A 1995 study of 22 Australian nurseries 1) developed a profile of production, management, and profitability; 2) compared their performance to relevant U.S. benchmarks; and 3) identified trends and potential areas of improvement in the management of Australian nursery enterprises. The study confirmed that Australian nurseries incur high labor costs (38.8% of sales) comparable to United States nurseries, while costs of materials and supplies were lower than in the United States. Australian managers were concerned with marketing and recruiting and keeping labor rather than increasing capital investment to enhance production efficiency. Capital expenditures were funded from internal cash flow rather than external financing. Many of the nursery managers used relatively simple performance indicators, and most business objectives were stated in general terms. Concerns about the viability of the industry included oversupply, the growth in chain stores' business, factors eroding the demand for nursery products, and greater regulation.
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