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critical mass

finding everyday value

Here are three tips to help you evaluate the right mix of tools to build your business.
  by Terry Humfeld

     When budgets tighten, businesses increasingly weigh the value of each and every activity. More and more, they seek out affiliations and deals that provide everyday value instead of just a one-shot opportunity. It is now more important than ever to ensure you have the right tools to maintain and grow your business.

     Produce Marketing Association (PMA) is committed to helping floral industry members expand their businesses year-round. Successful floral retailers, suppliers and service providers can succeed even in today’s environment by ensuring they’re tending to their business basics. Here are our top three tips for finding the upside to today’s downturn.

1. Expand your networking activities.
     Networking has always been important to our industry. But as discerning companies look at how to spend travel budgets, bang-for-the-buck becomes increasingly crucial. Look for networking opportunities that provide the greatest exposure and combine other value like professional development to deliver greater return on your investment.

     Floral companies can gain long-term visibility and constructive information from conventions and trade shows like PMA’s Fresh Summit, the global produce and floral industry’s largest U.S. gathering. More than just a leading trade show, Fresh Summit offers floral-centric educational workshops and networking opportunities. PMA also bestows Floral Marketer of the Year honors on an individual with noteworthy impact on the supermarket floral industry.

     Companies also need access to local events and networking opportunities throughout the year. PMA’s Floral Fresh Connections events, held in our members’ backyards, are designed to reach out with business-building research and information needed to achieve supply-chain success. This past summer we headed to Miami, Fla., to discuss the changing mass-market floral industry trends and to network with local colleagues.

2. Update your market data and analysis.
     Market information and analysis have perhaps never been as important as they are today. Savvy floral retailers and suppliers are seeking out the latest information on industry and consumer trends and applying it not just to maintain but to grow their businesses. Our Holiday Floral Market Watch Reports are one example of such business tools. These reports provide seasonal market data and analysis by tracking industry sales trends and statistics for four major floral holidays: Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day and end-of-year holidays.

     You should also take advantage of the wealth of knowledge available at conventions by attending the educational seminars offered. For example, this year’s Fresh Summit floral workshops provide pertinent knowledge for our current business climate and include topics like “Increasing Floral Profits in the New Economy,” covering how floral supply-chain partners can work together to maximize limited resources and increase profitability. At “Interpreting and Predicting Floral Trends to Maximize Sales,” participants will learn how, through PMA’s Holiday Floral Market Watch Reports, they can gain insight into floral-buying behavior and identify emerging trends.

3. Improve your business efficiencies.
     As the floral industry drives toward a more efficient floral delivery system by implementing two data standards, the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) at box level and the Universal Product Code (UPC) for bunches/bouquets, your job is to stay apprised of the latest developments. As an integral member of the Floral GTIN Initiative, a coalition of six industry trade organizations, PMA has been working to help define, test and refine the coding strategy and then help our members take advantage of the business efficiencies offered by this standardization. The Floral GTIN Initiative Web site,, is an online resource for growers, importers, distributors and their trading partners.

     As you evaluate your involvement in activities and events and seek out everyday value, PMA looks forward to working with our members—to provide you with the latest tools and information and, in the process, learn from you as we expand the resources and tools we provide to the benefit of the floral industry—every day, year-round.

Terry Humfeld is PMA vice president of volunteer leadership relations and manages PMA’s volunteer leadership groups, including the Floral Council. He can be reached at (302) 738-7100, or Visit PMA online at

“Critical Mass” offers experts in the floral business a monthly forum to express their views on a variety of topics of importance to the industry. These viewpoints are not intended to reflect the opinions of anyone at Super Floral Retailing or Florists’ Review Enterprises, Inc.


Super Floral Retailing • Copyright 2009
Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.