COMPANY: Delaware Valley Floral Group

OPERATION: Nationwide floral distribution and logistics firm with facilities in five states and delivery operations from Canada to Mexico

PROBLEM:

Launched 52 years ago, Sewell, NJ-based Delaware Valley Floral Group — still family-owned and operated — is now one of the largest floral distribution and logistics operations in the U.S. The company consists of several divisions, including Delaware Valley Wholesale Florist and Flower Transfer Logistics.

Delaware Valley Wholesale Florist serves customers in a wide band stretching from Boston, MA, to Alexandria, VA, every day while the Flower Transfer Logistics trucking/ 3PL operation runs a local fleet as well as tractor-trailers that make weekly hauls to Florida, Texas, California, Mexico and Texas.

As the Flower Transfer Logistics division grew, managers began looking into tech solutions to help them better run the operation, according to executive vice president John Scott Wilkins, grandson of founders Robert and Doris Wilkins.

We looked for solutions that would offer us the ability to sustain growth and track monetary expenses and cost per mile,” he relates. “We had virtually no capability to do this with our old processes and knew that we had to be able to if we wanted to continue moving forward in the industry.”

SOLUTION:

Wilkins researched six systems, but says that once he watched a live Internet demonstration of the Prophesy DispatchSeries his mind was quickly made up. He says he realized the other products were too complex for the size of his company and that Prophesy seemed like the perfect fit. “I loved the design and layout of the dispatch board,” he notes. “Everything was simple, clean and easy to understand — exactly what we needed.”

Moving forward, in February 2010 Delaware Valley Floral Group bought a 10-user version of Prophesy Dispatch with a third-party accounting interface, as well as modules for IFTA fuel-tax reporting, commercial mileage and routing, SQL database, driver management, fuel card interface, and document imaging.

“The software implementation was done seamlessly; we had no problems at all,” advises Wilkins. “The program is self-explanatory and easy to set up, and the training [by a consultant] was completely customized to fit our business.”

That April, Wilkins opted to add Prophesy's new cross-docking & reconsolidation module for Dispatch. “This module was a life-saver for the company,” he contends, because it helps the firm manage cross-docking “extraordinarily effectively each day.” Along with the system itself, Wilkins says he has been “very impressed” with the Prophesy staff, noting that “the company has high-level technical support, training and sales representation.”

After learning the dispatch system, Wilkins says the company was able to account for loads and overall expenses “better than ever before.” As a result, he reports that over the past two years since initial implementation, the Delaware Valley Floral Group has been able to make a “stronger commitment” to warehousing and cold storage as well as e-commerce and has also increased its trucking base.