Supply chains move towards supply chain communities:

Koos van der Meij, who is involved in the Holland Flower Alliance (HFA)*, introduces the topic by explaining how the logistics chain has evolved in the past years:

‘The supply chain more and more evolves towards a supply chain community. If one party in the chain does not participate in data sharing, this will impact other parties throughout the whole chain. In a supply chain community, where different members all share their data to a central location, there is lower chance of hiccups.’

HFA has started a pilot where they enable data sharing within the flower logistics chain. In the near future, we are able to track a box of flowers from Nairobi to its final destination, all on one platform. Having one central environment enables members to be more efficient and to improve planning operations. This will lead to a more solid position in the market.

Ferry van der Ent, Business Developer at Schiphol, about extending data sharing beyond flower logistics: ‘We regard this a solid basis for the pharmaceutical industry, which we intend to improve as well. The prospects of data sharing are promising. This makes you wonder why you would stop at Pharma.’

Although it looks promising, attention must be paid to the confidentiality and reliability of the data provided by participants. Dutch customs are willing to cooperate. However, the data on e-commerce shipments is currently not accurate enough and discrepancies between stated and actual value often exist.

The afternoon was concluded by a presentation by young talents from KLM, Schiphol and FloraHolland, who were asked to look at a governance model for enabling data sharing in the flower logistics chain. The group introduced a common measurement, usable for all participants in the chain. Having temperature, location and time of freight as a basis for a Process Quality Indicator (PQI), this focuses on the actual quality of the flowers and quality of the industry.

* The Holland Flower Alliance is an open strategic alliance that aims to optimize the overall quality and efficiency of the flower logistics supply chain from farm to vase and all steps in between.