The Barn Nursery and Landscape Center is an independent garden center in the Chicago urban area in Illinois, United States. On top of growing and selling a large variety of plants, The Barn Nursery also designs and sells landscape services, plant material, home goods, and dry goods.

The Barn Nursery’s history began over half a century ago, when Tom and Len Kusmerz opened “Len’s Landscaping”. Both shared a passion for plants and landscape design, and a commitment to quality and service. Although the nursery’s name has changed since then, the commitment remains the same: top-quality plants and shrubs, and personalized service.

In need of a solution that can support the business

While being on top of trends when it comes to trees and landscape designs, The Barn Nursery was being slowed down by old retail technology. The Point of Sale the company was using was heavily outdated, and offered little flexibility and limited interfacing capabilities. The cost of the software was also not commensurate with the features offered. The company decided to research their options, with the goal of switching to a more modern, flexible retail system.

Finding the right fit

During the research process, The Barn Nursery tested various solutions. “We attempted to use Charge Logic, and it took less than a day to realize that system would not work for us,” says Aaron Isaacman, Nursery Manager. “It was not intuitive, and we did not like being forced to use their hardware and card processing company.”CS_IN The-Barn-Nursery-300x130

The company then decided to try LS Express, built on Dynamics 365 Business Central, with Epicor.

“In comparison, LS Express was incredibly easy to use and set up”, says Isaacman. LS Express also gave The Barn Nursery the freedom to choose their own hardware and card processor.

After road-testing it, the company immediately decided to switch to LS Express.

Lessons learned

The implementation process took longer than predicted. “Our main challenge during implementation was that we attempted to do it ourselves,” reflects Isaacman. Despite the complications, The Barn Nursery was grateful for the continuous support and help they received from LS Retail during the process. “The LS Express team went above and beyond answering questions on best practices the whole way. These included tips on setting up the posting groups, payment methods, and even our Power BI reports,” continues Isaacman.

In the end, the team managed to get up and running in just a few weeks. The store managed to open with all customers, items, and vendors imported into the new system, just in time for the most hectic time of the year in the horticulture business: springtime. “We typically have two registers year-round, but that number doubles in spring,” explains Isaacman.

Saving time and getting business insights

Since implementing LS Express, The Barn Nursery has experienced greater efficiency, and noticeable time savings.

With the old system, emailing invoices and quotes to customers was a long, time-consuming process. Employees had to make the quote, print it out, scan it, and finally email it to the client. What used to be a four-step process is now simple and easy, and can be done in just a few clicks. “Having the ability to email invoices and quotes to clients directly within our system is one of the biggest perks,” says Isaacson.

Daily closing procedures are also much quicker, as what used to require separate programs and logins can now be performed directly within LS Express.

The vast reporting and interfacing capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365 have given The Barn Nursery much better insights into their purchasing and sales. For the first time, the company is able to calculate the profitability of their workshops.

A valuable partnership

While the new system has brought great improvements to the business, this is not the only reason why The Barn Nursery is satisfied with its choice of LS Express and LS Retail. “Their customer support team is a pleasure to work with, “says Isaacman. “We also found that the development team is incredibly perceptive to our wants and needs, implementing features that we have requested in relatively fast time frames,” concludes Isaacman.