Liqui-Grow

Challenge


Liqui-Grow had several different DOS-based green screen systems that were used for payroll, inventory, returns, and billing; all of which did not "talk" with one another. This was a problem for the corporate office because they had no control over the files at each of their 17 locations. All of the information was stored on servers at each individual location, but this information was not synced to the corporate office. This allowed for complications when trying to bill customers and figure out inventory.

This led into another major problem: the system was flooded with the opportunity for human error, which had become a constant factor. Liqui-Grow had no editing options, no controls, and the system was fraught with mistakes. Since each of the 17 locations stored different data, the corporate office hired around 10 employees whose sole purpose was to inspect the data on the flash drives and spreadsheets, fix any errors, and correct all reports. This task led to thousands of hours of overtime.

Objective


To cut down on time and cost, and to make a more efficient work environment.

 

 

Progress


Our programmer stepped in to work with Liqui-Grow in order to create a standard for the reports. He developed a program to sync the information from all locations into a database from each of their servers. This program ensured correct inventory in real-time and configured everything upfront. It may have taken longer to create, but now all of the information from each location is uniform. This program also alleviated the potential for human error.

Result


When inventory accurately reflected the correct return of unused fertilizer, billing was accurate. Liqui-Grow was able to bill the client on only what was actually used, not what was thought to have been used. The system created a way to eliminate all human error, cut overhead, create efficiency, and streamline the process for measuring inventory.

With the new system in place, the databases at each location are finally able to communicate with one another. This allows for more useful information to be processed right away. Now, at worst, the inventory could take a day to receive when before it could have taken weeks. By removing the need to continuously hire new employees to perform the tedious task of reviewing spreadsheets all day, Liqui-Grow has saved roughly over $300,000.00.