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IT in bloom

IDG News Service | Nov. 2, 2009
With a rosy cut flower business in the Philippines for more than 25 years now, Philippine Cut Flower Corporation (PCFC) assures that it's not only a green thumb and a love for flowers that keep their offerings in bloom.

With an online presence, orders placed with Island Rose numbers from hundreds in a regular day to thousands during peak seasons. "Through the Internet, we deliver anywhere between 100 to more than 1,000 dozen a day depending on the occasion," the executive specifies.

The borderless realm of the virtual world also translated to overseas Filipino customers able to painlessly avail themselves what Island Rose offers. "Our services are valuable to them because they are physically unable to avail of such services in their respective countries. Through our Island Rose, they are able to keep their relationships alive no matter where they are. In a lot of ways, Island Rose has been the bridge of communication to couples, families, associates, and friends who are far apart. This is the beauty of such a service," he says.

It's no surprise then, as Andaya points out, that Island Rose has been experiencing continuous growth for eight consecutive years since the inception of Islandrose.net.

Tapping the numerous, creative opportunities one can mine from the Internet, Island Rose has even utilized the popular social networking site, Facebook, creating an application that lets one send virtual roses (enclosed with a personalized message) as well as purchase real flowers. One can also order flowers online via Chikka and Yehey! as well as from outlets located in Ministop and LBC branches.

"We believe that to serve our customers, we must be available where they are and our move towards social networking sites is one of the programs we employ to reach out to people. I guess it is safe to say that we will continue to broaden our customer base through social media in general," explains Andaya.

In fact, Island Rose even lets customers earn extra income through the latter's website. Through the Island Rose Associate Distributorship Program, one can place the chosen Island Rose banner in their own website and whenever clients click through, it will link them to Islandrose.net. Each customer that buys from Island Rose via this link automatically entitles the one who availed this program a 15 per cent commission from the product purchased.

HARVESTING THE BENEFITS OF IT

But the level of Island Rose's high-tech aspect goes beyond its winning e-commerce site and its other initiatives online. IT plays a major role in the backend of the company's endeavors. "[Information technology] is a must. IT is no longer an advantage but rather a requirement. The efficiencies that can be brought about by the effective use of information technology is so huge that it can render other businesses obsolete," opined Andaya.

Citing the electronic point of sale (POS) system for example, Andaya notes that something this simple can actually make or break a business, such as a grocery store. As he put it, "the grocery store that can get its clients out the door faster and more conveniently can literally translate to more customers and less manpower costs enabling them to lower prices and eventually ease out competition."

 

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