Operational management in pot plant production

K.J. Leutscher

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


Operational management in pot plant production was investigated by means of system analysis and simulation. A theoretical framework for operational decision-making consisted of elaboration decisions, progress decisions, and adoption decisions. This framework was incorporated in a pot plant nursery model, which simulated the implementation of a given tactical production plan under uncertainty. In this model, crop growth as well as price formation (of the foliage plant Schefflera arboricola 'Compacta') were affected by randomly simulated exogenous conditions, which resulted in plant sizes and plant prices deviating from planning premises. Operational decision-making related to the adaptation of cultivation-schedules (and delivery patterns) in order to restore compatibility between plan and reality.

Regression metamodelling was applied to analyze simulations results with respect to differences in annual net farm income due to operational decision-making, tactical planning, price variability, and the grower's attitude to operational price risk. All differences could be explained by individual decision events triggered by the strategy of operational management applied in the particular simulation.

In conclusion, the applied methodology was successful in exploring the opportunities for operational management in pot plant production based on a rather normative approach and integrating theory from various scientific disciplines. Furthermore, simulation experimentation showed significant impact of operational management on the nursery's performance. Hence, the present study indicates several opportunities for beneficial support of operational management on pot plant nurseries.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Challa, H., Promotor
  • Renkema, J.A., Promotor
Award date31 Oct 1995
Place of PublicationWageningen
Print ISBNs9789054854470
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • pot plants
  • monitoring
  • production
  • planning
  • farm management
  • farm planning
  • computer simulation
  • simulation
  • simulation models
  • schefflera arboricola
  • indoor culture


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