H.K. Krijgsman, J.M.F.H. Achter
It is generally known that the production of potplants is very labour intensive and moreover needs a careful programming. Much has been done to lower the labour requirement by mechanisation, improved transport and work methods.

Some years ago courses were organized for growers by the Organisation and Work study Department of the Institute for Horticultural Engineering on the invitation of the "Vereniging De Bloemisterij", the Dutch organization of flower growers. For those interested, I can refer to the book "On work simplification" published within the framework of the above mentioned project.

Before starting these courses a number of investigations were carried out and it appeared that especially the organization of work was a weak point in the holdings. According to Van Doveren (1969) the production plan was often determined traditionally and was only planned by improvisation by lack of work and process standards.

This is why our department devotes much time to collecting time standards. Improvisation turned out to cause an insufficient use of labour and space.

What kind of problems can be met when space and labour consequences are not taken into consideration, appeared from a calculation we made for a grower in connection with a production plan he would like to realize:

  • Area requirement amounted to 100% more than the available area.
  • Labour requirement was in many periods of the year two times more than the available labour.

Based on these calculations provisions could be made in time for instance by limiting the production or hiring area in other nurseries. Van Doveren demonstrated how by better planning and management labour productivity can be raised considerably. Stress was laid on the importance of modern costing as an aid to management.

One of the dangers of potplant nurseries are short term actions, due to price fluctuations, accompanied by underestimating the consequences of selling-decisions on the management of the whole production process. Sale stagnation mostly results in more labour needed.

For management purposes it is important that on planning all knowledge concerning the space requirements in the different stages of production is available. Space planning is as important as labour planning. For this we need more information in the timespan for covering-area by potplants in the various stages. Some research has been made by Van den Broek (1969), who was working in our department. For a number of potplants he paid attention to the number of plants per m2 and the time-span of the stages of a potplant. By lack of personnel this research has

Krijgsman, H.K. and Achter, J.M.F.H. (1973). SOME ASPECTS OF MANAGEMENT ON POTPLANT-NURSERIES. Acta Hortic. 31, 117-118
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1973.31.15

Acta Horticulturae