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Contractors Call "FedEx of Plants"

Bamboo Pipeline employee Ramon Valdez unloads a shipment of plants late at night in October. Photo: Ventura County Star

Bamboo Pipeline, a new business in Ventura County, Calif., may be the FedEx of plants.

It uses a similar business model but ships plants instead of boxes, said Mike Cornell, the company’s executive vice president.

The firm has developed software that enables it to generate the sales of a 160-acre nursery??"without growing a single plant.

Cornell likens the operation to a trading floor on Wall Street. Instead of buying and selling stocks and bonds, Bamboo Pipeline’s employees buy and sell trees and plants.

“We say we offer market best’ because we cherry-pick the highest quality from growers,” President Matthew Fay said.

The purpose is to save contractors time, money and frustration. Through market research, Fay and Cornell discovered that most landscape contractors spend 25 percent of their time trying to find the plants they need.

Instead of calling 15 growers to find 30 different plants, a contractor or architect can rely on one call, fax, e-mail or online visit to gain access to thousands of plants, as well as landscape materials such as irrigation, drainage and lighting products.

The company was founded in 2000 by Cornell and Fay. In its first year, Bamboo Pipeline generated $1.1 million in revenue.

The founders say they’ve barely scratched the surface. Of an estimated 80.5 million households with yards or gardens, 42 percent spent $44.7 billion for at least one type of lawn or landscape service in 2006, according to Jonathan Bardzik, director of marketing and industry relations at the American Nursery and Landscape Association.

Bamboo Pipeline has a fleet of 14 trucks that leaves the nursery full of deliveries, and they return at night with plants purchased from growers.

More info: Source: Ventura County Star

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June 27, 2019, 2:01 am PDT

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