OK Plant: We’re already looking into the trends for 201917 February 2017
OK Plant is a state-of-the-art orchid farm. Thijs van der Valk (29) is head of sales and a partner in this firm, that was founded in 1990 by Rob Olsthoorn and his wife Desiree. OK Plant has since grown into a rather large company. It is located in two different villages and grows plants on 8 hectares in total: 6 hectares of Little Kolibri Orchids and 2 hectares of seasonal plants. "We're already looking into the trends for 2019"
At OK Plant, the bar is set high. The company, situated in the horticultural region Westland, wants to get the most out of its products, but certainly out of its staff too. Thijs: "We have a mission. Anything goes to please the client. Not only the sales department has to follow that rule, but all of our staff. We produce on behalf of the client. And we plan ahead. We're already working on the trends and varieties for the years 2018 and 2019." The orchids are sold as 'Little Kolibri Orchids'. This is a very recognizable label for consumers. OK Plant thought of 'kolibri', which is a hummingbird, because that's a small but very strong little bird. That is the association the company wants clients to have whenever they see one of these orchids.
OK Plant has 585 clients that order at least once a year. 175 of them even place orders weekly. How can OK Plant, when the customer base is that large, know the specific wishes of each client? "Every product has a unique code, that way everyone who works here knows exactly what the demands of the customer concerned are." The company also keeps a close eye on the market trends and what's in vogue. This way, OK Plant can define target groups for their clients. And those clients come from all over, from Scandinavia to southern Europe. "In France, people like loud colours, while in Scandinavia they want shades of white, and prefer a modern style. We try to take these differences into account when we produce our orchids, and also when we choose accessories, like the earthenware vase or pot we sometimes provide."
Together with the client
Another opportunity to find out what the clients desire, is the company fair. This fair is held annually in the week before the FlowerTrials. OK Plant invites as many clients as possible, so everyone can see the newest products. "And we make a selection of our products, together with the client. That way we know exactly what products are suitable for his target groups. And in return, we inspire our clients. This is how, ultimately, we stimulate end customers to buy the products."
What does the term 'quality' mean to OK Plant? "Quality starts with the company that supplies us with young plants. These have to be top-quality plants. Clients constantly want new varieties, shapes and versions. We work hard to provide those. Oh, and the product has to excel at the point of sale as well. All these things together help to make a product a success."
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