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Hans Prins, Anthura:
"Breeding is like top sport"Hans Prins (44 years old) unites two disciplines, sales and product management. In this interview for Anthura Unlimited, he talks about his current role as Account Manager of Anthurium and former role as product manager for the same product category.
Hans sees a lot of analogies between breeding and elite sports, and perhaps his favourite sport, surfing, is at the basis of this.
"As a product manager you are involved in the breeding process from an early stage. The most important things are the developments in customers’ demands and wishes with respect to the current assortment. Compare it to the wind direction when surfing: if you don’t know when you are going to navigate which course, you will always be behind. It is also impossible not to choose your course."
The product manager essentially determines the course to be followed, so that growers at Anthura will also find in the future the varieties which best match their specific market.
A discussion about the game with a multidisciplinary team
Four times a year, Anthura's experts meet up. A multidisciplinary team of product, sales and planning managers go through the performance of the varieties over the preceding period.
“In this ‘match discussion’ we also study the developments for the future. In fact, we have one conversation about selections per quarter. The aim is to continuously improve the Anthura assortment,” Hans points out.
“We also make decisions about the production of varieties. When the demand for certain varieties falls behind, we first ask ourselves what are the reasons for that. For example, when a variety is at the end of the product life cycle, then production stops. In that case, the variety expires within the assortment. However, we do not adopt a wait-and-see attitude, because then you are always late.”
For the basic colours of red, green, pink and white, the assortment consists of two to four varieties per colour. In these colour groups it is particularly important that growers can choose the right variety: one that is most compatible with the applicable cultivation conditions and with the market where it is to be delivered.
Added value thanks to product innovation and technology
Hans's work consists of signalling opportunities for the future.
“From your own network of growers, traders, florists, etc. We receive signals of which topics are going to become important. A great example is cold sensitivity. More than half of the Anthura assortment consists of varieties with average to good cold tolerance. Since we believe that cold tolerance is a product characteristic that will be even more important in the future, we are much more demanding now than 10 years ago when it comes to this characteristic. Product innovation and technology help us to take and develop the lead, thus creating added value.”
Source: Anthura Unlimited
Publication date: 8/14/2017
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