J. Berry Nursery

“J. Berry Team Growing for the Future”

Berry Nursery was founded in 2006 by father and son, Jim and Jonathan Berry. Over the past 12 years, J. Berry has expanded by leaps and bounds. In addition to the finished wholesale nursery business, the company now includes both a new Young Plants, and a new Genetics Division. All Divisions are focused on bringing innovation to the market, and providing infinite possibilities to consumers via superior packaging and marketing of plants that exceed performance expectations whether grown in containers or a landscape setting. The company’s unique multi-pronged position as a breeder, nursery and small plant producer, ensures that only top-quality plants join their product offerings. J. Berry Nursery is the home to exciting consumer plant brands including Black Diamond® and Emerald Empire® Crapemyrtles, Déjà Bloom® Azaleas, the tropical Hollywood™ Hibiscus collection, Summer Spice® Hardy Hibiscus and Crown Jewel™ Begonias.


The Situation

During the summer of 2017, Jonathan Berry met with TMAC to discuss efforts to prepare a future plan for the layout of their East Texas nursery. Jonathan wanted to better understand the efforts required to prepare a typical plant order from the generation of a customer order pick ticket through loading the order for shipment. He was also needing a current state layout of the nursery along with recommendations for a future layout designed to help improve cycle times and lower operating costs. Jonathan then needed support in 2018 to help the J. Berry team prepare its 5-year strategic plan vision to establish growth margins and revenue goals, new product innovations and the employee benefit programs.


The Solution

TMAC worked with the J. Berry team to prepare a template for a time study that would collect necessary information for order processing. The study collected information including the location of the pick zone, the number of workers, the time for the various tasks, total items picked and average time for a container. The study collected over 5,000 observations of containers picked throughout the nursery. The study collected helpful information on actual labor times required to pick containers from the field, transport on trailers, prune and tag containers and finally load them to trucks for shipment. In addition to the time study, TMAC staff identified Lean opportunities for improvement that were observed during the effort. These studies identified over 15 improvement opportunities for an estimate $127,000 in labor cost savings for the nursery. TMAC students prepared a current and future layout of the facility which included a plan for a centralized shipping area to reduce travel times during the picking process.

Once the time study and initial nursery layout were completed TMAC met with the J. Berry team to engage the organization in combining its best hindsight and foresight in aligned action. TMAC used a large, graphic template to step J. Berry through the development of traditional strategic analysis, creative visioning work, focused action planning, and organization-communications design. This vision provided J. Berry with 5 bold steps that would help them accomplish their 5 year vision for their growing nursery. The J. Berry team is now prepared for a clear vision on how to continue its growth for the future.


The Results

  • Opportunities to reduced pick times by 25%
  • Improvements to reduced travel distances by 20%
  • Reduce container touches by 30%
  • Improved pick accuracy


To download a PDF version of this success story click here.


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