"I’m a full-time florist again instead of being a part-time courier"
Rik is the owner of De Seranno at Merksem, a flower shop that has three decades of experience and a huge reputation to maintain. Quality products as well as creativity and originality are of great importance to De Serrano. Every day, Rik tries to surprise his customers with tasteful creations that set the mood ranging from artistic bouquets to interior design products.
“There are deliveries every day,” Rik tells us, ‘I used to make all deliveries myself. Someone else can fill in for me on some days, but on other days, I’m alone here. To make my deliveries, I would leave early in the morning hoping I would be able to avoid the traffic jams. Or I would get in my car after closing the shop. I would make the deliveries in the vicinity during my lunch break. But whatever the circumstances, the hustle and bustle and the constant hurrying were becoming a nuisance.
These days, almost all of my deliveries are made by Parcify, so there’s no more need to close the store suddenly and I can spend more time on creating bouquets or taking care of the plants again. I’m a florist again instead of being a part-time courier.’
Working with Parcify allows Rik to have more time and peace of mind, and there’s also a financial bonus. “I would charge € 4 for deliveries in the same municipality, and € 2 extra for every following municipality. These days, I can just pass on the Parcify fee to the customers. It’s more transparent and it’s another variable I don’t have to worry about anymore”, he explains.
Subscriptions on Monday
Rik still delivers subscription flowers himself. “That’s right. I deliver fresh flowers at a number of large companies in Antwerp, like Monsanto, Exxon and a few port operators.” When he’s delivering new flowers, he takes the old ones and the vase with him, relieving his customers from any burden. “It’s more efficient to do these deliveries myself. A Parcify courier would have to drive twice – to come and get the flowers and deliver them, and then bring back the old ones. And I always drive back to the store after making a delivery anyway.”
These remaining deliveries don’t cause Rik much stress. “Not at all, it’s completely different from having to make a last-minute delivery. Subscriptions are very easy to schedule and I always visit these companies on Monday, when my store is closed. Parcify couriers take care of the ad hoc deliveries on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and on Sunday as well.”
We ask Rik if he’s ever had any problems with a courier or a delivery. “I’ve never had any problems. There may be some confusion sometimes. I once had a courier who had to make three deliveries to the same address and expected to be paid three times. I just contacted Parcify and you solved the problem. If you phone Parcify, it’s the people at Parcify who help you, not some division of bpost. It’s a direct line. If anything’s not clear or anything goes wrong, you’re immediately there to look for a solution. It’s something that creates confidence.”
These last months
Rik is smiling while he’s telling us all this. Everything seems to be running smoothly at De Seranno, but before we can bring up that question, he asks us, “You seem to be doing well, don’t you?’”Rik has been using Parcify for more than a year now and he tells us he’s witnessed a huge influx of couriers these past months. “In September , it would still take some time for someone to respond to one of my delivery requests, but these days, it hardly takes 5 minutes to find a courier. Even long-distance deliveries aren’t a problem anymore.”
Are there often people from West Flanders who order flowers at the Antwerp flower shop De Seranno? ‘There are often people from Brussels who do. In the past, I had to outsource long-distance deliveries to Fleurop-Interflora, an international platform I work with. They make deliveries all over Belgium for € 10. It’s nice to be able to help customers that way, but there’s not really a profit in it for me. I run this store because I like to create nice flower bouquets, not because I want to deal with transport and outsourcing all the time.”
A lot of change
“When I think about it, working with Parcify has changed a lot of things, actually,” Rik admits. I can now accept deliveries I had to decline in the past because the address was too far away. I don’t need to outsource artistic work anymore. It’s funny to notice it’s bpost that’s responsible for all of this, because it’s the kind of organization you don’t usually associate with my kind of business. So it’s a pleasant surprise to see bpost involved with things like Parcify,” he concludes, “It shows they have a dynamical commitment to transport and logistical innovation.”