IFS Probity enables Royal FloraHolland to expand globally

‘Flower Empowerment’

Ten years ago, the Netherlands counted six different flower auctions. Today there is only one: Royal FloraHolland. This is the biggest – and actually the only one – in the world, says Martijn Meskers, Manager Finance, proudly. The millions of transactions recently run through one billing system: SAP Billing and Revenue Innovation Management (once called SAP Hybris Billing). Delivered by IFS Probity and CTAC.

A (cooperative) merger organization that operates as one auction and requires one standard way of billing. With that requirement Royal FloraHolland approached IFS Probity and CTAC in 2011. A few requirements for the new IT system were non-negotiable. Martijn Meskers: “It had to be solid standard software, that could process large volumes. After all, millions of billing lines pass through the system every day.  A solid system also meets our ambitions for expansion abroad. As a matter of fact, the market becomes more globally oriented: roses are increasingly imported from Kenya and we welcome more and more foreign customers. To enable this, the company demands a system that is able to handle foreign currency and foreign VAT-regimes.”

Royal FloraHolland feels comfortable working with IFS Probity and CTAC, he says. “IFS Probity is hands-on and venturous. This can be different at other IT-providers: many men in suits, few people behind the buttons. IFS Probity really went for it and did its utmost to prevent the risks of budget- and time overruns. How? By splitting up the project in feasible phases, strictly following up the deadlines and ensuring the decisions were taken in time. “

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In control

The 4.2-billion-euro annual revenue smoothly runs through the billing system, the Manager Finance continues. “Growers demand to receive their money fast and buyers require a correct cash off at the right time. This process must run flawlessly every day. The entire industry relies on us. But, we did not face one malfunction yet and are receiving positive scores from the satisfaction survey. And on top of that, we can announce that the first grower with a foreign currency – one of Africa’s biggest – has joined us. The new system immediately enables the expansion abroad.” Meskers recites the advantages once more: “A reliable, solid system that is up to date. No concerns about falling behind and custom code. Highly adaptive, SEPA is an excellent example of this. And thanks to Vertex, the connected engine for handling different fiscal regimes, we are also in control regarding the foreign tax reliabilities. “

Huge thrill

Personally, it was an exciting project for Meskers. “Our growers have invested a lot in this project, so we strongly feel the responsibility to make this a success. We have proved that system implementations like this can be successful, and I am very proud of it. It is a hugh thrill when you achieve what you aim for. Together with IFS Probity we are now experimenting to use a charging-module to set up our rates in a highly flexible way. By doing this, we increase our customer focus. CTAC is also our partner for functional and technical application maintenance. To bring this outside the company is a big step for Royal FloraHolland, but with a partner like IFS Probity and CTAC we take this step with confidence.”