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Improving the Floral Supply Chain

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Friday, Feb 22, 2019

Have you ever wondered how the fresh flowers given or received on special holidays get from farms to your vase? Florists and every floral industry key player constantly improve their supply chain to make sure their customers have fresh products. This, of course, is done by shortening the number of days it takes for a product (flower bunch or box) to get from the farms (usually in South America) to a local retailer and wholesaler for purchase. With the ever-changing market and new technologies rising, floral companies are constantly looking for ways to improve their floral supply chain.

How Does it Work?

Growers from all over the world have the very special task of assuring that their land is ready to grow the different variety of products, most of which have already been bought off by either importers or wholesalers. They display their inventory to their clients via emails, spreadsheets, calls and many times use a special floral software, like Komet, to do this all in one place.
After an order is confirmed, the grower companies usually handle all of the labels and paperwork (Colombian farms require expo docs) to be able to place them on Airway Bills and send them on their way to importers.

Around 85% of these imports enter the United States through the Miami International Airport where they are inspected, fumigated and distributed among carriers, with an estimated 78% of imports coming from Colombia and 15% from Ecuador. Importers then receive these shipments and start shipping the products to their different clients, who already have pre-ordered these products. If an order is in place and the importer doesn’t have the product, then their procurement team takes over and requests them from their vendors.
Some of the importers’ clients (many times grower’s clients as well) are the wholesalers, which begin to offer these products to different retailers, florists or final customers. Taking into consideration the market evolution, most of these products are offered through e-commerce- with automated price calculation based on freights and any other costs the whole process takes.

How can Companies Improve this Process?

The whole supply chain can be very time consuming if done manually and sometimes with errors, so when looking for ways to improve these processes, many successful companies have already jumped to automating their daily tasks. Some ways to help automate this process are:

1. Synchronizing the sales and procurement team: When handling orders, there are many ways that clients usually communicate their requests. Sometimes, through Excel spreadsheets, calls, etc. What about centralizing this information so both your sales and procurement team have access to this status and avoid errors? Using a floral system can really help save time during the process.

2. Display future or vendor inventory: The sales team should be focused on selling, so the more inventory shown, the more sales possibilities there are. By displaying future inventory, the company is also avoiding over-purchasing products and helps reduce stock waste, among other benefits.

3. Create invoices on the go: Sometimes this part of the transaction can be tedious, so being able to create invoices even before the items are shipped can help save lots of time.

4. Anticipate procurement needs with analytics: Many times companies can over-stock on products and this can lead to product waste and loss. So being able to be in control of the inventory is key to success. Digging through data can give a company so much valuable information to help make better business decisions.

There are many more ways to help automate floral processes and maximize sales. If you want more information and useful tips, read 4 Ways to Improve your Floral Processes or contacts us today!

Originally published Friday, Feb 22, 2019

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