Starcom Computer Corp.

Plant Partner Enterprise Software System


Starcom uses our Plant Partner Enterprise software system to help organize and integrate your operation into a smooth work flow. We understand your goals and workload from Production through Inventory, Sales, Shipping and Accounting and have engineered the most powerful tool to automate daily tasks in every department. Good decisions require good information and Plant Partner pulls it all together to help your organization respond rapidly to changes and customer needs.

You need to move beyond scattered, individual spreadsheets into a central, organized system of production management.  You need a production system that is designed for growers like you that is easy for employees to use, flexible and quick to maintain.

  • Easy item setup for you extensive variety list. Lots of flexibility in naming conventions.
  • Seasonal grow recipes match the changes to your grow times and processes throughout the year.
  • Fine tuning your growing processes has never been easier with quick copy and mass updating editing features. Adjustments kick in automatic changes to the forecast schedule.
  • Tie together multiple facilities into the total production process for both final and propagation facilities.
  • A comprehensive bill of materials setup ensures that your materials requirements are automatically calculated to match your forecast schedule. The Create Materials Wizard makes setup a snap.
  • When you are working with chains materials need to be targeted to match each box store requirement. With Plant Partner it is easy to plan, purchase and apply customer specific plastics, tags and UPC labels at production time.
  • Don’t worry about falling behind because you don’t have enough labor. Plant Partner auto calculates labor schedules to meet your production schedule.
  • Combination planters are easy to set up and schedule. Your forecast goals automatically schedule each component.  Detailed planting schedules list components whether you produce them internally or buy them in and provide visual planograms for consistent planting.

You need a scheduling system that can organize the demand of your key chain store accounts and everyone else with the power to show you the big picture of resource planning and easily tweak the details.  Your forecasting system needs to make constant changes easy for you to process through to all your resource planning.

  • Plant Partner uses the seasonal and weekly projections for key accounts to drive production and monitor progress throughout the season.
  • Import goals from the prior year or sales input from Excel as a starting point.
  • Auto generate forecast schedule based on pre-booked orders for contract grown product.
  • Convenient forecasting screen designed for production managers to distribute forecast goals to weeks and varieties based on mix percentages.
  • Easily apply alternate grow times and methods to handle it when things can’t follow the typical plan.
  • Monitor space utilization and costing estimates as you go for easy adjustments that maximize profitability.

You need a space planning system that provides instant visualization into how your space resources are being used each week.

  • Plant Partner provides a great graphical display of weekly space consumption by facility and space type.
  • Drill into any week to view and edit your schedule.
  • Allocate space to any group of items and the system automatically mixes it to your variety list.
  • Quick reference cost margins so you are allocating space to the highest contributors.
  • Flexible setup lets you model space capacities and item requirements that fit your business model
  • Lay out crops in advance of planting so inventory is located properly coming off the line and you are getting a head start on accurate inventory control.

You need a powerful purchasing system that keeps perpetual inventory for hard goods and makes sourcing live goods easier to manage.  Plant Partner ensures you have the materials you need to stay on schedule.

  • Weekly live goods requirements automatically generate your purchase schedule targeted to your preferred vendor and farm source.
  • Every time you change your forecasts, your purchase schedule is updated. Plant Partner monitors requirements so you always know that source materials are on target.
  • View vendor availability as you go.
  • Plant Partner keeps a perpetual hard goods inventory for you. Receiving shipments updates warehouse inventory and every time you plant your crops, Plant Partner calculates materials consumption, costs and reduces inventory in the warehouse.
  • If you are incorporating contract growers, you can view daily consumption compared to internal and contract availability and then generate purchase orders to make sure you have what you need to ship.
  • Receiving processes handle multiple receive dates, back orders, assigning locations and availability dates and can generate AP invoices.

You need a system to organize multiple planting lines, communicate planting requirements clearly, pull materials and track actuals.  Getting good numbers off the line is key to good inventory management.

