Ontario Flower Growers: new gallery and Multi-Trade software
Ontario Flower Growers co-Operative Ltd is located in Mississauga, close to Toronto International Airport. Over 150 growers provide a diverse supply of floral products to OFG's central auction facility each week. In addition to the live auction, flowers and
plants are distributed using direct sales via an online web site and a full service sales department.
Aucxis was engaged to renew the existing buyer gallery and implement Multi-Trade auction software including a remote bidding module allowing buyers to participate in the live daily auctions from the comfort of their homes or offices.
The auction room
The buyers' gallery comprises 252 buyer places of which 216 were equipped with customised bidding keyboards and 36 with a personal computer. The auction clocks are displayed on 4 large projection screens.
The conversion of the complete auction system was achieved in just 1,5 weeks thanks to the joint efforts of OFG an Aucxis. Aucxis provided all necessary technical specifications enabling OFG to organise a perfect installation of the new buyer desks, which was smoothly followed by the implementation of the software and testing of the system by Aucxis project engineers.
Multi-Trade auction software
In addition to the live clock auction system, flowers and plants are distributed at OFG using direct sales via an on-line web site and a full service sales department. Aucxis designed a customised solution in which the different sales methods used by OFG are integrated into a single software package:
- Gallery Auction
The real time sale in the auction room.
- Warehouse Sales
The unsold Gallery Auction supply is automatically transferred to Warehouse Sales. Here all unsold supply is grouped and put available for both buyers at the auction and those connected online. The items are sold using a fixed price, which is equal to the buyback price from the Gallery Auction plus a small percentage.
- Virtual Auction
The virtual sale is used to sell supply on the clock (such as the Gallery Auction) but without having the supply available at the auction. Product images are shown on the (new) projection clock and on the remote buyer's screen.
- Web sales
On the website, lots can be offered for purchase at any time during given date ranges. Growers can easily input their lots, prices, pictures and date ranges using a template. It is also possible to buy on this web shop lots from the Warehouse Sales.
- Greenhouse Direct
Growers are offered the possibility of direct selling to buyers through OFG. In a purpose built sheet, growers enter all product details, buyer details, pickup dates and relevant comments. The auction only needs to confirm the reserved transactions.
All products are able to 'switch' to another sales method while the system tracks overall status and sales of each lot. For example, if a lot in a Gallery Auction sheet has not or only partially been sold during the auction, the remaining quantity is transferred into Warehouse Sales. If applicable, an administrative user can later move the remaining product back into a Gallery Auction sheet that is ready to be consolidated and re-activated for the next auction.
The buyer application offers a number of special features:
- Pre-Auction Purchase
Enables buyers to purchase product at a predetermined purchase price (minimum price + x % defined in the main module) before the product line appears on the auction.
- Buy Back Purchase
Enables buyers to purchase 'Buy Backs' (unsold Gallery Supply) directly after the product was put up for auction.
Buyers can set their bidding price per product line in advance. It also enables buyers to set an automatic increase of the bid price (x cents over the last successful bid) on multiple clock swings.
- Mark Item
Marking a specific lot will clearly notify the buyer as soon as the lot is put up for auction.