Previous month:
July 2007
Next month:
October 2007

September 2007

The Most Fragile Supply Chain of All?

Getting flowers to market is no dainty business.  With thousands of miles seperating producers and consumers and a 4-day shelf life, it could be the most fragile supply chain of all.  Amy Stewart's Flower Confidential, an insider's view of the floral industry, provides an useful case study on getting differentiated products to market under difficult circumstances.  Flowerconfsm3

Traditionally, flowers are differentiated at the retail level; the florist creates unique arrangements and marks up the finished product.   Like other specialty retailers, florists are being challenged by mass discounters and warehouse clubs.  Since there's little perceived difference from one rose to another, how are growers, distributors and retailers differentiating themselves?

  • Branding:  just as DeBeers branded diamonds, flower growers are starting to invest in branding and guaranteed quality certification
  • Shortening the Supply Chain:  florists are starting to showcase locally grown, in-season flowers, which support local farmers and last longer
  • Niche Marketing:  Providing flowers only for weddings, hotels or "arrangement of the month club" subscription

Good ideas, regardless of how robust your supply chain may be.