Gone are the days when your local flower shop was the only place to pick up a bouquet of red roses. In our technological world, flower arrangements are at your fingertips, with flower websites promising even same-day deliveries to your loved ones. However, like many modern comforts, these new avenues come at a price. Many retailers are sourcing their flowers directly from growers, bypassing the traditional chain of distribution that has dominated the flower industry for decades. Cutting out the middle man might seem like a great idea–and a way to save money–but in reality, there are significant disadvantages to this method.
There are many processes and procedures that occur behind the scenes in order to get the flowers from farm to vase and many hidden costs involved in order to make this happen. Flower importers work directly with their own farms and worry about things like import and airport procedures as well as assuring that proper temperature management and quality assurance is maintained at all times. Importers then deliver the flowers to different trucking companies, maintaining the cold chain and delivering to different markets for consumption by retail florists. This multi-step process ensures quality control and quick problem resolution.
In other words, the flower supply chain was established for a reason. While it may seem cheaper for retailers to buy directly from flower farms, there are hidden expenses, such as freight costs, and practical mishaps that add up, making direct purchase more expensive and occasionally more inconvenient. These are issues that wholesalers are better equipped to handle, given their larger margin of time and experience.
For example, if a retailer has a problem with an order, such as poor quality flowers or an incorrect order, it will be much more difficult to fix, given that retail orders usually have a shorter turnaround time. What’s more, wholesalers and importers have established relationships with farms for quicker problem resolution. Additionally, the increase in orders causes cluttered airports, delayed inspections, and generally slows down the process for everyone–the job is better left to a few importers who order hundreds of different flower types and thousands of boxes.
While it is important to adapt to modern conveniences, the flower supply chain exists for a specific purpose. The value of the wholesaler is indisputable, particularly in maintaining inventory and moving the market forward, but there is always room for improvement. By establishing better communication and trust with retailers, tapping into popular consumer segments, and experimenting with technology such as online ordering, wholesalers can cement existing ties and forge new ones, while further promoting their purpose.
THE ULTIMATE GOAL IS FOR THE END CONSUMER TO RECEIVE A LONGER LASTING, BETTER VALUE FOR THEIR PURCHASING DOLLAR. WORKING TOGETHER AND MAINTAINING THE COLD DISTRIBUTION CHAIN WILL ENSURE A SUCCESSFUL OUTCOME.