Roselife goes further than any other service provider
Sometimes, it's a good idea to have an outsider come in and look at what you're doing. This is because a fresh take, some common sense and a questioning approach can reveal things that insiders often miss.
Madelon Balm is one of these outsiders who looked critically at flower and plant displays in supermarkets and was baffled. 'Surely this can be done differently?' This led her to found Roselife, a company that has been a subsidiary of Noviflora since 2015. What this service provider does is to provide supermarkets with data-driven professional category management. Today, hundreds of stores prove daily that changes can be made - for the better!
Flowers that quickly wound up in the wheelie bin or stand half wilted in discount buckets, the look of unkept displays, the use of inadequate marketing, suppliers whose lorries arrived at the store separately... From an outsider's point of view, many supermarkets were depending on an inefficient supply chain to deliver their flowers and plants. Roselife changed all that. This service provider is completely taking over the stores’ responsibilities for category management. From demand forecasting, creating the right look for displays and setting up a central supply system at the distribution centre to supervising store personnel. ‘We're the category managers for these chains in every sense, except that we work for Noviflora', says Madelon.
Tons of data
The company predicts the needs of each individual store as based on tons of data, for example from the cash register’s scanning system. This reveals what was bought last week as well as what is left over, disposed of or marked down. If the weather forecast predicts frost, you can expect fewer shoppers. Based on the store's location and the kind of shoppers it attracts (price-sensitive or oriented towards high-end products), you'll have a good idea of what they want to buy. If a home improvement store next door is going to offer plants at cut-rate prices next week, you might want to order less expensive items. For an upcoming long weekend or a payday, on the other hand, placing a larger order would be wise.
Roselife processes all of this data to arrive at its purchase order recommendations. Madelon: 'We see ourselves more as data analysts: it's the figures that make the difference. Based on this data and the input from our product specialists, we determine what items should go on display and at what price. Our buyers then order these items from our affiliated growers who know exactly what the customer wants. Meanwhile, Noviflora's account managers maintain contacts with stores and the head office.
Bunches of roses everywhere
This approach has already proven itself at Dutch supermarket chains including Dirk van den Broek, Plus, Vomar and Jan Linders. Since Roselife took responsibility for the flower and plant category, losses have dropped dramatically, the retailers' profit margins have risen, vase life guarantees can be provided without batting an eyelash, and each retail chain has a distinctive display. Madelon: 'During asparagus season, everyone buys asparagus. For Mother's Day, everyone buys roses. That's just the way it is. But one retail chain will offer Fair Trade items while another will be the cheapest, offer local products or have its own private label. Our job is to help a retail chain determine and develop its own distinctive character. In doing so, a bunch of roses will reflect the unique character of each chain.
The Roselife method is now standard procedure for how Noviflora operates. It's no longer applied just by data analysts but also by account managers and sales personnel. At home and abroad. Since more and more data is becoming available, both from external sources and our own historic records, the method is also improving by becoming more accurate - to the benefit of customers.