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A stable and reliable solution for J. de Koning

J. de Koning is a modern cash & carry outlet occupying premises at a central location along the A4 motorway in the Netherlands, close to three major flower auctions. This prime location can be reached easily by florists in the region. The business has a climate-conditioned sales area of 600 m2 in size, from where a huge array of cut flowers, plants, floral leaves, accessories and packing materials are sold to florists.
the company needed to find a new software provider, which is how owner John de Koning got in touch with us. Because their previous software supplier had decided to stop providing the service and was no longer supporting the system, This is how NEXT came into the picture: after meeting ALFA and seeing a presentation of NEXT, a decision was taken to make the switch. Amerik was in charge of this project and implemented NEXT. Read the customer query below and find out how we fixed it.

Customer query

  1. Upgrading of software package, since the old one was no longer being updated
  2. A software provider with a personal touch
  3. A reliable and easy-to-use solution

Solution

The old software package was replaced with the new NEXT system. Sales are now made through the browser-based Webclient on new tablets. These tablets are also used for order-picking, stock control and stocktaking. The new webshop was implemented and delivered in its entirety in the J. de Koning house style.
Furthermore, ALFA installed the wireless network in the office and the cash & carry outlet. The front desk was equipped with computers and printers, the network encrypted and all email services installed.

Result

The arrival of the user-friendly NEXT means that J. de Koning has taken a major leap forwards in terms of stock control and sales. Because NEXT incorporates a greater level of automation, in combination with efficiency improvements in the work process, staff are now able to work more effectively. The use of tablets for orderpicking and stock control has optimised the service without this having an adverse effect on tried and trusted methods of working.

What next?

A number of wishes have been made as to how use of the system might be simplified, for example, by extending the search function and displaying more photos per block. All these wishes have been registered and added to our developers’ ‘wish-list board’.
In addition to all this, there is a desire to get better insights into data, such as product data and customer behaviour. Our Business Intelligence tool enables business data to be collated from a number of sources and converted into reports of varying formats. Rest assured, we will be thrashing this out in greater detail!

John de Koning’s reaction

“Because our previous software provider was closing down and no longer supporting the system, we had to look for someone new. We’d heard about NEXT on the grapevine, so we got in touch with ALFA PRO. We had a good first meeting and we were given a presentation of NEXT at ALFA’s head office. Our first impressions were favourable: the system looked sophisticated and innovative and we were left feeling positive about ALFA. As such, we plumped for NEXT and ALFA. Martien Akerboom is responsible for activities in the cash & carry outlet and worked closely together with Amerik on the project.

To be honest, I was pretty apprehensive about switching to a new system. There’s a lot involved. Amerik had prepared much of the groundwork beforehand, so the implementation process actually went exceptionally smoothly. After the implementation phase, we were left to our own devices in terms of communication. The service desk, for example, works in a different, more structured way than we were used to with our previous software provider. A ticket system is used to determine the priority of queries/problems. Nevertheless, we’ve come to realise that this way of working is effective and the more pressing items get dealt with first.

Our staff were quite anxious about the changeover, but it’s actually all turned out fine. NEXT is simple to use and looking back, it’s not been a problem at all.
We’re extremely satisfied with NEXT, so we were right to back our first impressions. The system is stable and reliable and that’s very important.”

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