In his new book, Prof. Eric van Heck describes the ups and downs and the struggles and triumphs that have connected technology to business over the years, and how the flower markets have survived through it all. The book rounds off with lessons learned for every sector about how the circular and digital transformation of the high-speed flower business and markets enable sustainable value for customers.
A complex, AI-driven, sweet-smelling market
Mainly, the research for this book came from the Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Floriculture Chain (iFlow) project. This was a collaboration project between Royal FloraHolland, Zentoo, Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and RSM (2015-2020) and was supported by Topsector Horticulture & Starting Materials.
Even though they developed the knowledge of bulb and flower horticulture in 1593 and established the flower markets in the 1600s, the Dutch still continue to play a central role in the global production, sales and distribution of flowers. The book reveals the complexity of the flower markets in terms of their ability to produce, transport and deliver fresh flowers on a global scale. In addition, it explores how today’s flower production and distribution are aided by information advantage – the value of having superior information that is new, fresh and reliable – that has been created by blending business with technology, from robotised greenhouses to AI-driven algorithms.
Taking the advantage
Prof. van Heck explains in Technology Meets Flowers that technology and innovation have redefined the time-sensitive information frontier. “Information advantage is a key driver for speeding up business processes in the flower markets. It’s this information that provides companies with an opportunity to win the competition in the business world,” tells Prof. Eric van Heck.