Meet the team - Pim Schalke
- 4 May 2023
Pim Schalke is New Product Development Manager at The Floral Connection. We are curious about his passion and how he got into this position.
Pim grew up surrounded by flowers and plants. His father was a chrysanthemum grower, so Pim could often be found in the nursery. A holiday job at the auction led Pim to move into the commercial side after studying ‘Horticultural Business’. “A world opened up to me at the auction, the dynamism and variety of flowers really appealed to me,” says Pim.
In the years that followed, Pim worked at various companies in the floriculture industry. In the Netherlands, but also internationally, in various links of the chain. From nursery, cash & carry to wholesale and retail. The common thread in his career has always been an interest in what and why consumers buy, because according to Pim, that’s what it’s all about.
It was exactly ten years ago that Pim started at Bloom B.V. Based on his own market research, he began to draw up a category plan for a large German retailer that did not sell flowers at the time. Five years later, all the items in the plan could be ticked off. What is on the shelves today was carefully thought out by Pim and the team back then. Developing successful products is his passion. He has also done this for other major retailers. “Every retailer is slightly different and that’s what makes the job so challenging,” Pim adds.
New Product Development
Bloom B.V. has merged into The Floral Connection, where Pim still enjoys working. He now focuses on various projects within the organisation. “I work on complex projects that require the overview of the end-to-end process and the cooperation of several departments within our organisation in order to achieve success, such as in New Product Development.”
Pim continues, “Seeing where the opportunities are and developing from there that’s what it’s all about, putting together a puzzle of all the elements. Think of the combination of flowers, packaging, added value, production techniques, but also the involvement of the right suppliers, a team that can work out the concept and, of course, convincing the customer.”
Together we go further
Pim continues: “Together with Darsih (head of design at The Floral Connection) we go the extra mile. How can we differentiate ourselves and, more importantly, how can our customers differentiate themselves? I brainstorm with Darsih on a regular basis. She has a lot to bring to the process with her floral and retail expertise. In the end, there is always a solid thought process behind what the consumer sees on our customers’ shelves. Together, we also regularly receive relations and last year and last year we organised an NPD day in collaboration with Dutch Flower Group. The programme included a retail safari, real life plotting of the client’s range and of course the presentation of short and long term trends. An incredibly valuable day.”
Data-driven work and sustainability
“Selling to the consumer is the most important thing for me, because only then is the product really sold. Of course, I also visit the shops regularly, always wanting to see what the flower shelves look like. I also look at other products and brands and analyse their approach. Ultimately, hard sales data proves whether a product is successful or not and we can use that to guide us.
Of course, we always look at sustainable choices and the impact on our supply chain and the retailer’s supply chain. That is how we continue to evolve and lead as a company. That’s exactly what I’m going for!”
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