems and relating them to the time and season based on our experience, allowing us to purchase products that help us reduce costs.

Which products do you look for first? Has the program given you the opportunity to purchase products that you may not have considered in the past?

JH: I look for the ones that I’m using with the most frequency and the ones I’m having the most success with. There are particular chemistries that I feel work very well, like the Intrinsic® brand fungicides, so we try to take advantage of the savings for those.

When planning your fall purchases, how do you make the most of the BASF program offerings?

JH: In the summertime, there tends to be a higher disease presence, so in the weeks following, we estimate what our needs are going to be moving forward. I believe conscious thinking forces you to take the time to analyze what future needs are going to be so you can plan accordingly. It’s been made easy by the fact that we get a summary of what we used the previous year, since a lot of problems tend to repeat themselves.

What’s one thing you think other growers should know about the Grow More, Save More program from BASF?

JH: If you take a little bit of time to analyze what your needs are and anticipate that things will stay relatively similar to previous years, then you can plan with the Grow More, Save More program and see significant savings.

The BASF Grow More, Save More Program offers year-round savings for your operation with a focus on simplifying the planning and purchasing process from start to finish.

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Grow More, Save More Program

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