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Red Maple.

This page provides in-depth details of the features and technology that make PlantX.net a unique solution.

Contents

On-Demand Software

No longer do you need to purchase the software to own it. PlantX.net offers you software that you pay for, month-to-month, as long as you need it. With PlantX.net, you can get started on the service at just $399 per month for the Wholesale Edition (Limited offer, see Pricing).

See our 30-day Free Trial.

Anywhere you have a computer connected to the Internet, PlantX.net is available to you. Connect from the office, branch office or from home. PlantX.net is fast and efficient enough to work over wireless broadband connections. With a laptop and wireless adapter you can take your business anywhere!

Service vs. License

When you "buy software" all you really get is a license to use their software. You don't actually own the software or the right to change it. You get a piece of paper that says you have the legal right to install and operate their program. When you pay for PlantX.net you get service.

What would you rather have? A piece of paper that says you can run their software or the monthly services of PlantX.net? When you connect to PlantX.net you get the latest version of the software that includes all changes that improve ease-of-use, reporting, performance in addition to new features. Your data is backed up hourly. You have access to your information from any computer connected to the Internet. Your website is kept current and available to your customers.

What motivation is there to continue to earn your business? Once you purchase a license to a shrink-wrapped application you eliminate any motivation for them to improve or support it. They have your money and you own a piece of paper that says you can run their software and that's it. With PlantX.net there is no long-term contract or large sum of cash invested; you pay month-to-month. By paying month-to-month, we know that you can make a buying decision at any time and take your funds elsewhere. We are motivated to earn and keep your business each month.

Perpetual Improvements

We recognize that software changes all of the time. It has to in order to keep up with changes in technology as well as changes in your business. PlantX.net keeps its services current by adapting to the constant demands of hardware, software and security changes.

As customers become accustomed to the PlantX.net features, they often develop new ideas and improvements. Although we can't add every feature ever imagined by our customers, we make it our goal to listen to our customers. This allows us to stay ahead of the competition and remain competitive. The staff at PlantX.net welcomes your feedback and uses that feedback to devise new features that make the application easier to use.

Real-Time Updates

Real-time updates is being able to see all changes to the system as they occur. The information you use to make your decisions updates immediately when you make changes. Just like a spreadsheet, when you make changes to the value in one cell, all the other cell recalculate. PlantX.net takes this concept a step further so when anyone makes changes, everyone sees the changes. It does not matter if the person is on the opposite side of the room or the opposite side of the globe.

Real-time updates also keep the website up-to-date as changes are made. No more posting spreadsheets or PDF files to the website. No buttons to push. If you change the inventory numbers, the website shows those changes. This also applies to the information in your catalog. Drag-n-drop new pictures to the catalog and they appear on your website!

Multi-User Application

Supporting multiple users is usually an afterthought for most nursery applications. Most projects start out for a single user, but in order to really be useful to a company, the program must support multiple users. PlantX.net was designed to be multi-user as well as multi-office. We connect all of your users in all of your offices anywhere on the globe.

Information contained in the system is constantly changing. Let's face it, if it didn't change and change easily, the system would be of little use to your business. Changes you make are sent immediately to all other users that need the information. Change the stock on hand, and all other users across the room or across the globe will see the change, including any users browsing your website.

Real Remote Software

Don't be fooled by other on-line Internet software solutions. There are other nursery applications that use the Internet to host their applications remotely, but there is a striking difference between PlantX.net's on-demand software and the other remote terminal or web browser solutions.

Most applications were not designed to function over the Internet and are not truly remote applications. Operating software over the Internet introduces challenges to software development that smaller projects cannot afford to consider. Factors such as slow and intermittent connections make it extremely difficult. Therefore most applications are created to only run on a local area networks (LANs).

To be competitive these LAN-only solutions have turned to terminal servers. The software runs on a central server and you drive the terminal remotely. The software doesn't really run on your local computer. Instead, you run the application entirely by remote control. That means the application cannot interact with any other applications on your computer. You cannot drag-n-drop pictures from your camera to your catalog, view and save reports on your computer, or use your e-mail to send order confirmations.

Other types of Internet solutions build the whole application to run in your web browser. Like PlantX.net, this is convenient since most computers have a browser, and if you are connected to the Internet, you can get your information. But with a web browser you sacrifice ease-of-use. Not all browsers are alike, nor support the same features which means web applications are built for the least common denominator. You have to sacrifice clarity, usability and responsiveness. You can completely forget about real-time updates.

PlantX.net was built from the ground up to work on the Internet as a multi-user service. Today's market is using the Internet, so to be in the market you must be on the Internet. C-Ware created an entirely new technology, RPE, that gives you the power tools you need to control your business with the features needed to develop a web presence.

Barcodes and RFID

Barcodes and RFID are the leading forms of inventory identification and tracking. Both forms of identification encode the identity of an inventory items or group of items in a coded form that is computer-readable. Since the computer equipment, typically a handheld device, can read the identity of the item, it speeds data entry and accuracy. Each method of identification has its advantages and weaknesses. PlantX.net applications employ both barcodes and RFID tags to track individual plants or entire supplies.

Barcodes

Universal Product Codes or UPC Codes

Each product in the store carries a UPC barcode that is encoded with a product code that uniquely identifies it among all other products on the retail market. When scanned at the cash register, this UPC code must translate to a price and eventually reduce inventory after the completed sale.

The only way for this to work is if the code is unique among all other products available at any retail outlet. To do so, a company must register (for a fee) with the Uniform Code Council to receive their official manufacturer's code. The manufacture code is a six digit number that identifies your company and forms the first six digits of the UPC code. The remaining six digit code is an arbitrary number assigned by you that will be used to consistently identify plants in your catalog.

PlantX.net catalog features support retail tagging and will print the necessary UPC labels for your retail customers. You need only enter your manufacture's code once in your membership settings. Only the six digit product code is entered on each catalog item.

Plant Tracking

Since UPC barcodes only contain a manufacture's code and a product code, they cannot be used to track individual plants. Consignment and internal tracking of individual specimens or even batches of plant material requires that each plant carry a unique number. This number need only be unique within your organization, not outside in a retail setting. Therefore, a registered UPC barcode is not needed. PlantX.net generates barcode tags for each item or group of items that require identification and tracking.

RFID

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is the most recent development in identification systems. Barcodes require close proximity when reading, between 6 and 18 inches in order to read the barcode. Barcode labels deteriorate, are highly visible, and are easily removed. RFID technology allows for greater proximity when reading, as well as much lower visibility and instances of loss. As Walmart and the military create supply chain requirements for the use RFID on packaging, the economy of scale is driving down the cost of RFID tags. We continue to watch costs and are waiting for a 5 to 10 cent price point to deploy in our existing applications. ($0.15 per tag as of 2/15/08)

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