Niels Balkenende started with a part-time job in operations, switched to the IT department and now works in the BI team: “My colleague Willem started the BI department four years ago. Since then, there has been a team of four colleagues, each with their own specialism. We are currently working on the implementation of a new data platform, for which colleague Jordy is implementing a state of the art data warehouse. Willem and I are working on the implementation of Power BI in our organization. With the new data platform, we are preparing for the future growth of FTG and the increasing demand for data. Having worked in the box for a number of years, I know the processes, the people and the system. This helps me to make the data more transparent for users. With colleague Dion, we now also have a data scientist in our midst. He actively searches for connections and predictions. Now that we have more manpower, we can give a larger group of users insight into the data and we can create organization-wide insights.”


Maarten van Driel is box chef at Van der Plas and runs the operation: “A lot has changed in recent years. Take the scale of the operation: in the beginning we pushed the packed boxes by hand over a roller track in the direction of the builders. Now we have a super innovative installation. The number of colleagues and the nature of the work has also changed. We used to be with a small group packing boxes next to the Danish cars. Today we have separate departments that are largely mechanized. But I think the biggest change is the switch from a supply-driven to a demand-driven working method. This has really turned purchasing, sales and operations upside down. All changes are always made in the interest of the customer: to serve the customer better and faster, with a fresher product, at lower costs.”


Remco van Boven has been involved in the ICT department since the very beginning: “Because technology does not stand still, my profession continues to change. I enjoy coming up with and implementing appropriate solutions for changes within the company and within the business. Many processes are automated. For example, we have switched from analog sales to digital sales. Also, local servers are increasingly becoming servers in the cloud and applications are increasingly turning into web applications. When the ICT team was created, I started automating administrative processes at Van der Plas. For example, I had sales invoices read in automatically and I transferred the time registration from a scratch sheet to a clock system. This saved a lot of time in the work processes. We then started to focus on the webshop, because sales shifted more and more towards online. There are still many steps to be taken. The cube is already working with an apps, but we are working hard on new logistics apps. In addition, we would like systems to be available 24/7, so that webshops do not have to go offline during maintenance.”


Danielle Adema is a product designer at Zyon and always follows the latest trends: “Trends and consumer research form the basis of my work. I develop mood boards based on trends. I use this to design bouquet collections for our consumers. Years ago, trends were hardly looked at. Back then there was a supply-driven market. The grower decided to focus fully on that yellow Alstroemeria, because his wife thought it was so beautiful. Now we have a demand-driven market, where consumers themselves determine what they would like to see in the shelves. That’s why trends are so important. After all, they are a prediction of the customer’s future wishes. The expectation for 2022 is that the need for flowers and plants will increase even more. With the important message: get them locally, not from far away. The best thing about my job is that the arrangements I create in my head actually come to life. It is very nice to see a collection emerge. If the collection is then produced and the sales figures are good, I will be completely happy!”