Dutch flower auction’s digitalisation project in trouble

FloraHolland, the world’s largest flower auction, has encountered major problems in the digitalisation of its trading system, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Monday.

FloraHolland said its plans for a national auction system had been hampered by the lack of suitable IT. ‘The problems arose just as speed was needed. If we fail in this, the auction system will be obsolete within five years, said Lucas Vos, CEO of FloraHolland.

With 4,000 grower-members and annual sales of nearly €5bn, FloraHolland plans to digitalise all its operations. But this endeavour has been plagued by breakdowns in the system.

FloraHolland was formed by the merger nine years ago of several Dutch flower auctions. Vos said the IT systems have not yet been integrated. The flower auction abandoned its own IT unit last year and has taken on a new IT director who works with third-party IT consultancies.

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