Lavendel Plus: "These changes are ultimately there to make progress"
We recently spoke to Roy Heestermans of lavender nursery Lavendel Plus in Ulvenhout, where Roy is responsible for the company's sales, online marketing and logistics. We talked about Floriday, the photo function, contracts and his focus. Read more in the interview with Roy!
Lavendel Plus has been actively focusing on the sale of large potted lavender plants since 2005.The company has, in the meantime, expanded into a modern, 30 hectare lavender nursery in Ulvenhout. Lavendel Plus sells different varieties of lavender. By selectively potting these varieties at different times, it is possible to provide customers with long-life lavender plants from the beginning of April to the end of June. The lavender grower based in Ulvenhout is trying to lead the way on a number of levels, such as certifications, crop protection and especially digitisation.
From FloraXchange to Floriday
Lavendel Plus worked in FloraXchange from the very beginning, and they used it extensively to sell its products mainly directly. Lavender is a colourful product and needs to make the most of its visual aspect. Roy has always used FloraXchange as an image bank for his customers. "The customers need to have a good image of the product, the buds and the colours," says Roy.
When Floriday was later introduced to FloraXchange, Roy and his company immediately jumped on board. "At the beginning, the platform was still fairly limited and you couldn't put everything in it, but we continued to follow the developments closely. Ultimately, Floriday has become an easy tool for me to quickly and easily reach a lot of customers," says Roy. "In preparation for the peak season, we filled out and prepared as much as possible before March, so that I could subsequently bring my supply to the attention of my connections and followers quickly," says Roy.
Discovering the platform
Roy says he got to know the platform mainly by trying it out, clicking through and really testing it. "You can't really do anything wrong, as long as it isn't supply that is in a customer's online shop", says Roy. A number of Lavendel Plus' customers helped out during this period, which has led to a close ongoing collaboration. "We had extensive contact with customers to find out how our supply was set up in their online shop. This allowed us to make great progress, and we discovered ever more functions. For example, we discussed the packaging configuration and classification per trolley with our customers, made adjustments and subsequently went through the changes with them. Once you have set up a product line and got it right, it’s easy to create the rest, and it’s almost like copying and pasting", says Roy.
Orders through Florisoft and supply in Floriday
Lavendel Plus works with the Florisoft order package, through which the orders are processed. The auction letters, for example, aren't printed through Floriday, but the customers do, however, order from the supply that is online in Floriday. Roy is trying to encourage customers who still order through the 'old' routes to order through Floriday. "I actually don't want to keep anything up to date in FloraXchange anymore, so that I can really put everything into Floriday, and focus entirely on Floriday. Now that the peak period for my customers has largely passed, I am discussing with them whether we can still continue this month in Floriday, so that we are immediately ready to start the next season with those customers as well. Ultimately, it becomes easier for everyone if everything runs through Floriday and the orders come in through the platform. That way, I know for sure that my supply is always right and that my colleague and I don't sell anything twice," says Roy.
"There's no better sales pitch than being able to properly display the product using photos."
Lavendel Plus makes extensive use of the photo function in Floriday. If customers want to see what the product looks like in week 23, they can find it in Floriday. If the product "deviates" in terms of characteristics, Roy takes a new picture, so the customer knows exactly what the product looks like at that point in time. "This is a service we can offer through the photo function in Floriday. We are located in the south of the Netherlands, close to the Belgian border, while my customers are mainly located around the various auctions of Royal FloraHolland," says Roy. "Since I take care of sales with one other colleague, I have little or no time to visit all the customers and present the product. With this function, I can reach all my network in one go and keep the customers constantly up to date. There's no better sales pitch than being able to properly display the product using photos.”
Use of various functions in Floriday
"We actually use all Floriday's functionalities, but we make the most use of: putting the supply online, making sure the quantities are correct, updating photos, linking to the right trade items, my Shop and making sure the network function is used properly," says Roy. Lavender Plus has been using the contract module in Floriday since the beginning of this season. "We hope to expand the number of contracts even further next season, even though we will always want to keep a large proportion for the day-trade, says Roy. "The advantage of the contract module is that it is clear to both parties all year round what the agreements are, what quantities are available, and that all of this is accommodated in Floriday. This allows us to always be prepared for busy periods."
Digitisation in the floriculture industry
“As far as I am concerned, digitisation and everything going through one platform is a good development in the sector. Supply, sales and processing has to take place in the same way and through one platform. These changes are ultimately there to make progress," says Roy "It shouldn't be the case that we lag behind in terms of digitisation or certification and aren't allowed to participate or miss out on trade, as this is a waste of the time and energy that we put into the product."