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In last week’s post I briefly alluded to a new app for food and beverage manufacturers to track cleaning and sanitation to satisfy Food Safety and Modernization requirements – this week we need to get into a bit more detail. We‘re looking for 10 companies to Alpha test the app prior to general release in exchange for free software and implementation services…more on that later. 

Some years ago, the quality department an international food manufacturing concern recognized that they had documentation and records of every transaction on the factory floor – except their automated clean-in-place washouts.  Sure, there was a schedule of when the cleanouts were supposed to occur and crews monitored when the cleaning process was ending before restarting the production lines – but there were no records of it actually happening.

So my client, a Southern California software development firm that specialized in manufacturing intelligence (think BI for the shop floor) was brought in to create the monitoring system. And as the development progressed, it was determined to expand the scope to include manual cleanouts and replace paper clean sheets with electronic records.  There were several advantages to the automation, training, record retrieval, alerts for missed steps and so on, but the main benefit was satisfying one of the last remaining requirements for the Food Safety and Modernization Act.

Flash forward to today – in a world of mobility, they’ve reworked the same FDA validated technology in the form of a downloadable App – quick to install, easy to use and cleaning crews and inspectors can enter data in a tablet, smartphone or any device.

The app is planned for release in late summer 2013 – but before it’s generally rolled out – they need some feedback from the field, or feedback from the factory as it were.

We’re signing up 10 companies to provide factory testing – seeking food and beverage companies from a variety of production methods. The deal is, you can sign up to test the App, they’ll provide all the installation and implementation work to replicate your clean sheets and workflows, they’ll even train and consult – all at no charge to our Alpha partners.  Initial estimates project it’ll take less than 20 hours over 6-8 weeks to undergo all the training, approve the configuration meets existing SSOP’s, actually use the software and meet with the development team to provide feedback.

Should the software meet your standards, it’s yours to use for the next year at no cost. (Beyond that it’s relatively inexpensive – it’s a simple solution designed to solve a simple problem and while it won’t provide everything you need for FDA inspections, it does cover the cleaning/sanitation part of your operation).

Best of all, you get some input into how the final product will work – so every time you’ve complained about some overly complex software and thought ‘what were they thinking’ – now you’ll be able to do that thinking and make the product better for your specific requirements, and hopefully everyone else.

To learn more about becoming an Alpha Partner, contact Gene@GeneHammons.com. Again, there’s only the bandwidth at this point to install 10 free customers at this stage, so if you’re not ready to take on the project immediately, they’ll be glad to put you on the list for general release and any Beta testing opportunities.

You can contact Gene via GH@GeneHammons.com.

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