IAP Bredefleur September 2022-1126

Peter: "Good relationships make all the difference"

Good relationships make the difference, believes lily grower Peter Evers

In a crisis, you get to know your real friends. Not only privately, but also in the working world. Now that we are in an energy crisis, we at Bredefleur notice how important relationships with our partners and suppliers are. In good times it can go either way, in difficult times you have to be able to rely on each other. Especially now you notice the difference. Good relationships create more power and that makes a 100 percent difference.

Especially now, fast switching is needed

Currently, everyone wants to be energy efficient. Everyone wants to become more sustainable, but unfortunately many energy-saving products are in short supply. And yet, in the current volatile energy market, you need flexibility from your suppliers. And then you notice: without a good connection you are at the back of the queue.

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On the basis of trust

For several years we have been working with Huisman Scherming to develop energy-saving screen cloths. Cloths that keep heat and light inside. The first test was very positive: about 50 percent energy savings. Because of the high energy prices we wanted to proceed quickly. Thanks to our good relationship with the supplier, one quote by e-mail and an e-mail to confirm the order was enough. Within six months we had the screens in place. Because our relationship is based on trust, we were able to move quickly and were given priority by the supplier.

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Is there a match?

How does such a relationship develop? For us, it is important to feel a click. Is there a match? Do the values of our company match those of the supplier? Only then do the lights go green. For us, important values are innovation and connection, so we look at how the other party moves with the market, whether they innovate and how future-proof the company is. The better our mutual relationship, the sharper we keep each other on our toes.

Do we have the same DNA?

We recently started working with Stolze; an innovative high-tech company specializing in climate and water systems. AND a family business, not long ago taken over by the next generation. There was a match between us almost immediately. Their DNA matches ours. That's why this company installed the most modern and sustainable watering system in our greenhouses. We also bought smart climate meters from them, suitable for the new cultivation.

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A good relationship is the foundation

You may be thinking now: well, money can buy everything. But that is a misconception. In these times of crisis, if you are only looking for profit, it doesn't pay off. A good relationship is the basis. Let me give one more example: recently our sweeping machine broke down, and believe me, you need it in our greenhouses. Within five days the dust would kill you. Thanks to the good relationship - for thirty years - with the supplier of these machines, a new one was on our doorstep within five days. All it took was one phone call to arrange it, at a fair price. There was no need for negotiation. It also takes two months to find it.

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PS: Plenty of examples and I could name tig more. Do you have a minute? No, all kidding aside. Just a saying I often use: in difficult times you have to bet on as many horses as possible, but you have to have those horses.

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Peter Evers (30), after studying Horti Business and Management, is co-owner of  Bredefleur.