Posted on 14 September 2020
by Diede Barendse

W.K. Heyl on 100% Digital: “Doing business digitally also contributes to strengthening our relationships”

Many buyers have been preparing for 100% Digital for some time now. Also Heyl is working hard to meet the requirements of 100% Digital by the end of 2020. In this interview, Heyl discusses the process, challenges and accompanying benefits, as well as of course their experience with it.

Can you tell us a little about your company?
Heyl is a young company with a wonderful history. Since the foundation of our company we have been serving florists in different regions of Germany on a daily basis. Our company is characterised by focus and service, resulting in cost-efficient work with a very high level of service and growth. We offer thousands of (fresh) products, which our customers can buy until 16:00 and we promise to deliver the agreed products the following morning before opening time. We currently do so with over 100 colleagues. In our company we are used to constantly looking for ways to improve our “tools”. For example, we built a new distribution centre last year in the heart of the Westland region. We have been able to take a number of steps here with regard to increasing the quality of work for both the employee and the products. We have also greatly improved the receiving of goods and their distribution through mechanisation, pick-by-voice and, last but not least, software that not only simplifies administration, but also creates walking routes, forecasts and carries out other complicated calculations for us.

Which Floriday functionalities would you like to start using this year? Or what kind of functionalities would you like to see in Floriday in the future?
After the emergence of the EKT, digitisation has come to a virtual standstill on the purchasing side of the auction. It will therefore come as no surprise to you that we are very pleased that a start has now been made on the next phase of digitisation. We therefore hope that our industry will broadly adopt this new course and that "our auction house" will not stop this development once the check marks have been placed on the payment transactions. We also hope that we will now start a process of continuous development, so that we evolve continously. Floriday is an excellent start to this, but surely that doesn’t mean we’re finished for the next 30 years, right?

What do you think are the advantages of 100% Digital?/What benefits do you experience from 100% Digital?
I have no problem with 100% Digital as a slogan; 100% is a lot, that would make the step that is currently being taken until the end of the year comparable to one human step on a trip around the world. However, I obviously fully understand what that term means. We would very much like to trade digitally with our suppliers as much as possible, so that more time can be spent on relationships, process and product improvements.

Which things have you yet to change to comply with 100% Digital?
The foundation is in place, but in terms of functionalities there are still some technical API issues that we can refine together. In addition, on the user side, we hope that other flows will be integrated in addition to direct trade. This can include, for example, clock presales, clock supply and marking. We also see opportunities in facilitating “trading”, so that the often useful telephone calls where discussions take place in order to determine a price, are replaced by API traffic between the various software packages.

What benefits will digitisation bring to the horticulture industry?/What is the most important benefit to you?
In addition to alleviating daily grievances, further digitisation will reduce the chance of errors in the chain and also make errors that arise more visible. Doing business digitally also contributes to strengthening our relationships.

As far as digitisation is concerned, what advice would you have for your fellow buyers?
At any rate, we have been working with Floriday since an API became available for buyers and are now doing business with various growers in this way. In our industry we are accustomed to having opportunities to prepare for a new spring between October and January That is why it’s impossible to overstate the importance of using the following three months for implementation. There’s no reason not to get started today! Making mistakes is fine as long as you’re fixing them. We see that many of our growers and colleagues are busy doing so, which is great!

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