'100% Digital is a big change for growers and buyers, but it does offer advantages'06 May 2020
From 1 January 2021, direct transactions on the Royal FloraHolland marketplace will only be settled if they have been concluded digitally via Floriday. Jefry van den Hoeven and Martin de Ruiter are preparing this step to 100% Digital. They realise it requires a different approach from growers and buyers. But it also provides advantages, such as time savings. Read the interview and discover the benefits, approach and experiences of buyers and growers with 100% Digital.
Transactions via Floriday allows work to be done faster and more efficiently and helps the sector to fully comply with the tightened financial legislation in Europe. Jefry van den Hoeven and Martin de Ruiter (l) are preparing this step. This will require growers and buyers on the Royal FloraHolland marketplace to do business differently. But there are also benefits.
The advantages of 100% Digital
Growers manage their catalogue, supply and orders on the digital platform Floriday. Growers can supply various trading channels from Floriday (Clock, Clock Presales, FloraXchange, FloraMondo). They present their supply and sell from a single place. Buyers will soon also have one single place where all supply comes together and where they can place their orders directly.
Martin de Ruiter (Program Manager 100% Digital): "100% Digital was already under construction. European financial legislation, which Royal FloraHolland must comply with, is accelerating this. Our challenge is to offer all chain partners such benefits that they want to work with Floriday. And these benefits exist. For example, buyers have insight into the status of their order. This means no more phone calls to check where the trade is, but knowing exactly what time it will arrive."
There are more advantages, explains Jefry van den Hoeven (Product Owner for Floriday): "Growers only have to enter data once. This significantly reduces the chance of errors in sales later on. Buyers submit orders digitally. This provides real-time clarity about supply that is still available".
De Ruiter is convinced 100% Digital will save time for growers and buyers. "Growers who do business directly will soon create a catalogue with a commercial range of products. This is new for them, and will initially cause more work. But after that, no more work will be required to complete the transaction".
"Growers and buyers currently have to send a lot of emails and make a lot of phone calls. They often talk about how useful this is. Growers say how they sell a bit more as a result. Buyers say they often take a cent off the price. The truth likely lies somewhere in the middle. Growers and buyers can of course always communicate by phone, but instead to talk about how to strengthen the mutual relationship and better serve the end customer together. Floriday forms true partnerships between growers and buyers, with customer-specific pricing, separate delivery conditions and product specifications".
"The advantage of trading companies is in the time they save. Much of the work involved in purchasing is currently administrative in nature. That work will be significantly reduced. Buyers can therefore work with long-term supply and build genuine supplier-customer relationships, which only strengthens the trade. We are also developing functionalities that will truly help buyers in their daily activities. We are developing a function for road carriers to be able to purchase directly online (with their mobile phone) from growers".
More than a supply platform
"You can use it to record all commercial, logistics and financial details surrounding transactions", says Jefry van den Hoeven. "You'll soon be able to sell the offer, auction via the clock, auction on location or whatever you choose through Floriday. Floriday is the new digital infrastructure for the floriculture sector, a set of standards with which everyone can work and communicate. Floriday offers new functionalities, allowing growers to work more efficiently. With the Floriday platform, you will soon also be able to record future orders".
"Floriday and 100% Digital will also have consequences for software companies. We are in close contact with software suppliers, many of whom will be offering Floriday functionalities", says Martin de Ruiter. "In order to do so, a link must first be established between Floriday and the software package, a so-called API connection. This link allows growers to continue working in their own software package".
It's clear that 100% Digital working offers numerous advantages. But before that, growers and buyers will have to learn to work with it. Floriday will help them with this, with tailored assistance. Martin de Ruiter: "Some growers are already working more digitally than others. That makes working 100% digitally more difficult for some than for others. We are helping everyone get fully prepared. Last year, Floriday experts gave 150 workshops for groups of eight to fifteen people, including at the companies themselves. Everyone will get the help they need. Those who are not accustomed to working with a computer will receive help with the creation and layout of their catalogue. Call the support team and your complaint or comment will go directly to the development team and will be resolved quickly".
"As we do for growers, we offer tailor-made help to buyers as well, so that they can work 100% digitally at the end of the year. Buyers can attend information sessions for more information".
Javado: "Calling and faxing was already a thing of the past"
Javado's purchasing manager Fred Beekenkamp certainly sees the long-term effects of 100% Digital via Floriday. "It's becoming more difficult to keep track of things at a daily level. Growers currently inform me when they change their price. When that happens in Floriday, I have to actually notice it happening. But there may be more time to make better contacts with growers about long-term transactions. There is also an efficiency advantage. All data is clear and completely available. It will save time otherwise spent on administrative duties".
Javado is not currently making any transactions through Floriday yet. Beekenkamp: "We receive 98% of our offer via FloraXchange. This goes one-to-one to our customers via our online store and we then receive 75% of our orders via this online store. We in turn order 90% automated from our growers. After January 1, 2021, this will therefore run through Floriday, which in itself is not a major change. Calling and faxing was already a thing of the past anyway. There is sometimes still contact with regard to an order, a colour or added value. And some people may consider the fact that this will no longer be an option to be a disadvantage. But you have to be realistic; not every exception can be entered into a system. I'm sure we can work it out with a little good will".
SV.CO: "We're convinced this will succeed"
SV.CO wants to have 100% Digital supply in Floriday on 1 July. "Development continues outside the sector. So we have to keep up", says sales manager Raimond Hoogendoorn. "That's why we are turning up the pressure. We want to meet that deadline of 1 July. The true work lies in the development of software modules that are compatible with Floriday. Software companies have to embrace the challenge. Currently, only 30 to 40% of our orders arrive digitally. We are telling our customers that this is no longer an option. They must act. We now know the advantages. Saving time allows for increased sales. Relationships will be created between our sellers and purchasers that go far beyond calling and retyping orders. We can offer customer-specific products and services, submit our offer at once and make it customer-specific in terms of price, products and added services. The customer passes on that information directly to his end customer. This allows growers to respond to regional demand, because demand in Sweden is different than that in Poland. A change like this can only be achieved through a cooperative approach. It simply can't be done individually. We're convinced this will succeed and are happy to cooperate. Together we create a widely accessible platform for products and services. To those who are concerned that Royal FloraHolland can view our information, I say: Royal FloraHolland has proven itself in that regard in the past".
Borst Bloembollen: 'Implementation problems'
Menno Boots from Borst Bloembollen certainly sees advantages of 100% Digital via Floriday, but also sees implementation problems. "The digital delivery of supply data is not a problem in itself, only my EAB supplier AntEater has stopped. I hope that Floriday can offer me a complete package in time. One challenge is the fact that I also sell directly via Plantion and Veiling Rhein-Maas. Can Floriday also process payment orders for these sales channels? I'll only be able to do without my current EAB package once I'm certain of that.
Our working method does not need to change. 100% of our direct sales already run through Floriday. This is not the case for our clock trade yet, because functions for clock trade are still being developed. I hope they will be available at the start of the next forcing season (ed. tulips) I have faith that this will be the case, because we are in close contact with people from Floriday.
It's true that 100% Digital can encourage you to establish more intensive contact with your purchasers, but it is up to you to put the work in. I also think it's a genuine improvement that in a few years' time, of the three supply banks we worked with, only one will remain. The transition must go smoothly, otherwise trade will suffer. Which is something we must avoid".
Would you like to know more?
- Are you a grower and do you want to follow a Floriday workshop? Go to www.floriday.io/workshops
- Do you have a question for one of the Floriday experts? Mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call the Floriday support desk (+31 (0)174-352070).