In an effort to make quality management within the fresh produce industry even easier and more portable, Muddy Boots have made their Greenlight Quality Control software available as an iPhone and iPad app. Here, Waitrose’s Quality Technologist, Trevor Patey describes the significant time savings this new platform compatibility has yielded.
Greenlight Quality Control
Greenlight Quality Control from Muddy Boots is fast becoming the industry standard for fresh produce quality management. It’s now widely used by around 70% of the UK’s fresh produce supply chain, as well as a growing global customer base.
The cloud-based software system enables users to deliver an accurate and consistent approach to quality control, driving waste and cost out of their business. It ensures that all aspects of quality are available in one centralised location for customers and their stakeholders to easily access, update and share information instantly. This gives complete visibility on the performance of sites, suppliers and products in real-time.
Greenlight Quality Control at Waitrose
As a Quality Technologist, Trevor Patey’s role at Waitrose involves checking the quality of a product in any location; this could be strawberries in a field, a suppliers dispatch area, a Waitrose distribution centre, or even in their stores. “My job is to ensure that the product we’re receiving meets the quality standards set out by Waitrose,” explains Trevor. “Because the location of my work is so variable, it’s essential we have a system that’s very mobile.”
“Two minutes saved per inspection”
From a training point of view, Trevor has found the new app much easier to get up and running with. “The interface just seems a lot simpler. Because everyone is used to using an Apple device in their day-to-day lives, the whole interface just feels more familiar. For example beforehand, we had the ability to take photographs, but in order to attach it to the inspection you had to take the image, then go into a separate file and find the image to then attach it to the inspection.
Now, as is the way with so many other camera integrated apps, it’s all done on one screen and the process is just a lot faster and more fluid.”
Trevor adds that one colleague has achieved a time saving of just over two minutes for each inspection recorded using the iPad, compared to the Windows tablet.
“Looking at the user’s current volume of checks completed for the last 6 months, (7470 on the Windows tablet) if this was translated over 12 months, we’d predict the saving would equate to around 71.14 days of time saved to complete data input.
“Given the ease of use and the substantial time the new IOS app is saving us, the whole team is really pleased with this significant development from Muddy Boots; it’s really transforming the way we operate.”
Muddy Boots’ Product Development Manager, Mark Powell, explains that the advantages of such substantial time savings in an environment like this are significant.
“Principally it allows for two things, either a higher volume of inspections taking place, or the redistribution of man power either to focus on other riskier items, or to other stages of the quality process. It essentially allows for a more efficient use of time and resource, which in any business is fundamental.”
Waitrose feel the mobile benefit
Trevor continues that the IOS app is a big step forward compared to the original handheld devices his team traditionally used. “The old devices were good, but the Windows based system always felt a little outdated. Practically speaking the touch screen is much better on an iPhone or iPad. Before we really had to rely on using a stylus, especially because all the fields on the Windows device were quite small – everything on the iPad app is much bigger, clearer and easier to access.
“Many of my colleagues also have the Greenlight Quality Control app loaded on to their iPhone. This is principally because we always have our phones in our pockets and if we’re ever in the warehouse and we see something that needs addressing, we can reach for our phones without having to go back to the office to retrieve our iPad or tablet – so there’s no delay in dealing with any issues.
“The Greenlight Quality Control app works identically on the iPhone and it’s just as easy to use. Having the iPhone functionality is a really useful addition because, being cloud based, we know that the inspection will sync across to our iPad too, so there’s no duplication and nothing is lost.”
Making a system truly configurable
Muddy Boots’ Mark Powell, concludes by saying that the availability of Greenlight Quality Control is not only a milestone for the product, but for Muddy Boots on a broader scale too.
“Making the company’s software compatible with multiple platforms is one of the final pieces of the jigsaw in terms of making our products truly configurable. Being able to choose whether to use iPhones, iPads or tablets is a decision that’s completely down to the customer and allows them to choose what best fits their need, we’re very pleased to hear the success that Waitrose and other customers have had with our new development.”