Dutch Flower Cluster, Case B: In the testing phase

July 2015

The Dutch Flower Cluster is a Harvard business Case written in 2006. Because of its popularity, the authors, including Prof. M. Porter and Prof. F. van Eenennaam, decided to update it in 2013. Recently, FloraHolland, the core entity at the heart of the Dutch flower cluster, has determined to have a customized case for internal training purpose: the Dutch Flower Cluster, Case B is now in the testing phase.

Ever since 2006, it has been regarded as one of the outstanding examples for the emergence of a cluster, which has fueled and enhanced the competitiveness of the entire industry, from bottom-up initiatives. The case has been used as key teaching material in various programs, such as MBA or public policy. It highlights the industry, regional, and national development that is aligned with improvement of competitiveness.

The case was updated in 2013 with the more recent trends in the industry, not only in the Netherlands but also in the rest of the world. The updated version also points out the challenges that the Dutch cluster has been facing for future growth after its enormous achievement for over a hundred of years. New competitors worldwide are competing for favorable natural conditions as well as lower labor cost, among others. Thus, competitiveness of the Dutch industry has been challenged to advance at the new front.

FloraHolland is the only unified auction entity of the Dutch cluster, facilitating all kinds of trade, including selling Dutch products and importing foreign ones. FloraHolland is well aware of the growing competition from other parts of the world. To prepare its staff better with changes and challenges, FloraHolland stress the importance of further understanding the nature of the competition.

Managers and advisory board of FloraHolland had the counsel with the Netherlands Institute for Competitiveness (NIC) and determined to start the learning process with its own story. And Case B was planned. Based on the original Harvard business case, Case B has been customized to fit the internal training purpose at FloraHolland. It depicts not only the success story of a-century development, but also stresses the challenges and open opportunities to the industry.

The Case B is now in the testing phase for necessary adjustments before officially being used for training activities.