As commerce goes global and retailers grow larger, how can small independent businesses compete? The Greenery International, a cooperative of 5,000 Dutch growers, thinks it has the answer. It is integrating the agricultural supply chain--and delivering fresher produce to supermarket shelves around the world. That's an ambitious goal, but The Greenery is succeeding.



"We are regulating the market so that there is never oversupply, undersupply or price fluctuation," says René Santegoets, The Greenery's manager of IT research and development. "Big supermarkets are willing to pay for a stable, high-quality product that they can have each day fresh in their shop at a reliable price."

From 1990 to 2001: Creating a Seamless, Consolidated e-Business

The 1990s were a period of crisis for Dutch produce growers. For a century, they had been selling to town greengrocers at local produce auctions. But by the close of the 20th century, national and international supermarket chains had almost entirely replaced local markets. Dutch growers were forced to undercut one another's prices or watch as the chains turned to competitors in other parts of Europe for their produce.

In response, Dutch growers banded together in 1996 to found The Greenery International. These growers are the company's shareholders/owners, and they receive a disbursement of the profits at year's end. Their goal: to maintain a steady supply of produce and become the preferred supplier of top-quality produce worldwide.

That's a tremendous logistical challenge. "If you pick tomatoes in the morning," says Santegoets, "you have to sell them within a few hours." This may be easy for a single grower who simply has to pick baskets of tomatoes and drive into town. It's much harder when you need to consolidate the harvests from thousands of independent growers and then ship those perishables to such destinations as Boston and Tokyo.

The Greenery's members undertook the task of integrating the agricultural supply chain so that it behaved as a single, seamless e-business. First, they bought all the middlemen between the greenhouse and the supermarket shelf. Within four years, the Greenery had purchased 71 separate companies--companies that handled every step from greenhouse to supermarket, including shipping, sorting, grading, packing, cutting, import, export, trading and logistics.

Next, the members had to enable real-time communication among all those intermediate businesses without replacing existing hardware or software, and create an application that allowed local growers to both report on their crops' readiness for market and receive instructions about when to pick and how to pack.

Offering Universal Accessibility: Any-to-Any Communication with Buyers

-1-

1  2  3  4  

   Next Page

Explore Our Topics

  • EDITOR'S BRIEFING
ebizQ editorial highlights and updates, compiled by ebizQ staff
  • BaaS bonus: In this podcast, Gartner Research Director Gordon Van Huizen discusses the Backend as a Service marketplace and the approach's pros, cons and challenges.
  • Cloud quiz: How much do you know about business process management in the cloud? Test yourself with this six-question cloud BPM quiz.
  • Three key steps: Clay Richardson of Forrester Research describes ways to emphasize user experience in business process design.
  • ebizQ editorial: Browse ebizQ's collection of independent editorial content, including articles, tips, Q & As, podcasts, guest columns, book excerpts and more.
  • Virtual Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Roundtables

BPM in Action

March 10, 2011

The sixth annual BPM in Action 2011 Virtual Conference will explore cutting-edge market developments in BPM and describe how to leverage them for improved business operation and performance. More

View All Virtual Conferences

Smart Case Management: Why It's So Smart.

Date:Nov 05, 2009
Time:12:00 PM ET- (17:00 GMT)

REGISTER TODAY!

Date:Oct 29, 2009
Time:15:00 PM ET- (19:00 GMT)

REGISTER TODAY!
View All Roundtables
  • Research Library
  • Podcasts
  • News

Joe McKendrick: Part II of II: Designing Evolve-ability into SOA and IT Systems

In part two of Joe McKendrick's recent podcast with Miko Matsumura, chief strategist for Software AG, they talk about how SOA and IT systems need to change and grow and adapt with the organization around it.

Listen Now

Phil Wainewright: Helping Brands Engage with Social Media

Phil Wainewright interviews David Vap, VP of products at RightNow Technologies, and finds out how sharing best practices can help businesses understand how best to engage with online communities.

Listen Now

Peter Schooff: Making Every IT Dollar Result in a Desired Business Outcome: Scott Hebner of IBM Rati

Scott Hebner, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for IBM Rational, discusses a topic on the top of every company's mind today: getting the most from IT investments.

Listen Now

Jessica Ann Mola: Where Will BI Fit In? Lyndsay Wise Explains

In BI, this tough economy and the increasing role of Web 2.0 and MDM are certainly topics on people's minds today. WiseAnalytics' Lyndsay Wise addresses each of them in this informative podcast.

Listen Now

Dennis Byron: Talking with...Deepak Singh of BPM Provider Adeptia

Deepak Singh, President and CTO of Adeptia, joins ebizQ's Dennis Byron in a podcast that gets its hand around the trend of industry-specific BPM.

Listen Now
More Podcasts
  • Most Popular
  • Quick Guide
  • Most Discussed

Quick Guide: What is BPM?

Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Event Processing?

Smart event processing can help your company run smarter and faster. This comprehensive guide helps you research the basics of complex event processing (CEP) and learn how to get started on the right foot with your CEP project using EDA, RFID, SOA, SCADA and other relevant technologies. Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Enterprise 2.0?

A lot of people are talking about Enterprise 2.0 as being the business application of Web 2.0 technology. However, there's still some debate on exactly what this technology entails, how it applies to today's business models, and which components bring true value. Some use the term Enterprise 2.0 exclusively to describe the use of social networking technologies in the enterprise, while others use it to describe a web economy platform, or the technological framework behind such a platform. Still others say that Enterprise 2.0 is all of these things. Learn More

Featured Bloggers

Scott Cleveland's Latest Blog Posts:

Read Scott Cleveland's Blog
Adrian Grigoriu's Latest Blog Posts:

Read Adrian Grigoriu's Blog
Steven Minsky's Latest Blog Posts:

Read Steven Minsky's Blog
Michael Poulin's Latest Blog Posts:

Read Michael Poulin's Blog
Noam Tamarkin's Latest Blog Posts:

Read Noam Tamarkin's Blog
Janne J. Korhonen's Latest Blog Posts:

Read Janne J. Korhonen's Blog
Peter Schooff's Latest Blog Posts:

Read Peter Schooff's Blog

View All ebizQ Bloggers