Karin's Florist in Vienna, VA is one of three florists I use personally for my floral gift-giving needs so I've been to the shop plenty of times but for this visit I was checking out new software they installed called Vine Time, employee scheduling software developed by Memorial Florists and Greenhouses in Appleton, WI. More on Vine Time in a moment. Click here or on any of the photos to access the flower shop tour gallery of Karin's Florist.
I asked SAF's new Director of Member Services, Lisa Sidletsky to come along to check out a well-run floral business in a great location between the affluent northern Virginia cities of Vienna and McLean. Greeting us was Karin's Florist President, Maris Angolia, who've I've known for several years and worked closely with during her years serving on SAF's Technology Committee as member, then chair.
As you may imagine given Maris' tech savvy, Karin's relies heavily on technology to boost productivity. They use the McShan Abner Systems (MAS) floral specific point-of-sale system. The cool thing about Karin's Florist MAS installation is they coupled it with the Televantage IP telephony system to handle incoming calls and manage their call center.
As we sat during out demo session of VineTime with Karin's operations manager Jim Tully, we'd hear incoming messages from the intercom system that droned on . . . "customer online wait time is 8 seconds" and so on until someone picked up the line. As you may imagine as a retailer, you'd never want it saying "wait time three minutes," so staff are quite motivated to take care of the call or risk being slowly tortured by the constant reminder. A bit annoying but very effective!
As mentioned, Vine Time was developed by Memorial Florists as an in-house solution to tackle scheduling. "When I took this task over it took about 6 hours a week and tree's worth of paper. My goal was to cut that time in half and get rid of the paper trail," says Bob Aykens of Memorial, who is now the current chair for SAF's Technology Committee. "Memorial Florists has cut there labor without laying any employee’s off nearly $80,000 since October 1st and I now only spend 1 to 2 hours a week on schedules."
Check out more about Vine Time here: http://www.vine-solutions.com/