Piet Vijverberg about 100% Digital: “If we tackle digitisation properly together, we will all benefit from it”11 August 2020
Many growers have been preparing for some time for 100% Digital. Kwekerij Piet Vijverberg is also working hard to meet the requirements of 100% Digital by the end of 2020. In this interview, Piet Vijverberg discusses the process, challenges and accompanying benefits, as well as of course their experience!
Can you tell us a little more about your company?
Piet Vijverberg is a nursery with a long history, it was founded in 1946 and is located in the Westland region. With Sander Vijverberg, a third generation of growers is now in charge. Throughout Piet Vijverberg's existence, the mechanisation and degree of technology has always been high within the company. Piet Vijverberg has been a pioneer of many technological improvements and ideas in the horticulture industry. This rich history is characteristic of the company's innovative character. Piet Vijverberg is also innovative when it comes to cooperating with chain partners. We think beyond the beaten track and offer added value to both exporters and end customers through high-quality marketing solutions. We maintain active contact with every link in the chain, digitally, too!
Kwekerij Piet Vijverberg grows house plants, the Phalaenopsis Orchid in pot size 12 cm and the Dracaena Fragrans in 4 different pot sizes on a site of 7.5 hectares in Monster, of which 1 hectare of Dracaena and 6.5 hectares of Phalaenopsis. Both products are year-round plants and sold weekly. Our own sales teas sells the majority direct (Connect RFH) and in addition to that we have a daily auction programme for part of our production, part of which is also sold though clock presales. Our top quality plants are delivered to the European specialist trade. Our core values show what we stand for. Quality, reliability and innovation describe us perfectly. We draw inspiration from these values and we see that in our entire team. Our company culture is best characterised by continuity and no nonsense, and our 80 employees enthusiastically shape it.
Are you currently doing business using Floriday?
Yes, we have been working with Floriday for three months and try to contribute properly to the 100% Digital process together with Plantform and the other growers.
Which Floriday functionalities are you currently using?
We use Floriday in combination with our software package SDF. We use the following Floriday functionalities:
- List prices and items
- Customer-specific prices
- Lot prices; but only partially, as this is still under development
- Product management in SDF
- Insights; this is very orderly and we find it very convenient!
Which Floriday functionalities would you like to start using this year?
As many as possible, and it truly depends on how Floriday develops and the timing. As usual with such processes, there are still quite a few teething troubles and they really need to be remedied. SDF is currently working hard to establish the link with Floriday. We are glad they are dealing with this so well as a partner. As soon as the link is operational, we will be able to make optimal use of both packages. Order and EAB settlement will go through SDF and Floriday. Furthermore, we will be able to provide the chain with much more information through Floriday in the future with regard to images and the experience as well as functionally. In turn, the chain partners will be able to use it.
In order to establish a system that works properly together, we need an entire process with close contact between all involved. We have taken this task seriously and we work on it on a daily basis. Step by step, optimisation wishes or requirements arise, which are then realised together. In the end, we are all definitely going to get there, I have complete faith in that!
What do you think are the benefits of 100% Digital? Which benefits do you experience?
We are currently experiencing little benefit, but that is mainly because we are truly in the testing phase and not everything works quite as it should yet. We have not been able to do a one-on-one test with a customer, for example. Thankfully, we are going to start with that soon. Once we get through this phase, we will have a good and efficient system together for correct and real-time product supply, sales and digital order settlement; more insight for us and our customers. In short, with Floriday, many things will be better and more efficient compared to old systems and methods, allowing us to maintain even better contact with the chain.
Why is 100% Digital important to you?
Primarily because Royal FloraHolland has to start complying with the financial regulations. In addition to this, a good link and order settlement with the chain partners is very important. If these processes are properly set up, all parties can process quickly and work without errors being made. We believe in 100% digital: it is important for many sectors, and definitely for horticulture. And Floriday is going to be the main industry platform.
Which things do you have yet to change to comply with 100% Digital?
Floriday has to be 100% foolproof for all, since every company is different. In addition, some information and explanation for all concerned is essential! We see that there are still many uncertainties on the buyers' side with regard to how things will work. People have heard that everything has to be 100% Digital by the end of the year, but some of them have no idea how to go about it yet. Royal FloraHolland has to take into account that things need to be implemented on that side as well. With the Plantform collective, we are working on this with various parties and it can be rolled out further from there. In our opinion, Floriday is developing too slowly, it takes a long time before new parts are delivered or errors are resolved.
What are your expectations for the future?
Floriday will be a success, of course, and we expect that it will hold many benefits for us and our customers. Some effort is required, but together we need to go full steam ahead to overcome the teething problems and develop the extra tools to make it an easily workable system. We are looking forward to further testing with buyers.
What benefits will digitisation bring to the horticulture industry?
A reliable product range; this means the correct numbers, prices, specifications, etc. all linked correctly to the chain and that will bring about transactions in efficiently. With this, methods and daily actions are changing, allowing us to focus even more on our customers and deepen the chain.
As far as digitisation is concerned, what would you like to share with your fellow growers?
Change is always difficult, but getting started with this is a challenge. You will need to invest time in it in the start-up phase, you and your customers need to learn how to work with it, and maybe in a slightly different way than the way you have been doing things for years. But if we tackle digitisation properly together in a cooperative way, we will definitely all benefit from it. If we do not do this together, united through Royal FloraHolland, other initiatives will undoubtedly surface, and they may not be as beneficial as a platform you have helped realise yourself. Tip: start on time, so that you are ready for 100% Digital.