beSlick helps Urban Planters to scale sweetly
Despite its impressive growth, the passion that sits at the heart of Urban Planters – where its people love plants, love what they do, and love the customers they serve – has remained the same. Knowing it needed to transform to support this sustained growth, beSlick enables Urban Planters to scale with ease; allowing people to just get on while supporting the overall business strategy, managing core processes while enabling continuous improvement, and simply integrating with ‘business-as-usual’.
It’s come a long way from its roots; five years ago Urban Planters was selling plants in pots to facilities managers in a bid to make office environments more visually appealing. But with a strong scientific link established between the impact plants have on wellness at work and employee behaviour, the business has gone from strength to strength – now engaging HR departments directly to help them improve the working environment, and growing beyond pots, to a multi-service offering including living walls, plant art and Christmas displays.
While the success that Urban Planters has experienced is the envy of most SMEs, it does come with its challenges.
As Urban Planters has scaled through organic growth, it has hired new talent and invested in different IT systems. But in time, this organic growth becomes challenging as the internal infrastructure simply doesn’t exist to support a business of this size and is no longer fit-for-purpose. And that means that senior management are increasingly distracted from their main roles.
With the whole company reacting to factors that were affecting their business – whether it be a new order through the website, solving a customer’s issue, or excess stock perishing while sitting in storage – Urban Planters wasn’t able to plan for success, and therefore not operating in the most efficient, productive way.
Inconsistent customer journey
Embarking on a productivity drive, Urban Planters knew it needed to create the internal processes necessary to guide its operational efficiency. A big part of this is ensuring the customers receive a more consistent service, by taking them on a journey that demonstrates Urban Planter’s passion, helps them understand the science behind ‘greening’ a workspace and rationalises the investment. But achieving this requires all employees to remain compliant with the overall brand standards to deliver that consistency.
beSlick is software for process enablement. It enables you firstly to map all your processes and then ensure that they are performed the same way by everyone, every time, it means that your business is capable of running without you – freeing you up to get back to the things you really enjoy.
Currently on a productivity drive, Urban Planters has a number of initiatives running in parallel that will see the business transform over the coming months. A key element in the strategy is to use beSlick to help facilitate these initiatives.
Speaking about his choice to implement beSlick, Rory Waterer, managing director of Urban Planters, said:
“I very much subscribe to the Richard Branson way of thinking – that if you look after your staff, everything else looks after itself. Seeing beSlick I knew everything in my business would run pretty sweetly because the product is built with people at its core.”
Free to get on with activities that add value
Like many entrepreneurs, Rory’s first skillset lay elsewhere. As well as being the managing director, day-to-day he’s also the leader of a sales team who take care of a territory that now spans most of the south of England.
Using beSlick as part of its initiative to re-define its strategy, will enable Urban Planters to better support its senior leadership team when implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS).
Effectively managing core processes
It’s the core processes that determine the blueprint for how the organisation operates and delivers a consistent experience. For Urban Planters, managing stock is central to its success. Dealing in live plants, they need looking after to stop them deteriorating, and some plants will perish quicker than others. There’s a high potential for wastage if the process isn’t right, covering steps such as reconciling/replacing stock or ‘just in time’ production.
Enabling continuous improvement
But you can’t control people and force them to do things a certain way. Regardless of how big the company has grown, there’s a passion that sits at the heart of the business, where the people simply love plants, love what they do, and love the customers they serve.
Integrating with the business
Embarking on an initiative to update its current website and intranet, Urban Planters is looking to converge its IT systems. This will create a more joined-up way of working that allows its employees to just get on with the job in hand.