Posie Packer


Over the years, the same questions always seem to be asked when setting up or operating a floral processing center. These questions relate to the designs of Posie Packer's equipment, as well as operational questions. The following ten questions are the most commonly raised:

What are the key elements to have in a post harvest processing system?
  • Cut all flower stems underwater
  • Speed - minimize the time flowers are in a box - flowers do not like cardboard
  • Temperature - cooler temperature should be 32-34 drees fahrenheit
  • Cleanliness - cooler and pails - minimize bacteria growth
  • Proper use of floral preservatives
  • Cooler humidity should be greater than 85 % but less than 100%
  • Constant monitoring of temperature and humidity levels, keep logs of all of the steps that your flowers are going through 

A system is only as good as its weakest link. All of the above components are critical to maximize floral value to the end consumer. Consistent value will lead to repeat sales.

What should be the ultimate goal  of a floral processor ?

The ultimate goal of a floral processor should be to have profitable repeat floral sales. The "profitable" means that the labor costs involved are reduced to the lowest point per unit of production, and the "repeat" means that you are providing consistently high value to the consumer for the floral purchase, increasing the likelihood of another floral purchase. All of Posie Packer's equipment are designed to make a valuable contribution to this goal.

Why does all of Posie Packer's equipment run circular?

The circle has the great property of having no beginning or end.  On a production basis, this feature makes it easy to know which employee is doing what. And, because not only you but all of the other employees realize this, the product which is being manufactured will be more consistent with the standard that you have selected. If a product is not right, it easily comes back to the employee who did it, and everybody will know. On a operational basis, the circle generally requires fewer parts, which means greater reliability of the machinery. Also circular gives the machinery the great flexibility to be used effectively by one person or many, it all depends on the volume to be processed in a given amount of time.

What is the most important element to have in a floral processing facility?

The key ingredient in an efficient processing facility is good product flow. To achieve good product flow, the cart provides the best solution as compared to linear conveyors. Carts have flexibility and do not make a barrier within  the workplace. They are not prone to breakdown, they allow for isolation of questionable product, and minimize the physical handling ( read "labour cost") of product.  Conveyors, by their very nature, make a barrier in the production area (unless they are located against a wall). This will impede labor productivity (i.e.. cost you money)

When should you use machinery to process flowers?

Machinery should be used for those processing steps which are dull, repetitive and which cost money. The following steps fall into this category:

Cutting flower stems is necessary step for proper post-harvest treatment of fresh cut flowers. Posie Packer Corp has a wide range of products to handle this. Not only will the flowers be cut, but the length will be consistent, making for a good presentation of the floral product. Products are the wholesale underwater cutter, retail underwater cutter, the bouquet organizer/power cutter, and the turnveyor.

Moving product within a processing facility is a  necessity. By using carts rather than conveyors, the flowers are only handled once. With a conveyor, the flowers have to placed on the conveyor, and once they reach the end of the conveyor they have to be removed immediately - they cannot be stored on a conveyor.

Filling pails with water is fundamental. However, to pay someone to do this is ridiculous. Posie Packer's low cost custom water dispensing system will fill your pails easily and consistently and, when used with a cart system, these pails can be readily delivered to where they are needed, with only one filling station, not several.

What should be the characteristics of machinery for use in the floral processing business?

The most important characteristics that machinery must have for the floral processing business is reliability and user serviceability. Because the most valuable asset you have on a floral holiday is time, downtime cannot be tolerated. But if a machine does breakdown it must be user-serviceable. Parts have to be readily available locally, so that the machinery is back up and running in minutes, not hours (or days) waiting for a technician to arrive. Posie Packer's machinery are designed so that the parts that are unique to the machine are unbreakable. Mechanical and electrical parts (bearings, motors) which do wear out are commonplace,  readily available at any industrial supplier, and can be replaced by any qualified trades person. This is an important feature  to those who have an electrical system that is different from North America. The motors the machinery uses can be easily replaced with those that you have available locally.

What is the first law of the bouquet business?

The first law of the bouquet business is that a bouquet is only as good as its weakest flower. For this reason, it is recommended that all floral stems to be used in a bouquet or floral arrangement should be cut underwater, and allowed to hydrate before being assembled into a bouquet or floral arrangement. By doing this, the cost savings are tremendous.

Some of the measurable costs that can be saved are

    * the cost of the good flowers in the bouquet
    * the labor cost of assembly
    * the cost of the floral sleeve

Some of the difficult to measure costs saved are:

    * the paperwork that is involved in issuing credits
    * the loss of confidence that a customer will have in your products
    * the cost of shipping replacement product

Why is it important to know your labor cost per unit of production?

The floral processing business is a penny business. A penny saved per unit of production, multiplied by a high volume, can translate into big savings. Before considering the purchase of equipment, the cost per unit of production must be known. Once this cost is known, and knowing what the impact of machinery can have, a calculation can be approximated as to what the return on investment would be if a capital purchase is made. Another way to look at these savings is as profits from a sale. A savings of $300.00 per week would be the same as having a customer who purchases $1000.00 a week in product from you with the added advantage of always paying his bill and never complaining - in other words, the ideal customer. For an assesment of what the impact would be for you please fill in the form and see mechanical advantage page.

What makes Posie Packer's product different from other equipment manufacturers?

The biggest difference is in the design which is based on 25 years of front-line experience as a high volume bouquet manufacturer. To the best of my knowledge, Posie Packer and its products are unique: no other manufacturer has this experience to draw from. The machines we manufacture are practical, make a tremendous impact on increasing productivity and product quality, last for years with minimal maintenance, and use mechanical means for its function. Electronics are avoided as must as possible. Posie Packer is constantly analyzing the production process to see if the steps that are involved can be mechanized and if the machine designed to replace a step will meet its design criteria. For example, check out the retail underwater cutter and the floral sleeve labeling machine, for practicality. They  works on their own. You do not have to buy a noisy air compressor to make them work.

What other suggestions to improve productivity can be made that do not require equipment or capital expenditure?

The first item is to standardize operations. Items such as the number of bunches placed in a pail should be set depending on the variety. The containers used should be a standard size throughout the floral processing process. The amount of water in each pail should be controlled for two reasons. First is handling - all pails will weigh the same, secondly is the use of floral preservatives. The amount of floral preservative used per pail can now be made a constant. Simple yet practical things can be done to simplify the whole floral processing process and improve the quality of the end product.

If you have a specific question that you would like an opinion on, please e-mail: john@posiepacker.com