Driven by sustainability
Many people know Agri Information Partners from tools such as E-Brida and Mercado. What some do not know, however, is that we also do many customized projects for a wide array of clients. MPS (More Profitable Sustainability) is one of those clients with whom we have worked for a long time.
Agripartner and MPS share a long history of collaboration. Together, we initiated the first stages of automation (1998/1999) using techniques that are now long outdated. In addition, we have jointly manufactured ACTRES (2003), the predecessor of the MPS registration environment. Later, around 2012, we have collaborated on Gemma Next Generation (the back office application in which a.o. all MPS-ABC qualifications are calculated).
We had a conversation with Marcel Bongaards and Martine Holtkamp from MPS. We looked back on the development and success of the MPS registration environment, which has proven very helpful to many cultivators.
The MPS Group globally facilitates horticultural entrepreneurs in the process of making their ambitions sustainable. MPS helps them obtain insight into the quality and sustainability of their products through innovative (online) tools and certification schemes.
Ever since the founding of Agri Information Partners, we have closely collaborated with MPS to create various tools. Today, we still work together with mostly the same people as we did at the start. Marcel has been involved in collaborative projects at MPS for over 16 years. There is also an enthusiastic team on the side of Agri Information Partners, including Jaco Mateman, Desirée Groeneveld, Joey van den Brink, and Chris Janse.
“The collaboration just runs very smoothly.”
Registration environment MPS
The MPS registration environment is a component of the larger MPS-ABC certification scheme. This environment is an application for floricultural companies that facilitates a registration function that provides insight into the usage of resources and the degree of sustainability of production processes. These insights and the possibility to constantly improve these processes, contribute to the sustainable development of these companies.
The environment facilitates the registration of the use of (among others):
- Crop protection products
We implemented these functions to encourage the conscious usage of resources. The documented information is, in turn, one of the sources for the MPS-ABC certification scheme.
Online registration tool
Both for this environment and its predecessors, you have often worked together with Agri Information Partners. Why precisely this collaboration?
“With the people from AIP, it is always easy to communicate; often, half a word is enough. They know the sector and understand its needs. If they come up with a good idea during our explanations or during the development, then they share it and substantiate it well. We often welcome these ideas with open arms, as they usually offer more straightforward or better solutions to our problems,” according to Marcel.
Martine adds: “Problems are diligently discussed and solved. They do not bill us for every minute they spend but focus on the solutions instead. In addition, AIP possesses a large amount of knowledge, which we can regularly make use of. If we want something similar to another project, AIP internally inquires about this project and shares its knowledge. This makes working with AIP very pleasant.
Agri Information Partners also holds a good overview of all our applications. Due to our longstanding collaboration, functional knowledge about all our processes is well-preserved, and they can quickly estimate what effects a particular adjustment can have for other processes.”
At AIP, Jaco, Joey, Desirée, and Chris are also enthusiastic about the cooperation with MPS:
“The collaboration with MPS runs very smoothly. It is an open organization, which enables us to ask for assistance whenever we or the people from MPS run into a problem. This results in very good communication, allowing us to help each other effectively and achieving excellent results together”, indicates Joey. “Within this project, we help each other, and we solve the problems together, which results in the fast advancement of the project and good personal connections. The good atmosphere within the team is characteristic for this project”, concludes Jaco.
Desirée agrees and adds: “Everyone also always takes ample time to explain the differences and to discuss questions or risks. This leads to a clearer image of the needs and wishes from both sides, which prevents potential problems.”
Can you (MPS) elaborate on the new MPS-ABC registration environment?
“Of course. The MPS-ABC registration environment is a new version of our cultivators’ registration software. In addition to several improvements for the user as well as for us as a company, the environment also contains the new MPS-ABC guidelines. With this all set, we are ready for the future in terms of technology, user-friendliness, and sustainability!”
Is the new environment already in use at the moment?
“Yes, our clients are switching to the new environment in a phased process. Currently, it has already been fully implemented by the majority of our clients, and the last will soon follow suit. Hereby, as of 1 January 2021, all our clients comply with the new demands for MPS-ABC and the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI).”
So, are we done then?
“At this stage, a number of modules are in the process of finetuning, and we are running some small updates. Some modules are still under construction. When this is all finished, we aim to create a dashboard where all information comes together for the cultivator to see at a glance. This will help the cultivators tremendously!”
What is the most important point of attention for AIP?
“Agri Information Partners aims to deliver as much functional value as possible: new features that allow the user to document more information more effectively. We have noticed that it is paramount for our cultivators that we put time and energy into creating practical and user-friendly applications. This is also the reason that we employed your User Experience (UX) designer Chris Janse. We have really emphasized UX, and we are very pleased with the result.”
How is the cultivators’ experience with the new environment?
“They are very satisfied. It functions well, and it looks very nice. Of course, our existing clientele has to get accustomed to a new environment. Our new clients are very pleased with it.”
And lastly: how do you experience the collaboration?
“The collaboration runs very smoothly. The atmosphere in the team is also delightful. Very regularly, we have a short meeting in the morning about how it is going. The other day, I was in the car during one of these meetings, and it seemed like I was listening to the morning show on Radio 538. There was always room for jokes and some fun, and then after that everyone is also very professional and invested in the project.”
“Sometimes, the atmosphere at work is like a morning radio show.”
“Yes, secretly, I miss it, of course,” adds Martine. Martine has recently assumed a different position within MPS, and she is now much less often in contact with the people from AIP.
Also, at Agri Information Partners, we are very content with how things are going. It is an exciting project to work on, and the pleasant group dynamic re-energizes us and inspires many new ideas. We hope this collaboration will continue for at least another time this long!
Do you have questions, ideas or comments about Mercado, E-Brida or our services?
Our team with knowledge and experience within the agricultural sector is happy to think along with you.
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