A giant leap forward in the world of potted plants

Commercial nursery Ubink brings FreshPortal Software into pot plant world
A giant leap forward in the world of potted plants

The implementation of the FreshPortal software package at Commercial nursery Ubink in Kudelstaart marks a significant milestone for FreshPortal. Known for its longstanding presence in the flower industry, FreshPortal has now expanded its expertise to the potted plant sector. The development process involved close collaboration between the two companies to ensure the software's seamless integration into the nursery environment. As a result, FreshPortal's software is now perfectly suited for the potted plant nursery, broadening its application and enhancing its versatility.
Commercial nursery Ubink is not just the first one, but leading when it comes to the cultivation and trade of cacti and succulents. Bas Ubink, one of the five directors of this unique family business: "In 1927 the company was started by my grandfather's grandfather. My father and two uncles run it. In the meantime my sister and I, the youngest generation, have joined the management with the intention that together we will continue Commercial nursery Ubink in the future. I think it is special that the company is still located on the same location at the Mijnsherenweg in Kudelstaart. With about 65 employees we are successful in serving the European market. The nursery has a size of 6 hectares where production takes place in modern greenhouses in the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly way possible. Our second production site, Succulent Valley, is located on Tenerife."


"So many features in one software package is worth a lot."


Robust and future-proof software
"In terms of automation, at one point we were in need of more software solutions, including more control over inventory management. However, the ERP software we were using was finite and did not keep up with our needs. This made us look for more robust and future-proof software. We sat down with almost all the major parties that specialize in software solutions in floriculture to see if they could offer everything we were looking for. We ended up with FreshPortal Software, because as many features in one software package as they could offer us was worth a lot to us. The only thing we had to get over was that FreshPortal specialized mainly in the flower industry. A different branch within the industry shall we say. In the world of potted plants, and certainly in our industry, things are different from delivering flowers that are mostly traded species by species in buckets. With potted plants, and especially an infinitely wide assortment of cacti and succulents like ours, the choices of products are much more diverse. Because in fact, we supply all sorts of things. From plant to pot, with or without sleeve and label and personalized or not. However, in FreshPortal's comprehensive software, we still saw plenty of opportunities and FreshPortal saw them to tap into a new market."


Intensive collaboration
"We were thus aware that we would have to take more time for finding solutions on the front end. But also because we wanted a software package that would require as little customization as possible. It would then also be usable for other trading companies in the plant industry in the future. From that position Commercial nursery Ubink became a testing ground a year and a half ago in which an intensive cooperation was established with FreshPortal in the run-up to a smooth implementation of the software package. The challenge was to realize a reliable and transparent software environment in which our enormous assortment of thousands of articles could find its way flawlessly. To this end, all parts of the ordering process had to be fully aligned, including internal processing, inventory management, production, purchasing, sales, logistics and transportation. Together with my colleague Patrick we picked up this process internally and had weekly contact with FreshPortal. Each time a customized piece of software was prepared which we could then test in the test environment to see what worked and what did not. Feedback worked both ways. Of course, we were aware of the complexity of our business. But on the other hand, it was a huge advantage that those we liaised with from FreshPortal were from the industry and had worked at an exporter. With their wealth of experience, they knew how to get from A to B. That was really a plus."

Implementation FreshPortal software
"Hugely exciting was then the moment of the actual implementation of the FreshPortal software. We had trained our staff ourselves in the test environment, which already gave a basis of confidence. But with the flip of a switch, there was no turning back. To make the implementation successful, a consultant was available from FreshPortal throughout the implementation to guide the process, with a team of programmers in the background ready to step in should the need arise. The implementation proceeded to our complete satisfaction. Virtually flawless, we might add, and our customers didn't notice a thing. They got exactly what they had ordered. Actually only on the day of the implementation itself did it get a little later and we ran out into the evening. But the days after we managed to finish the trade within the usual times.With the implementation of the FreshPortal software, Commercial nursery Ubink is ready for the future. Of course we are aware that if we aim for 100% future proofing further automation will never stand still. But nice is that we can now oversee the whole process of order processing and stock.We expect that this will also bring out new items that we can make even smarter in the future to work even faster and more efficiently."