US: OAN introduces new app to help nursery businesses connect

The Oregon Association of Nurseries (OAN) has introduced a new app for iOS devices, and soon Android devices, that will help nursery industry businesses connect with each other.
 
The Oregon Nursery Map app is the new, digital counterpart to the OAN’s printed Wholesale Nursery Map. Buyers, truckers and green industry professionals have long used the paper map to find wholesale nurseries in the Portland area, the Willamette Valley, and greater Oregon. With the rise of smartphones equipped with GPS technology, creating a digital solution made sense on many levels.
 
“It’s more than a map,” said Scott Ekstrom, who works at Ekstrom Nursery and is president of the OAN Mt. Hood Chapter. “We believe it will be an on-the-road, time-saving device if you are a landscaper, plant buyer, or a grower reaching out to a network of suppliers and growers.”
 
The iOS version of the app is available in the iTunes Store now. An Android version will be available in January. Both versions are priced at $4.99.
 
The app will help users find the most efficient routes between destinations. This will be especially useful for out-of-state visitors who are eager to see the state’s gorgeous plant material, but don’t know the lay of the land. They’ll discover a wealth of information about each grower, including what they are selling. At the press of a button, the user will be able to call nurseries and verify availability.
 
“The app’s functionality provides nursery contact information and links to the OAN’s online Nursery Guide, which is a searchable directory of plants, products and services,” Ekstrom said. “So if a contractor is on a job site, for example, and needs to quickly find more plant material, a glance at the Oregon Nursery Map app will tell them which nurseries or suppliers are nearby.
 
“Technology is changing how business is done,” Ekstrom added. “I have seen people, young and older, working from their phones while sitting in front of a desk or laptop computer, out in the field, or in the car or truck. The phone is the go-to device for websites, emails, directions, or to make calls. Phones and apps can do everything, except grow the tree.”
 
The Oregon Nursery Map app is a project of the OAN Mt. Hood Chapter to raise funds for horticulture student scholarships. Businesses will pay to be featured on the app, and users will pay a nominal amount to download it. Currently, approximately 130 OAN member nurseries and suppliers are “pinned” on the map. The goal is to build that to 400. Meanwhile, the paper map will remain available and is still appreciated by many growers.
 
“As more of the industry embraces digital tools to save valuable time, we felt it was important to anticipate where demand would be in the near future and longer term,” Ekstrom said. “Creating the Oregon Map App is a significant investment for the Mt. Hood Chapter and the OAN to make, but we want to help members of the industry connect more easily with Oregon suppliers. The Oregon Nursery Map app will help make that happen.”
 
For more information
The Oregon Association of Nurseries (OAN)
Curt Kipp, Senior Manager of Publications
T: +1 503.682.5089
Email: ckipp@oan.org
www.oan.org

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