Ruben Mostert from Kwekerij Mostert Nieuwerkerk B.V.: “Floriday is a platform for everyone”25 August 2020
Kwekerij Mostert Nieuwerkerk B.V. is busy preparing for 100% Digital by means of an API link. This link allows them to enter the offer through their own software package in Floriday. The company aims to digitise its sales as much as possible. Ruben Mostert, from Kwekerij Mostert Nieuwerkerk, explains more about the company’s experience with the API link, the test phase and with 100% Digital.
Can you tell us a little more about your company?
Kwekerij Mostert Nieuwerkerk B.V. is a grower of greenhouse plants. We mainly grow the Schefflera in pot sizes 13 and 8. We also grow some Tillandsia Usneoidus and Pilea Peperomioides; although at around only 10% of our turnover, this is really an extra product. While don't call ourselves the Schefflera specialist, that's how we're known to some. This is because we've been cultivating the Schefflera for almost 50 years. Kwekerij Mostert Nieuwerkerk B.V. was founded by Frits Mostert Senior. Today, the third generation is active in the company: me and my three brothers.
We currently trade about 15% through the clock, and the rest is mainly day trade orders. We still consider the clock a good and reliable customer. There are enough people there buying our products daily; that's why we try to turn up every day. In these times of Corona, this isn't always possible because the day trade is ordering so much: 75% is day trade. We have sales channels with DIY stores and garden centres, which account for most of the day trade. In addition, we sometimes do a promotion, aimed mainly at the supermarket chains.
What is your job role?
I'm Ruben Mostert, 27 years old and have been working at Kwekerij Mostert for 3 years now. I'm in charge of transport, sales and supply. Within the auction, I'm FPC chair of Greenhouse Plants
What are you currently doing in Floriday?
At the moment, what I'm mainly doing is updating the offer and the direct sales. I update the catalogue prices, quantities and availability of the product. I can also easily adjust the prices there. I've categorised all my customers into price groups. There's a group for 1-layer prices, 2-layer prices and full carts. Some customers also have their own items, created using their own item code. These customers have their own line and their own price. Customers who don't, are assigned to a group.
Who is you software supplier?
We work with Codema - SDF.
How are you going to work in 100% Digital? With your own software package or through the Floriday screens?
I update my catalogue through SDF. This is because I have to enter the items there anyway, and it just works well. I save time entering it here once and keeping it up to date, rather than doing it again in Floriday.
Prices are updated in Floriday, and is the best way to work for me so far. The way of switching products on and off, availability of filters/timers, quantities, price groups, etc. is just really well integrated in one home screen. It's not quite perfect yet, but it's really starting to come together. I'm confident that with a little refining, this can become a success in the future.
If you follow the developments, you can see that new things are constantly being added, and that the platform is really improving over time. This also makes me confident that the product is going to get better and better - as long as the auction continues investing in this platform. If you want to become the best and be the market leader, you have to keep investing. For our company, to stand still means going backwards, and this goes for Floriday, too. The platform needs to keep on developing.
You recently started filling your catalogue using your software package, and the sales orders can be retrieved. How does this change compare to the situation before the link?
At the moment, I'm testing with SDF to start working in 100% Digital in 2021. This means that my offer is guiding, and so if something's available in Floriday, I have to deliver it. Specifically, this means I don't need to confirm an order first because the customer has already done so. This is only possible if my supply is entered flawlessly. At this point, it still feels a bit unfamiliar. You really want to stay in control, but you soon get used to it. While you make a few mistakes at first, but you learn a lot from them. I now wish everything could be done like this, because it saves me so much work. The path we've all chosen to take is ultimately toward the future, so you take the bull by the horns.
A link for the delivery and the Clock will also be added; what will you keep doing or start doing in Floriday?
We're still doing that through SDF, and this works really well. The photos are immediately included, and the orders arrive at the right packing locations in our company. At the start of the week, we don't know how much we'll be trading on the clock. We try to be there every day, but this is only decided the day before.
What was the process and test phase like leading up to 100% Digital? Which steps had to be taken?
At first, we were working through FloraXchange. From there, everything had to be transferred to Floriday; whichwas a rather simple step. SDF was responsible for delivering the software, so that it could be linked to Floriday. This means this process wasn't all that difficult for us as growers; there was more work on the "other" side. A test phase always has a few teething troubles - you know that in advance. Although we still have them, but thanks to the good cooperation between SDF, Floriday and Royal FloraHolland, things are going quite smoothly.
What will change in your way of working as a result of the link and 100% Digital?
Orders will no longer come in through email, phone and WhatsApp: everything will be soon done through Floriday. This means I'll have to enter fewer orders in a single day, so fewer mistakes will be made and everything can go much faster.
What else would you like to do through Floriday in the future?
That's a tough question. I actually think anything is possible.
We're also still working with HortiHeat for the time being. This
offer should also be integrated in Floriday in the future, in my
opinion. That really makes things much easier!
For instance, I was thinking of a platform where a grower can create a feed page for buyers, to display new products and get immediate feedback. Just like Instagram, actually, but on Floriday.
Do you have any advice for other growers about 100% Digital and the approach?
The way we're working isn't future-proof. I can't imagine in 10 years' time, still being called to quickly sort out a couple of trays. With everything around us is changing, we also need to make things quicker, easier and less expensive in our sector.
Everything new takes some getting used to, acclimatising and adjusting: as does this new way of working, the best thing to do is get on board in time. My advice is simply to get going. You'll of course come across problems areas that still need improvement,
but more growers that get on board, the faster we'll all learn. Floriday is a platform for everyone. It's important that we all point out what needs to be improved or added. The more feedback we get, the better the platform becomes.