Integrating Technology into the Family Business

Integrating Technology into the Family Business

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Over four decades of company growth, keeping up with new technologies has always been a priority. Having first worked with computers at university in the 70’s, Alison had an interest in technology and was at the forefront in the landscaping industry. In 1982 they got their first computer, spending over $8000 for Alison to do her bookkeeping on the computer instead of paper. Around the same time, Kiwi Landscaping was one of the first to start sending estimates by fax instead of calling them in.

When the internet exploded in the 90’s, Alison knew it was important to have an online presence and Kiwi Landscaping got their first website.

As the business grew and Alison’s workload increased with the safety program, bidding jobs, and keeping up with more and more invoicing from the Nursery, technological advances fell down on the priority list and by the end of the 2000’s it became clear there would need to be some technological changes in the coming years.

Alison asked Ashleigh for help reviewing all the handwritten invoices as they were getting busier; after finding multiple problems, Ashleigh knew it was time for a change. Alison didn’t need much convincing from Ashleigh to see that upgrading to a digital Point Of Sale and inventory system would save loads of headaches, so in 2012 Kiwi joined the 21st century of technology. They brought in power to the retail area and Ashleigh sourced out high-speed internet so they could have a computer and debit machines at the nursery for the first time.

The following year, Ashleigh set her sights on improving the company’s online presence by getting a new website with added functionality including plant search options, and started up the Kiwi Nurseries Facebook page.

Each year since then, there have been technological upgrades of one sort or another: upgraded internet and power, a new bathroom block, increased social media presence, a server and digital filing, security cameras, and the launching of a brand new website to keep up with their current customer’s needs.

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