  • Plant Partner lets you adjust plant dates and quantities, assign layout locations, planting lines and sequence in prep for planting.
  • Plant Partner helps you plan and cost planting labor.
  • Get customized views of planting worksheets to group products, view materials requirements and future transplant paths.
  • View customer UPC information as you go to ensure product is labeled properly
  • Detailed planting schedules list components whether you produce them internally or buy them in and provide visual planograms for consistent planting.
  • Print a variety of production label formats with barcode and crop information
  • Use the mobile planting app to record production at the line.

Inventory Control is one of the most challenging and critical keys to success in a growing operation.  With Plant Partner, you have an inventory system designed from the ground up for operations just like yours.  Access to accurate availability supports each step of your sales and shipping process across all of your facilities and contract growers.

  • Recording planting flows seamlessly into inventory control.
  • Weekly or seasonal lot management handles crops with either short or long shelf life.
  • Dynamic availability provides real-time accuracy during rapid order entry and adjustments.
  • You will have a variety of availability reports and spreadsheets to email and options for posting on line.
  • Multiple facilities and contract growers are pulled together for a clear understanding of how much availability each can contribute to daily shipping requirements. Plant Partner’s quick purchase order and transfer order wizard coordinates vendor and cross dock shipments so you have what you need at staging time.
  • Availability fuels automated assortment and mixed case orders for faster order management and an even variety depletion of inventory throughout the season.
  • Detailed location information is available to target customer orders into specific lots during order entry. Save time during pulling prep by letting the system auto assign your batch of orders to ready inventory by location and plant date.  Direct pullers to exact locations for a fast, efficient pulling process.
  • Our mobile inventory manager app takes your inventory control right into the field with you. Track counts, waste, moves, ready date adjustments, crop information and pulling priorities as you go.  You can run our mobile inventory manager off line so you can count far and wide without worrying about having to stay connected to Wi-Fi.
  • Plant Partner’s cost tracking provides accurate inventory valuation reporting.

With the shift towards pay by scan (vendor managed, consignment inventory), came a whole new set of management and customer service requirements.  Plant Partner is set up to track all your pay by scan transactions and provide excellent analysis for monitoring sell through, shrink, inventory by store and generate replenishment orders.

  • Consignment orders commit inventory and automatically show as store inventory as they are shipped.
  • Feed merchandiser counts and waste tracking into the system electronically.
  • View seasonal and weekly shipped vs sales data by store and SKU to monitor sell through and shrink.
  • Use projections, target sell through goals and inventory allocation to auto generate replenishment orders while keeping an eye on the weather.
  • Import replenishment orders from Excel.
  • Tie in all of your EDI data exchange to generate billing, credits and process payments.

The one thing that is consistent about sales in a growing operation is change.  You need your system to respond rapidly to meet changes in customer demand and inventory availability throughout the season.  Plant Partner provides all the tools you need to keep up with your big box store account volume and your independents’ detail requirements.

  • Start with an excellent system of importing customer SKUS and UPCs, pricing and sales goals for quick and easy seasonal customer maintenance.
  • Orders and their ongoing changes come from a flood of different sources and Plant Partner has the capability to embrace them all. You can integrate directly with brokers and on-line web sites, import from Excel, use chain store replenishment tools, receive in EDI and quickly handle phone/fax order.
  • Mass updating orders is essential. Plant Partner makes quick work of changing ship dates, substitutions, last minute additions, packaging and pricing adjustments.
  • Powerful assortment and mixing tools can automatically fill carts with full shelves and identify common cart combinations for faster bulk pulling.
  • Advanced kitting functions empower you to combine, price, UPC and keep accurate inventory of all kinds of components all while maintaining a single plant inventory.
  • Plant Partner’s replenishment analysis tool, automatically generates orders to allocate available inventory, match store sell through and retail dollar goals – all while keeping an eye on inventory, full cart efficiency and truck fills.
  • Lots of sales analysis views and reports and dashboards to compare customer, year, sales rep and product performance.

