Imagine you're a South American breeder that developed a new variety that would look wonderful in a beautiful flower bouquet. However, before designers in the US have the chance to get to know your novelty product, a lot of time can pass. Traders tend to select varieties that have already proven their success on the market, rather than new products. That ought to be different, Eric Egberts thought a few years ago. So he came up with Bloomy Pro to increase the efficiency of the supply chain, and recently Ball SB became a customer.
Lourdes Reyes from Ball SB is enthusiastic: "I think that creating bouquets virtually can have a great significance for the flower industry." In a photo studio each flower that Ball sells was documented, including varieties that won't even be introduced until 2020. Eric explains: "The products of all participating breeders and growers are collected in the app, so that a retailer or designer can use them for creating virtual bouquets. The products are listed by breeder code or their Latin name. The big advantage for Ball is that they can't be removed from the supply chain. Their product is always available to the end user."
Doing business directly
"In addition, the grower can design a few bouquets with his own flowers and do business directly with retailers. This allows a grower or breeder to show more luxurious options without spending money. Especially in the Americas, where distances are much greater than in the Netherlands, that's a big advantage. Sending a sample bouquet to a customer can cost 50 euros. After shipping 10 different bouquets you are already at the same cost level as Bloomy Pro, and the latter offers many more options."
The process is simple. Eric selects a few flowers from Ball and instantaneously a bouquet appears on the screen. The number of flowers and the length of the stems can be adjusted, along with the binding point. Select a sleeve or wrap and the bouquet is ready. "The price per stem is added to the labor costs and the use of materials," Eric points out. "This way the retailer can see exactly what the bouquet will cost in store."
Eric is working hard to get more parties from the industry on board, and he thinks there are even bigger possibilities. "In the end it should be possible to put these (virtual) flowers in the pocket of every consumer. In addition to the business edition, there will be a consumer version where consumers can design bouquets as a kind of Pinterest. This is interesting for future florists and event planners, for example."
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