jueves, 26 de enero de 2012

Colombian flowers industry innovation challenges

Aquí el artículo completo desde Knowledge@Wharton: Are Colombian Flowers Experiencing a U.S. Drought?


"[...] In addition to expanding consumer demand, Colombian flower producers also have the potential option of reducing production costs and increasing process automation in order to improve profit margins with or without an increase in revenue. The floriculture industry, regardless of the production country, is highly dependent on manual labor. Automation and technological advances would obviously reduce expenses. In addition, improving transportation infrastructure and production technology would provide producers with increased control over their supply production and delivery and help to improve efficiency within each of these processes.

Reducing costs through automation, however, opens producers up to new issues related primarily to the risk of operational losses. As explained by one of the trolistas (the men who transport the flowers between the greenhouse and postharvest operations) at the Colombian rose farm, C.I. Flores Ipanema Ltda., "the moment a rose touches the ground, it is no longer suitable for sale, destroying the entire value of that flower." Unlike an automated trolley, which Ipanema did try to implement at one time, a human being has the ability to not only control the flow of transported flowers, but also use additional care and judgment to ensure that the flowers arrive safely at their predefined destinations. Thus, given the fragile nature of their product, flower producers must find a delicate balance between automation and manual labor so that both operational expenses and operational losses are minimized. [...]"

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