Dutch companies build app for ornamental horticulture

DE LIER, Netherlands: Dümmen Orange, the world’s largest breeder and propagator, and application developer Synobsys have joined forces to build a unique app for growers in the ornamental horticulture sector.

The new app can be used to share important knowledge about varieties, cultivation strategies and, for example, pests and diseases. The acquired information will help growers throughout the world take the quality of their products to an even higher level. Dümmen Orange’s customers can start testing the app for the first time early in 2020.

In order to help growers provide their crops with the best possible cultivation conditions and make it easier for them to access advice and support, Dümmen Orange is focusing not only on the genetic development of ornamental crops but also on providing electronic access to knowledge and cultivation data. The new app will thus share both basic and more in-depth knowledge about all the Dümmen Orange varieties. This will involve not only how to start a new crop but also information about the different cultivation phases of a variety.

It is also a direct help line for growers. For instance, a chat function allows users to upload photos of plants and request information about them. An optional “diary” for recording observations and measurements can be kept for each variety. In addition to providing easier access to knowledge about specific varieties and their cultivation processes, the app is also designed to help growers save time, lower risks, plan better and, of course, improve the quality of their products.

The app is being offered free of cost. Growers can use it not just to keep track of the cultivation data for the varieties in the Dümmen Orange product range but also those developed by other breeders. “This is our way of giving growers access to a handy, complete tool for growing all their ornamental crops successfully,” says Marcel Vrijman, Product Owner Digital at Dümmen Orange.

Synobsys, a specialist in low-code application development (with OutSystems), is in charge of building and managing the app. As a business partner of Dümmen Orange, Synobsys supplies the entire development team. “When we were exploring our options, it wasn’t long before we decided on low-code application development. This combines quality and speed in the development process, because less manual programming is required. OutSystems is the leading platform for this and Synobsys is the ideal specialist and partner for us to realize what we’re looking for,” says Vrijman.

According to Pim van Westen, Managing Director of Synobsys, what makes this project special is that by developing this app, Dümmen Orange is digitizing its customers’ cultivation process. “It gives growers easy access to the valuable knowledge available at Dümmen Orange. An extra challenge in developing the application was that the information would also have to be available offline. After all, a location like a large, expansive greenhouse might not have a connection with a mobile network. OutSystems offers this possibility,” says Van Westen.

The app will start being tested for the first time early in 2020 by applying it to a number of product groups (Kalanchoe, Calla, Begonia, Dahlia and Lavandula). After processing user experiences, it will be scaled up over the course of 2020 to include more crops and will be made available in various countries. More information will be available in the second quarter of this year. At this time, more than 10,000 growers throughout the world are cultivating Dümmen Orange varieties. Vrijman: “The first version of the app will be available in English so that we can have it tested by as many growers as possible. We are focusing mainly on those who are less advanced in their cultivation knowledge or are including new Dümmen Orange products in their assortment. The first reactions from our Sales organization have been positive. Making knowledge available to your customer by means of a mobile device as well as in another form of communication offers real added value.”

Pictured left to right are Marcel Vrijman (Product Owner Digital Dümmen Orange) and Pim van Westen (Managing Director Synobsys).

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