PPBS Case Study - Growing Spectrum

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Growing Spectrum is a Waikato based wholesale plant nursery that sells premium plants to garden centres all throughout New Zealand. It employs 34 full-time staff and the growing area is 4 hectares of container product. The nursery produces over 650,000 plants per annum including a large range of deciduous trees & shrubs and container grown ornamental shrubs & perennials.

The Process 

General Manager Grant Eyre said Growing Spectrum took part in the pilot he thought it would be an interesting process to go through. He said the pilot scheme process was workable but did take a lot of time to complete and required considerable information to read and review. 

He found the Nursery Manual template useful to use in conjunction with the Core Standard and it had all the relevant and required information. In addition, John Liddle from the scheme was “a great support through the process and a great prompter to ensure that we stayed on task.”

Growing Spectrum did not have to implement any new processes as a result of the pilot but did have to start fully documenting and recording its processes, which “required quite a bit of work”. This has included such tasks as visually checking pallets of pots when they arrive for pests, and then recording that the check has taken place.

Grant said he did not think the scheme will improve Growing Spectrum’s productivity, competitive advantage or add value to the business however it would reduce its business risk. “And it is for this reason that we are taking part.”

Staff response

Staff took a bit of time to get on board with the pilot: “After plenty of initial groans and moans they understand the importance of the processes and that it is all important.”

Suggestions for to improve scheme 

Grant recommended templates be developed that included examples of signage for processes around the nursery to help to streamline implementation.

Recommend to others? 

He would recommend the PBBS to others but nurseries needed to be prepared for the amount of work involved. 

“It takes a great deal of time to put it in place if you are going to do it properly. It is yet another cost of compliance for a small business. But yes we understand it is going to be a requirement of being in this industry so we would recommend that others just get on and do it.”