Interflora: “For us, it has always been crucial to have a partner who truly understands our needs.”

Interflora is the world’s largest and oldest flower organisation. They deliver approximately 32 million flower greetings annually to customers in 140 countries.

In Norway, Interflora consists of around 360 professional florists, all owned and operated by the vendors themselves. The Interflora Norway headquarters has 16 employees and is located in Billingstad, Asker.

We had a chat with Ann Mari Korneliussen, the Chief Financial Officer at Interflora. Here’s what she had to say about their operations and the collaboration with ECIT:

“What makes Interflora unique is that we operate as a cooperative, where each individual store is independently run by local business owners. We do not directly involve ourselves in the day-to-day operations of the individual stores. Our main task is to manage and operate the online store,

In our online store, we process approximately 600,000 orders annually, resulting in a turnover of two to three hundred million NOK per year. To handle this process efficiently, we rely on solid routines and systems. This includes coordinating orders from the online store to the stores that will produce and deliver the products, creating invoicing bases for the stores, and monthly reconciliation between the headquarters and the stores.”

Customised solutions

“Interflora has collaborated with ECIT for many years. For us, it has always been crucial to have a partner who truly understands our needs. We are not just seeking a standard delivery; rather, we require a tailored solution that fits our unique operations. And this is exactly what we feel ECIT delivers.

It all began with our need for an upgraded financial system that could be integrated with our online store. As more and more customers started paying for their orders using cards (today, I estimate that approximately 380,000 orders annually are processed through card payments or the app Vipps), it became essential to match and reconcile these transactions. ECIT collaborates with card companies to obtain transaction files. These files are then imported into our financial system, allowing us to match transactions against the stores that should receive the payments. The reconciliation with the stores is done on a monthly basis. Within the system, the stores also have the capability to generate reports necessary for their accounting. We have optimised our collaboration with suppliers, facilitating seamless communication between systems, which has led to highly efficient processes.”

ECIT’s CRM system Easit

“Additionally, we use ECIT’s CRM system called Easit to store information about our stores and members. This system is crucial for efficient management of our members, including handling enrolments, withdrawals, address changes, and account numbers, among other things. In this system, we also have the ability to add extra information, such as whether a store is certified as environmentally friendly (marked with the “Miljøfyrtårn” label). This can be crucial in situations where public tenders require suppliers to be environmentally certified.

We have also received assistance from ECIT with a system for sample orders, where we regularly test the quality of our deliveries. This system helps us analyse the results from sample orders while being integrated with handling customer complaints.

In Interflora, we have a requirement that our members must be floral designers. This ensures that our products meet high quality standards and align with what you see on our online store. With this structure, we can effectively handle feedback and provide closer support to our stores.”

New services

“Over the years, ECIT has evolved to offer new solutions and services. In many ways, we have grown together with ECIT.

Today, we receive services and deliveries from ECIT in the following areas:

  1. Customer Service
  2. Financial Functions
  3. Membership Administration
  4. Integrations that ensure smooth flow to our online store
  5. Efficient solutions with third parties for settlement of sales agreements

Recently, ECIT has also taken over responsibility for our payroll processing. Our former colleague, who oversaw payroll, recently retired. Payroll processing requires continuous updates on current laws and regulations. Relying on a single person for this process within an organisation can be risky. Therefore, it felt natural for us to utilise ECIT for payroll processing as well. ECIT has extensive expertise and operates within the systems we use, making it a secure and excellent solution for us. We feel very well taken care of.”

Benefits of having an External Partner

“First and foremost, I want to highlight our contact persons at ECIT. They have been reliable and skilled partners from day one. When I started in my position, no one had held it previously, so it was our key personnel at ECIT who provided me with the necessary training in the systems. Having such competent and dependable individuals around me has been of great value, and I now engage in many fruitful conversations with them. These are people who deeply understand our business, and I don’t need to explain details because they already have in-depth knowledge of our operations. Whenever we need assistance, they are always available and willing to help.

We also have regular meetings, ensuring good communication and mutual understanding.

We are not quite like other companies, and there are many factors to consider. What makes our online store unique is that it involves so many parties: the customer, a third party operating the online store, the recipient of the flowers, us in the middle, and the physical stores. Everything must interact seamlessly. ECIT has systems that adapt to our specific needs.

We feel fortunate to have a partner who understands our complex business, collaborates effectively with our other suppliers and systems, and is consistently reliable.“