Nieuws - 18 mei 2010

Plant Sciences should pay more attention to customer

Making sure that we know the needs of the customer will bring in more returns. This is the message which employees at the Plant Sciences Group (PSG) brought forward to the Executive Board. Report of a dialogue session concerning the strategic plan 2011-2014.

'Nothing is concrete yet', says chairman Aalt Dijkhuizen.
The major issue during the session yesterday afternoon at the PSG was: how will DLO deal with diminishing government involvement? Everyone looks to valorization, even in fundamental research, said Prof. Marcel Dicke promptly.  This being so, there was no question at all that DLO has to acquire more money from the market. The question was: how?

No East Europe
Stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit, suggested phytopathologist Harold Meijer. Intellectual property would have to be made available freely, although this is not the case here. People could have left for the private sector because they were hindered by patents here.
Consider too the type of market we want to get into, said Sjaak Bakker, manager of the business unit Greenhouse Horticulture. In East Europe, he had been unsuccessful three or four times sometimes during a marketing venture. He feels that Asia - especially Saudi Arabia - would offer more promise. The countries there need what we can offer: knowledge, hardworking people and consultancy.

We have to think from the customer's point of view. This call was repeated in various ways. A DLO-researcher remarked that many companies still think that Wageningers prefer to do only fundamental scientific research. To remove this apprehension, a long-term relationship and trust have to be built up. The conclusion therefore seems to be that: PSG does not pay enough attention to the customer.

During this week and the next, the Executive Board will make the rounds of the organization with its strategic plans for 2011-2014. Resource will be reporting on each session.