Just over a month ago GGS Structures Inc invested in a drone. We were interested in what the tiny yet powerful device could mean to the greenhouse industry.
Every day a handful of new articles pop up on news feeds with a new way that drone technology is being used. It's been interesting following this hot new trend. Just this week an amateur pilot of a drone helped locate and rescue an 82-year-old missing man helping end a three day search.
GGS decided to use the drone to make a video of some of our structures and put together a totally new perspective for looking at greenhouses from above. If you missed us at Cultivate 14 now is your chance to see some incredible footage.
With all the news and uses coming up since the release of these devices it's clear the technology has a future in the greenhouse industry.
We felt so strongly about it that for GGS Structures Inc's 35th anniversary we are celebrating by giving away a drone complete with a GoPro camera! Have a look at our video and enter to win!
It's been an exciting show this year and to wrap up Cultivate 14 we have created a slideshow of the highlights and Top Ten Takeaways . We hope to see you all again next year!
GGS Structures Inc was happy to open our mail and find that we received a thank you from Rose City Kids for helping make their annual dinner a success.
Along with our help Rose City was able to raise a total of $21,000 dollars for their program!
In April during the Rose City annual dinner it was announced that GGS Structures Inc. donated a rooftop greenhouse solarium to their mission.
For the past 6 years Rose City Kids has been actively reaching children in Welland's low income communities. Rose City Kids runs a number of weekly and weekend initiatives, reaching many children across the city of Welland. Role-modeling, building relationships, and providing practical assistance are just some of the keys to how they have effectively broken the cycle of poverty for countless children’s lives. Bi-weekly hundreds of children receive a bus ride to and from RCK, a hot meal and a treat to take home. Each child will also receive a personal home visit from a caring, loving member of Rose City Kids.
At GGS we believe in being a good corporate citizen and helping charitable organizations like Rose City Kids is one way we give back to the community. Read more about how giving Kids a greenhouse grows a community and the fine work being done by Rose City Kids.
Learn more about Rose City Kids and how you can contribute.
Starting out as a family business in 1979, the Canadian company GGS Structures, specialised in the design, manufacture, and installation of commercial greenhouse structures has become an important player in the North American greenhouse development. Speaking to the company’s president Leigh Coulter, we learn that GGS is a forward thinking greenhouse constructor that is not afraid to assist clients in building long-lasting greenhouses with the right heating, cooling, ventilation, benches, irrigation, environmental controls, and many other supplies. “No matter what kind of crop is grown, they are safe in our structures.”
GGS' Leigh Coulter together with customer Andrew Hendriks, Hendriks Greenhouses in Ontario. PICTURE BY THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR www.hamiltonbusiness.com
Having the chance to speak to GGS’ Leigh Coulter, the question that was on the tip of my tongue was about her company’s marketing activities in the medical marijuana business. On the company’s website much information can be found about this new developing industry. GGS Structures has developed a relationship with many of the medical marijuana growers in Canada and developed integrated growing solutions intended to maximize their production. In the United States the cultivation of this new greenhouse cash crop is a very difficult topic in regards to federal and state laws. “In the U.S. this is legal in some states, but illegal federally, which can be really problematic; in Canada, it is relatively straight forward, but very cumbersome,” explains Leigh, president of the family owned business.
GGS Structures' Sales Manager, Michael Camplin in a marijuana greenhouse.
According to Leigh, Health Canada has approved only 13 facilities. They are all warehouse facilities, and GGS has been instrumental in building the growing rooms for many of them. However, no greenhouses have been approved yet, but attempts are being made and GGS is working with interested growers to retrofit greenhouses for the regulatory requirements of Canada’s MMPR. “I’m not sure how big a market it’s going to be. In early April there were 650 applicants, the numbers now are close to 1,000, but only 13 have been approved, so it’s still a small speciality market in which large investments are needed and where we have developed a good expertise.”
GGS is also active in other industries as well; the company has a long-standing history in the North American ornamental greenhouse, produce greenhouses, and nursery industry.
Regarding the situation for greenhouse vegetable growers in North America, Leigh affirms that “this year was a tough start for all, as the winter was too long and very harsh; the growers had to spend a lot on the heating of their operations. Niagrow saw an increase in requests for energy efficiency improvements, and growers are definitely paying attention to payback on energy curtains we supply.”
