n the world of flower trade, cultivating strong relationships with customers and partners is an ongoing pursuit. Jamie den Haan, Account Manager EU, takes us along on a busy week. As a pivotal link between Sales, Logistics, and Marketing, Jamie plays a crucial role in maintaining a steady flower flow to our customers, even in the face of unforeseen challenges.
Monday: A strategic meeting
The week immediately kicks off with a challenge. Jamie: “During last Friday’s weekly meeting with Kuehne+Nagel (our freight forwarder), we were warned about potential delays caused by the ongoing civil war in Sudan. When I arrived this morning, the first effects were already evident, so we immediately had a meeting between sales and logistics to assess the impact but most importantly to find solutions. For me this means that I have to call customers and inform them about their deliveries. My colleague Conny de Jong (sales support) got to redistributing the flowers that did make their way to the Netherlands.”
A visit from Hoek Group was scheduled in the afternoon. Hoek Group is one of our sales partners, who delivers flowers to 52 countries world-wide. They came over to explore our new premises and to discuss various aspects of our ongoing collaboration. Jamie emphasises the importance of maintaining communication with partners about both current and future ‘standing orders’, as we call our pre-arranged, ongoing agreements regarding the purchase and supply of a specific set of flowers on a weekly basis. Jamie: “We are building partnerships with our customers, fostering a relationship that we mutually engage in and strive to strengthen across various aspects, including Sales, Logistics, and Marketing.”
Tuesday: Overcoming challenges together
Tuesday's agenda includes a visit from Bloomon, another sales partner. Jamie: “During this visit we review the past period and explore challenges faced, such as limited production due to weather conditions. We also discuss potential inclusion of new products into their package.” Furthermore, Jamie welcomed a group of logistics experts from OZ Hami, another sales partner.
They too were curious about our new premises and the new logistical innovations that we now have. Jamie: “I think it is very important to provide the logistics teams of our partners with an insight into our operations so that they understand the reasons behind our decisions. Together, we can address the logistical challenges we encounter.”
Last but not least on his to do list for today - something he does every day - is ‘clock presale’. This sales tool allows buyers or customers of export companies to secure their flowers in advance. Jamie manages this process manually to ensure market prices are always maintained. A great additional sales channel for Marginpar.
Wednesday: A new plan
With our exporting wholesale sales partners, we mainly work with standing orders. These agreements are typically valid for about four months, after which new arrangements are made. Jamie: "Today, we got together with the sales team to develop a plan for the upcoming period. We take into account the production budgets, forecasting the expected quantities and grade split for the coming months. We also consider the anticipated demand, factoring in seasonal fluctuations and special occasions like Mother's Day and Easter. Based on this, we propose a plan to our partner. Our goal is to set a reasonable minimum level to ensure we can meet the commitments we make while still being able to supply the auction clock consistently. The balance between the clock and direct sales is closely monitored. The clock is still our biggest market and that is also where we serve the most customers. Therefore, we only offer our newer varieties to customers if the volume is large enough and if there is a consistent supply to the auction clock."
Thursday: Strengthening the Marginpar brand in England
Today, Jamie and his marketing colleagues Helena van Achterberg and Maaike den Hertog attended the Chelsea Flower Show. This edition featured a particularly remarkable piece: 'Memory Lane’, an artwork by Dmitry Turcan, filled with thousands of stems of Clematis Amazing® and Chasmanthium. Jamie: “I am often asked to join trade fairs and events because we want to be able to provide potential buyers with all information on availability of products and other sales matters. On this trip, we also visited flower shops in London to gather feedback on Marginpar's products and brand recognition. It was great to hear that they’re happy about our quality, unique assortment and year-round availability.”
Friday: Piecing the puzzle together
On Friday, Jamie, alongside Conny, managed the orders for delivery to sales partners on both Sunday and Monday. Striving to strike a perfect balance between direct deliveries and auction sales, they work on the puzzle of distribution. Jamie focuses on efficiently allocating the flowers at the auction clock to ensure buyers find a predictable assortment of Marginpar flowers. He knows better than anyone that predictability is incredibly important, having represented a role as a buyer himself for many years. “Buyers want to know what they can offer their customers.” Jamie also plays the role of inhouse designer at Marginpar for special occasions. And so, before heading home, he also crafted two bouquets to welcome two new colleagues, taking advantage of Marginpar's vast assortment of exquisite flowers.
A vital link
Jamie's weeks at Marginpar are a dynamic mix of strategic meetings, partnership strengthening, budgeting, and brand-building in critical markets. As a vital link between various departments, he plays an essential role in Marginpar's success in the flower industry.