Innovative ideas and solutions continue to deliver unprecedented growth for the subscription-based floral company H.Bloom. You might even say, business is blooming.
Before Bryan Burkhart created of one of the fastest growing businesses on the planet, he was simply a guy, just trying to be the best spouse he could be. Part of his effort had him finding fresh flowers for the apartment he and his wife called home.
For the husband-of-the-year nominee, finding flowers was the easy part. The challenge was finding high-quality floral arrangements that met his design standards. After an exhaustive search, Burkhart finally discovered a shop with owners who were “extraordinary artists,” but their passion for flowers far outweighed their enthusiasm for business operations.
“They didn’t have a background in technology and didn’t enjoy the business side of things,” explains Burkhart.
This was his aha moment – Burkhart saw a multi-billion dollar U.S. flower industry ripe for a shakeup. Teaming with Panda, his long-time friend and business associate in a software company, the pair launched the luxury flower company H.Bloom in 2010. Its mission: create high-quality bouquets and installations that are delivered by hand on a timetable set by corporations and individuals.
The company’s success would require Burkhart and Panda to apply lessons learned in the software industry to efficiently source flowers from around the world. They would also have to provide their clients with best-in-class service.
“Each delivery is the only delivery,” says Mike Lenner, H.Bloom’s Vice President of Engineering. “It has to be at the right time in the right way.”
It also has to be partnered with the right technology.
“We have a range of technology we use to manage the workflow, from arrangement creation through delivery,” explains Brett Adams, the company’s senior product manager.
One example: Fleet Complete® Fleet Tracker from AT&T, which allows H.Bloom to respond to unexpected client situations with visibility of all vehicles making deliveries throughout the day.
“GPS radio allows us to track, gives us all sorts of insight into the delivery process,” says Lenner. He also touts the benefits of ProntoForms™ from AT&T, a mobile tool that empowers drivers to better manage deliveries and client expectations. “Image capture, signature capture and timestamp capture at delivery allows us to do quality control and delivery monitoring at scale.”Equipped with valuable tech solutions, H.Bloom shows no signs of slowing down. The once-budding business expects to expand its operation to 30 cities by 2015 – a feat that will require vision, foresight and the right partners to achieve.“Beautiful design is not worth anything unless we get it there on time and in good shape,” says Lenner. “It’s a pretty robust set of solutions that we’ve been able to pick and choose from, and AT&T allows us to make these choices.”
With the right mix of impressive partners, H.Bloom has gone from startup to stardom in just four short years – exceptionally bright results for a company that set out to brighten homes and offices all across America.