The New Auctioning: one size fits nobody10 May 2017
“When we started setting up the programme the New Auctioning, one thing was clear: one size fits nobody.” So says Ronald Teerds, programme director of the New Auctioning. “There just isn’t a solution available that’s right for everyone.
"We're using trials to test what we construct. Most people will notice this happening in the coming months. We now know more about what system would be right for 'Today for Tomorrow', so we started with a trial in April. We'll run a test with one clock only, for cut flowers. That's the best way to proceed, as we have concluded on basis of our data, talks with growers and clients and the know-how of specialists of Erasmus University", Ronald states.
Trials this May
How does Today for Tomorrow work, from when a product is auctioned until it is delivered to the client, early next morning? "We'll be running trials until May to inventory what the technical requisites are. And with the aid of the lessons learned, we can set up a first live experiment with one type of product and a selected group of growers and clients. We'll discuss what the rules of the 'game' should be with study groups consisting of growers and clients."
Image auctioning for plants
"Digital is the standard", Ronald continues. "That means we should firstly sever the connection between logistics and price development. We'll lower costs because we'll be transporting fewer containers. Also, image auctioning is a requirement if we want to set up a nationwide virtual clock. This is why the clock auctions for plants in Aalsmeer and Naaldwijk must switch to image auctioning too. Coming fall, we'll set that process in motion." This means for plants things will change as they changed for flowers a few years back: clients will only see images displayed on the clock front, the product won't be physically present in the auction hall any more.
Every batch a photograph
"We can make this transition because, by now, every batch is accompanied by a photo. It's vital we continue to improve both the images and the supplied information for all products. Every grower should realise it gets ever more essential to provide the products with correct information and photographs."
Robotics in logistics
"Logistics get more and more fine-meshed, both at the clock and in direct trade", Ronald states. "People order ever smaller quantities. The floriculture sector has to try to adjust the logistics so it can deal with this challenge. One of the solutions is robotics. This relatively new development could offer huge possibilities. But it will take a great deal of testing and developing. It's important we gain experience with robots ourselves. We already conducted a test in Aalsmeer. The information we gathered from that will help us to set up more advanced tests at other locations of Royal FloraHolland, later this year."
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