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Van Starkenburg & Zn – proud of our NEXT ‘ambassador’!

The Van Starkenburg family, trading under the name ‘Stark in Blumen’ is based at the flower auction in Rijnsburg. Originally a flower nursery that later exported its trade to Germany. The nursery is no more; today, Stark in Blumen focuses mainly on exporting flowers and plants to Germany. They do this through line driving and sales via the webshop. In addition, ‘Stark’ facilitates the opportunity for other line operators to purchase trade through them and there is a smaller ‘export branch’ to Belgium. All with the motto ‘A reliable business partner offering its customers optimum quality at a fair price’.

Lourens van Starkenburg, co-owner of the family business, informed us that they were keen to introduce innovation in the software, as well as make processes more efficient. After using our software AlfaPro for many years, the switch to NEXT was made.

Amerik picked up and successfully implemented the project. Read below the customer request and how we worked it out.

Customer query

  1. Faster and more efficient software
  2. Improving logistics processes
  3. Steering more webshop sales
  4. Good ability to process Transactions, Export documents and accounting externally
  5. Faster processing of EKT, VMP vs. Florinet

Solution

AlfaPro was replaced by NEXT and the corresponding new web shop was implemented. While setting up the package, a work process was realised that makes ‘goods receipt’ significantly more efficient. Trades can now be reported in faster and distributed immediately if necessary. To improve the ‘order picking’ process, new labels and documents have been developed. The aim is to soon do ‘order picking’ via a PDA or tablet, which will bring even more efficiency. In addition, several links with external parties have been established and automated as much as possible. Moreover, an API connection has been established with Twinfield, allowing easy exchange of financial data.

Result

With NEXT, Van Starkenburg has a new ‘up-to-date’ and stable software system. In addition, considerable strides have been made in terms of efficiency and functionality. The preparation took a little longer; with intensive guidance, the procedure was gone through and approved step by step. However, this ensured that the go-live went very smoothly, requiring minimal guidance.

Reaction Lourens van Starkenburg

Lourens explains that they were keen to make strides in terms of automation: ‘We wanted to innovate, move with the times and had the desire to improve a number of logistics processes. But for us there was no need or time pressure to switch to NEXT, so we took our time in preparing and did not rush it. But now that we see how many advantages it offers, we regret not having done so earlier. The package is practical, fast, stable and ‘margin of error reducing’. It also has many control options and offers much more functionality. Although at first we had to get very used to the fact that not all functionality from AlfaPro is also in NEXT. NEXT simply works differently and we sometimes have to adapt our working methods to that. We are still learning, I find out new things possible in the package every week. And I like discovering this along the way.’

What next?

As a result of the market change, the company has been selling more and more via the web shop in recent years. Lourens says: ‘The number of customers who send their orders via fax list is getting smaller and smaller, in the long run we see this disappearing completely. So a good and stable webshop is very important. Another big wish is to also transfer the lines to NEXT: We are looking forward to working with the new routing environment. This is going to save us a lot of time.’

NEXT in practice

Asked if Lourens would recommend NEXT, he says several fellow flower companies have already visited him to check out NEXT. ‘NEXT has a lot of functionality, is user-friendly and saves time and money, so yes, I would definitely recommend it to others. Should any other flower companies be interested in NEXT and want to see it in practice, they are welcome to take a look here.’ said Lourens.

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