BCSS seed distribution

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ragamala
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BCSS seed distribution

Post by ragamala » Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:14 pm

THE POSTS BELOW WERE SPLIT OUT FROM THE 'FOGGY DEW' THREAD
Cactus Kid wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:58 pm
I luckily received my Cactus world along with the fist batch of people and posted my seed order the next morning but still didn't get all of my first choices. I think the process is carried out as fairly as it can be.
But it isn't fair, is it Kid? Overseas members are and have always been seriously disadvantaged. They have no chance of getting the premium offers.

Mikedom said he got CW first day, and likewise posted my order the same day. I received CW the next day, but my processing number was 108. I received all I ordered. My processing number was 108.

It's a lottery. How fair is that?

The system is an outdated disgrace, which unfairly penalises particularly overseas members. This year the postal problems have brought this also to the attention of UK members. All we have had, despite reiteration of the problems experienced, is excuses on the forum from those here who have as moderators or indeed president of the Society pointed elsewhere for blame.

MSG does better. Why can't the BCSS grow up?

I believe the BCSS offers unbeaten value for membership, through the CW, even without any extra benefits. But we really have to challenge the pussyfooting about the unfairness of the seed distribution.
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Pattock
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Re: Conophytum 'Foggy Dew'

Post by Pattock » Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:05 pm

We know there were more than 281 orders. Give them 5 minutes per order, assuming those who process the orders are superbly dextrous and rapid calculators and don't take tea or meal breaks. That is more than 23 hours of constant, rapid work. Certainly much more than that, in reality. I hope they have a franking machine. Whoever took on that responsibility should be thanked and given a round of applause for doing it in any way at all.

I agree that a fairer system could be implemented, theoretically. The calculation of who gets what would add to the time needed to do the processing and would require a time limit for the arrival of orders to be set. The use of email to send out the list and receive the orders should make that part fairer for everyone and more rapid.

I would not want to take on the commitment and responsibility needed as I am unreliable and irresponsible, sometimes. I never take holidays from work at Christmas except for those three mandatory days. Whoever would take on that huge commitment would have to test their new procedures, preferably on a small interim order, say in October, so that the main seed list was not the test ground. They would also need a solid grounding in modern admin and spreadsheets.

If this was all implemented by some kind, efficient and stable person, we could also institute the Golden Seed option. Every person gets one species to nominate on their order as their "I will be devastated if I don't get this one as I have been waiting since it was discovered in 1873 and it reminds me of my dearly departed granny AND it has purple flowers." Not a guarantee that they will receive it, but weights the odds very much in their favour for that one species.
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Tony R
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Re: Conophytum 'Foggy Dew'

Post by Tony R » Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:34 pm

Pattock wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:05 pm
We know there were more than 281 orders.
My order was No. 532 and I received 7 of the 13 ordered. 6 were out of stock and I received 5 substituters.
All the volunteers involved in purchase, packing and distributing the seeds do a fantastic job, thanks (tu)
but the system is certainly ripe for improvement, as many of us have said before ....
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Re: Conophytum 'Foggy Dew'

Post by Roatavator » Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:31 pm

As new Seed Distributor for MSG, I really feel obliged to point out that there is bound to be an element of at least perceived unfairness in almost any system for distribution.
Orders limited to those by post only are obviously dependent upon the efficiency of the postal system and the location of the recipient.
But even with an email system, even if every person who has requested an electronic copy receives it at the same time, some will be asleep, others at work etc. I’m planning to time the MSG electronic release to coincide with the Bulletin arriving on doormats, so that those who still wish to order by post see the list at the same sort of time as the email members. But then if they want to order by post they’ll be behind those using email getting the orders back to me. Etc etc.
I suppose we could have a strict deadline for orders to be returned and only start dealing with them on a random basis after the deadline. But then orders wouldn’t be processed for at least two months after the seed list release, causing some recipients to miss their sowing window for that year.
And overseas orders are now much complicated by the requirement to obtain a Phytosanitary Certificate to accompany them.
The basic problem seems to me to be, for a number of reasons, including lockdown, membership increases, regulations restricting the import/export of plants etc, that supply of seed is far outstripped by demand.
And for what it’s worth I think the BCSS team have done a fantastic job turning round so many orders in such a short space of time. I know I’ll not be as quick!
Peter. Lapsed cactus enthusiast, now into Conophytums. Fewer plasters when repotting! MSG member.
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Pattock
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Re: Conophytum 'Foggy Dew'

Post by Pattock » Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:02 pm

Tony R wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:34 pm

All the volunteers involved in purchase, packing and distributing the seeds do a fantastic job, thanks (tu)
I have to agree with that. It must add up to months of full time, unpaid work for several people. :cac2: :notwo: >:D<:gl:
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ragamala
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Re: Conophytum 'Foggy Dew'

Post by ragamala » Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:16 pm

Tony R wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:34 pm
the system is certainly ripe for improvement, as many of us have said before ....
Exactly, Tony. But nothing ever happens. I keep asking just who is responsible for this inertia.
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Re: Conophytum 'Foggy Dew'

Post by ragamala » Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:20 pm

MatDz wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:04 pm
The seed distribution issues were discussed extensively already,
Yes, and never resolved! Which is why we must keep on pushing and pushing in this forum for some change.
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Pattock
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Re: Conophytum 'Foggy Dew'

Post by Pattock » Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:45 pm

ragamala wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:20 pm

Yes, and never resolved! Which is why we must keep on pushing and pushing in this forum for some change.
The resolution you seek would come from a team of reliable, dedicated, unemployed, botanical Latin-reading, Excel-competent admin professionals willing to give up most of December and some of January to work full-time, unpaid on this project every year. I don't do Christmas. I am not volunteering as I am employed and unreliable, otherwise perfect for the job.

What are you doing next December?
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MatDz
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Re: Conophytum 'Foggy Dew'

Post by MatDz » Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:54 pm

Pattock wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:45 pm
ragamala wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:20 pm

Yes, and never resolved! Which is why we must keep on pushing and pushing in this forum for some change.
The resolution you seek would come from a team of reliable, dedicated, unemployed, botanical Latin-reading, Excel-competent admin professionals willing to give up most of December and some of January to work full-time, unpaid on this project every year. I don't do Christmas. I am not volunteering as I am employed and unreliable, otherwise perfect for the job.

What are you doing next December?
Ehh, and I wished this thread could remain "politics" free... It's 21st century, elbow grease is no longer the only answer to all the problems of the world. Especially, as the distribution (chapeau bas to everyone involved!) is absolutely not a problem, seed allocation is. There are some tried and tested approaches like randomisation of orders, but this particular one is also not ideal - while less relying on list distribution and orders collection procedures (e.g. by post), all depends on luck.

As my profession partially involves optimisation of processes, I have some ideas, but they seem to be a tad too much for a weekend project, not to mention an access to this year's orders would be needed for testing purposes :ugeek:
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Re: Conophytum 'Foggy Dew'

Post by HaoBao » Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:34 pm

I didn't mean to cause the same old argument about the seeds. I just wondered if I was late sending mine. They are 30p each which is an absolute bargain and I just consider it a Christmas lottery so there's no problem. It's different if the people doing the work hate it or wish it would change, only then should it change, it's really their choice how they do it.

If people want the seeds that much then eBay sells them.

I setup a page on Reddit for the MSG and let them know that they could use it however they wanted and I got a terrible reply by email. It's a shame because I'd have liked to join it but I can't now out of principle. At least the BCSS isn't rude.
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All my plants are kept indoors and I started collecting in August 2018. Favourites are Pachyphytum, Echeveria, Haworthia, Mesembs and oddball Cacti.
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