The introduction of the New Auctioning isn’t going according to plan at FloraHolland. The auction would have liked to try out auctioning at a national level this year, but that isn’t going to happen.
The reason for the delay is that FloraHolland’s three export branches – Rijnsburg, Aalsmeer en Naaldwijk – all have different ICT systems. “The Achilles heel is that we didn’t choose for one system during the merger of VBA and FloraHolland. As a result, we aren’t ready to test the nationwide auctioning system”, explained Lucas Vos during the General Members’ Meeting in Aalsmeer.
Other parts of the New Auctioning programme are still going ahead. These include aspects like 100% images, the introduction of ‘Today for Tomorrow’, 100% Image Auctioning for plants and the closing of the gallery seating. The chrysanthemum clock in Aalsmeer has now started with a pilot of the ‘Today for Tomorrow’ system.
Robotization has come to a halt as well. Tests with robots for the distribution of flowers and plants are still ongoing, but the ICT system isn’t up to par.
Another matter of concern for FloraHolland is the quality of their service. At the moment it looks like the auction clock will be stronger in 2020 than expected. Volume continues to decrease, but not as rapidly as they thought it would. And the number of transactions is in fact increasing. The auction forecasts a total of 19.5 million transactions by the end of this year.
The reason for the increasing number of transactions is that the individual transactions are getting smaller. This has led to more manual labour than foreseen. The auction is currently not making the 2.5-hour lead time. Vos: “Because the auctioning process is faster, we still reach our customers earlier in the day, but not within 2.5 hours.”
More transactions also means we need more trolleys. In the run-up to Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, the auction was dealing with a shortage of trolleys. Vos: “We thought that after the merger, we’d have enough trolleys. And to be honest, this is the first time since the merger that there’s been a shortage. We were constantly on the phone to growers and buyers to make sure we’d have enough trolleys. We are now going to invest in new trolleys and we’re making some changes to the distribution process. We’ve got around six to seven months now, to get ready. I’m really sorry that there were people who ran out of trolleys.”