“The same situation counts for the ornamental growers, there was a lot of produce still on the shelves in May, although the season has finished well for many growers. Our company growth and sales quite literally requires our customers to grow first, so we have a vested interest in helping our customers grow.”
GGS Structures is mainly focused on the North American market, but it also has clients all over the world. In Europe, it has clients in the Netherlands, Germany and in Asia it sells strongly in Japan. “We have a distributor there, so we do a lot of business in Japan. International business is exciting and it keeps you on your toes, as different regions have different demands and you need to be customer-focused, which also helps when selling to the customer next door,” said Leigh Coulter.
Construction going on inside a research greenhouse facility in Kenya
The strength of GGS globally is further augmented by a well thought out strategy of diversification, vertical, and horizontal integration. In addition to greenhouses and high tunnels GGS manufactures a line of fabric covered buildings branded under the name Tasco Dome which serves markets for cold storage, equestrian riding arenas, and training tracks, and recycling centers.
Remarkable project: a 900m training track for thoroughbred horses that GGS built in Japan.
GGS Structures is part of the Growers Greenhouse Supplies Inc. group of companies which includes Niagrow Systems Ltd. which is the leading North American mechanical engineering firm for hydronic heating in the greenhouse industry, and JGS Limited which provides specialty research greenhouse design and construction to governments, universities, and industry. Like GGS, JGS Limited builds research greenhouse facilities all over the world
Location, location, location. Doesn’t tell the whole story does it? Getting the customers in the door requires more than just setting up in a high traffic location. Keeping them coming back is where you really unleash the power of WoW.
WoW provides a total customer experience. WoW defines a Garden Center’s personality.
When advising GGS customers who are building a new garden center, or adding to and refreshing their existing garden center, we recommend they walk through their customer experience.
Inviting Garden Centers are bright, and attractive, with lots of colour upfront. Display gardens at the front of your property attract shoppers, and also gives them ideas on how to arrange the plants they will buy from you. The Garden center structure’s front wall should be glass, so prospective customers get a peak inside. The taller the greenhouse, the taller the panes of glass the more impact it will generate.
Here is the magic of retail marketing. Your displays should complement the personality of your store and appeal to your target shoppers. WoW displays evoke emotion, and are always unique. Think outside of typical floral arrangements and create something new. Challenge common perceptions of what plants are for, and where possible make a BIG bold statement. Here are 3 amazing ideas I pulled off the internet to create a conversation:
The biggest advantage a greenhouse offers as a garden center shopping environment is the impression customers have that they are buying from the grower. But in no way should the garden center greenhouse be designed the same as a commercial grower’s greenhouse. Rolling benches do not work with retail shoppers. Extra high gutter do. Fan and pad ventilation is too noisy for a customer experience. Natural ventilation works best. Aisles need to be wide and designed to encourage the shopping foot traffic patterns.
Wow Garden Centers deliver an impression in everything they do, including signs. Remember to be helpful and informative while always showcasing the personality of your store. Here are 3 examples of ways signs can contribute to a garden center’s WoW.
|Marking stones are a great way to mark plant locations, while adding to the display. Consider that this type of signage will also appeal to gardeners, making your signs a POS revenue generating add on item.|
|Structural layout of your Garden Center can provide ways to incorporate customer friendly information. Walking paths, fence lines, and the side of your greenhouse are all opportunities for creativity to increase customer enjoyment while shopping.|
|Signs should answer shoppers’ questions, or make them think. Do this in ways that complement the personality of your garden center.|
Garden Centers with lots of pizzazz that have crowded narrow aisles, not enough parking spaces, shopping carts with rusty squeaky wheels, etc. will not WoW no matter what the amazing features are. Inattentive or rude garden center staff, and lack of cleanliness cannot be replaced with fabulous displays and modern greenhouse structures. To WoW a garden center must deliver EVERYTHING shoppers expect, PLUS that extra WoW!
GGS designs, manufactures, and builds greenhouse greenhouse garden centers for retailers all over the world. Custom designs in the structure, as well as time tested experience ensures garden centers built by GGS will help you WoW your customers.