Staging and Shipping during peak season is crunch time so you need a program that can help you organize pulls, verify orders, route trucks and load carts.  The more you can automate within the program, the faster your process will be.  Plant Partner provides all the functions to do the work for you while being very flexible so you can match it to the process that works for you.

  • Quick view of orders going out organized geographically, by customer etc.
  • Plant Partner routing creates deliveries, fills trucks according to capacity and provides all the routing schedules, loading diagrams and paperwork the driver needs.
  • Plant Partner creates fills automatically for either adjustable or fixed shelf racks to fit your plant heights, boxes or pallets. Powerful analysis tools generate combination carts so you can easily bulk pull them in advance.
  • Whether you are custom pulling from packing slips, master pulling to staging by location or truckload, pulling by cart/box content labels, Plant Partner can help automate that process and organize your paperwork and pulling batches accordingly.
  • Save hours every day with mobile order verification apps that scan each cart, identify content changes and process those changes through to your orders for fast turnaround of accurate bills of lading.

As the CFO or controller of your growing operation, we understand you have firmly rooted beliefs about how you want to manage your finances.  At Starcom, we work with you to incorporate the financial model that works best for you.

  • Plant Partner provides all the Accounts Receivable functionality that flows seamlessly from sales orders – no double entry.
  • We handle all the chain store EDI requirements for regular and consignment sales.
  • Plant Partner provides easy product credits by item and customer SKU to handle issues and guaranteed sales.
  • Excellent visibility into customer account history makes it quick to answer questions and track transactions.
  • Plant Partner makes it easy to manage chain store short pay frustration.
  • Switch easily between cash and accrual views of sales.
  • Post journal entry batches to the GL as often as you like.
  • Plant Partner’s services architecture and comprehensive API makes it easy to integrate with your existing financial package.
  • If you are looking for a turnkey solution, Starcom can install, implement and support the extremely popular, modern and robust Acumatica (link to Acumatica page) system as an affordable plugin option.

With Plant Partner, you no longer have to guess at costing.  By pulling together your production processes into a system, Plant Partner can use all of that data to help you understand expected costs going into the season and provide accurate, actual cost analysis as the season progresses.  Quickly rank your product mixes by contribution margin so you are catering your schedule towards higher profitability.

  • Start with leveraging the Plant Partner space planning tools to allocate your standard square foot week costs.
  • Add direct labor and materials estimates from Plant Partner’s comprehensive Grow Library.
  • Run any period budget expenses through our allocation process for variable overhead management.
  • Direct Materials costs are automatically allocated to batches because Plant Partner is already managing the receiving of materials, average and FIFO costing of materials and calculating all the materials consumed based on actual planting history.
  • Track labor directly for large jobs or make it easier and allocate production labor as a variable expense as you move through the seasons.
  • Draw and allocate other production expenses directly from your GL
  • Plant Partner calculates both finish and plant material costs from your production schedule for each of your key accounts to give you direct and indirect cost data as well as sales and contribution margin for each variety and even costs kits and combination planters for you.

Being able to easily keep an eye on business performance and timelines is key to delegating and growing with confidence.  Plant Partner gives you an eye into all aspects of your business with a comprehensive dashboards and reporting system that extracts and updates all the data by itself.

  • Plant Partner’s data mining tool runs in the background to keep your dashboard data fresh
  • You can access your web dashboard from any browser on any device so you can monitor your business from anywhere.
  • View Year to Date weekly sales and production activity. Compare years, customers, products and sales reps with easy to understand charts.
  • Plant Partner comes with a powerful reporting designer (just like Crystal) so you can customize any of our system reports. Create your own custom reports for users to access on menus in the system or put them on the web for external staff and partners outside the system.
  • You can customize the look and feel of all of your documents such as invoices, bills of lading, acknowledgements and labels. Different customers can have different layouts and you can still batch print all at once.
  • Easily export data to Excel and PDF formats.
  • Plant Partner’s email interface lets you email documents as you go.

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