Posted on 1 July 2020
by Diede Barendse

Rene van Dijk on 100% Digital: "Ideally, Floriday would already be ready."

Many growers have been preparing for some time for 100% Digital. Rene van Dijk is working hard as well to meet the requirements of 100% Digital by the end of 2020. In this interview, Rene van Dijk discusses the process, challenges and benefits it brings, as well as of course their experience of it!

Can you tell us a little more about your company?
My company is a 18,000 m2 Freesia nursery which produces 7 million freesias annually. We work year-round with six permanent employees and five temporary employees and a few students to realise this production. We have been a member of Unicumfreesia, a growers’ association, since our founding in 1996. From the very start of Unicum, I have been a proponent of the concept of supplying large-scale retail. The current sales channel ratio is 60% Unicum retail, 8% Unicum daily trade via Floriday and personal contact and the other 32% via clock and clock presales.

Are you currently doing business using Floriday?
When setting up our daily trade, I was actively involved in Floriday myself. Now that it is functioning well, a Unicum employee supervises everything. We currently work with stock at Royal FloraHolland Naaldwijk and Aalsmeer (Delivery from Stock). In Floriday, the employee checks the prices, the supply and also manages the logistics. This is possible because we rent our own space at Royal FloraHolland with Unicumfreesia.

Which Floriday functionalities are you currently using?
Unfortunately, there is only one we can use: the online offer with stock management and pricing. We are not going to make use of online orders and clock letters at this moment in time. We can only make use of one function because we create clock documents and connect documents in our own package. Our stickers and delivery notes are therefore not created in Floriday.

Which Floriday functionalities would you like to use this year?
We are still waiting for a functionality for contracts with order for delivery and we are also helping to develop this. We sell 60 million freesias to fifty customers through Unicumretail. This is not currently possible through Floriday. This product is still on the drawing board as we speak!

What do you think are the advantages of 100% Digital?/What benefits do you experience from 100% Digital?
I don't see any major benefits for my own company, but I do see them for our Cooperative Unicum! Although everything still needs to be developed and tested. The main advantage is that orders reach the Unicum office in the order package using the same method. This is then distributed to the various growers of Unicumfreesia. The agreements between the customer and Unicumfreesia are also recorded in Floriday. Which is a huge improvement!

Why is 100% Digital important to you/your company?
My company is already 95% digital. All orders are received digitally via the Unicum retail group and are settled digitally. The same applies to other transactions, except for orders placed via telephone, Whatsapp and e-mail. I’d very much like it if the final 5% of orders were added to this as well. Unicum supports this, too, and ultimately customers will exclusively order and pay digitally. I’m always a proponent of doing everything through the same system and working method!

Which things do you have yet to change to comply with 100% Digital?
Ideally, Floriday would already be ready. Royal FloraHolland has many members of different sizes and with different wishes. In our opinion, Floriday is not yet ready for a large company like ours in our current setup. We are already quite far in the process of digitisation and we have worked hard on this in recent years. I personally regret that Floriday has made these investments in other software redundant, but we have to move forward!"

What are your expectations for the future?
That 100% Digital will become a reality and that it will be essential for the stable and reliable processing of orders, logistics and finances. Completion by late 2020 is highly ambitious! I don't see any major benefits for my company yet, but if the nationwide clock becomes a reality and Royal FloraHolland allows all financial settlement to take place in a single way, then I will certainly benefit!

As far as digitisation is concerned, what would you like to share with your fellow growers?
Don’t turn a blind eye, but instead allow yourself to be well informed as to what improvements or benefits it has to offer your company. The change process started years ago; see whether you can adapt everything in one go with your software supplier. I believe most have started working on this. You can also just start working on the Floriday platform. You will then become a “screen grower”, and you’ll be able to do everything you need with it.

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