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Virtualisation at the main Dutch flower auctions

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First, there was the Dutch auction method, then the auction clock made its appearance, and now it is time for the next phase: clock projection, image auctioning and distant buying (KOA).

At FloraHolland Aalsmeer, the auction has worked in recent years towards the creation of a modern and flexible auction system. Five of the fourteen auction clocks use image auctioning and one clock uses virtual auctioning. Two more clocks will probably change to image auctioning in 2010.

Since 1 October, cut flower purchasers in auction room E/F can also buy at the clocks in auction room A/B. It is therefore now possible to buy at all ten cut flower clocks from one auction centre. Purchasers in auction room E/F and auctioneers are working with modern facilities with many more functionalities, including a new KOA release and a handy technique whereby growers can provide the auction with images.

Via the buyers, KOA (remote buying) sales tools are being deployed in the Netherlands and abroad. These are important developments with respect to purchasing power.

In Naaldwijk, more and more cut flower clocks will be projected on the wall in the coming months. After this expansion of projection auctioning, image auctioning will also be expanded. Naaldwijk will also gain an extra projection clock, needed to enable the synchronization of auction schedules between the export locations.

Between week 49 of 2009 and mid-2010, five of the eight cut flower clocks will switch to image auctioning. By the middle of next year this will bring the share of image auctioning for cut flowers to approximately 70 percent of the turnover. Product groups such as tulips, lilies and summer flowers have not yet been included in the plans for image auctioning.

In Rijnsburg, the auction room has been fitted with new, modern buyers´ benches and the number of clocks will be increased from six to seven (projected) clocks. Recently, the wall with the six ‘fixed’ clocks has been replaced with projection screens for seven clocks. After a transition period to become accustomed to this auction system the new auction schedule with seven clocks will start in week 49. Two of these clocks will work with image auctioning. The distinguishing feature of Rijnsburg is that buyers can purchase their entire assortment in one auction room. This is ideal for small and medium exporters. Large exporters can for example, choose to purchase their tulips at Rijnsburg.

Source: FloraHolland Newsletter (November 2009)