Waitrose: Quality Control app saves 2 minutes per inspection

By Staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: Muddy Boots.
Picture: Muddy Boots.

Related tags: App store

Waitrose has claimed using an Apple iPad and iPhone version of a quality control app enables a time saving of two minutes for each inspection recorded, compared to the Windows tablet.

The British supermarket chain said the quality management software from Muddy Boots, called Greenlight Quality Control, enables more control on the move.

Quality checks on the move

Trevor Patey, Waitrose’s quality technologist, said because the location of his work is so variable, it’s essential to have a system that’s mobile.

Patey’s role 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 in stores.

He said one colleague has achieved a time saving of just over two minutes for each inspection recorded using the iPad, compared to the Windows tablet.

We spoke to Mark Powell, Muddy Boots’ product development manager, earlier this year​ about the system and plans for 2016.

“Looking at the user’s current volume of checks completed for the last six 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.”

He said the IOS app is a ‘step forward’ compared to the 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“The old devices were good, but the Windows based system always felt a little outdated.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.”

No delay in dealing with issues

Patey said his colleagues also have the Greenlight Quality Control app on 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,” ​he said.

muddy boots 1
Picture: Muddy Boots

“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.”

Greenlight Quality Control is for fresh produce quality management and the firm said it is used by around 70% of the UK’s fresh produce supply chain.

It gives visibility on the performance of sites, suppliers and products in real-time.

Patey said because everyone is used to using an Apple device in their day-to-day lives, the interface 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,” ​he said.

“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.”

Mark Powell, Muddy Boots’ product development manager, said time savings in such an environment permit more inspections and more targeted use of resources.

“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.”

Related topics: Food Safety

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