In the US alone, more than a million truckloads of fresh produce are moved on an annual basis. Each of these truckloads is shipped, received, and possibly re-shipped multiple times from supplier to receiver’s warehouse to distributor and to retailer. “In any of these stages, the quality of the items has a chance of being impacted,” says Anton Alibekov with ZOFTO Solutions. “Therefore, produce is usually being inspected prior to departure as well as upon arrival at any facility. During the inspection, a quality report is being put together and in case of an issue, a report can be crucial in finding the origin of a problem.”
“Every day, many reports are being put together, but from what I have seen, there is not really a consistent format,” Alibekov said. “Even in large organizations, emails serve as a report while these are easy to get lost between other emails. Additionally, the pictures in the reports often aren’t categorized, meaning the inspector’s comments are not traceable to the different pictures in the report.”
Generating report in 5 minutes
ZOFTO Solutions has structured and simplified the process and developed a system that automatically generates a report. “Our reports are structured, can be quickly generated, looked up on our online platform, and can be easily shared with anyone who needs access. With this application, a report can be put together in 5 minutes instead of 30,” added Alibekov.
The platform’s capabilities include automatically calculating percentages of defects, off-sized products or other deviations. The application also uploads the pictures automatically and offers the user to comment on any of the items being inspected. These pictures are categorized by samples and types of deviation.
After generating a report, products can be approved or rejected with one click and the report can be shared through email, text message, WhatsApp, or any other messaging system installed on the device.
Possible types of defects for 150 fresh produce items
The software provides a solution for small, medium, and large businesses and can be used on a cellphone, tablet, as well as accessed through an online portal. Although ZOFTO has been designed to be used globally and for any type of product, right now the app provides access to over 150 fruit and vegetable varieties under USDA standards. For each of these 150 produce items, the application includes the possible types of defects the product could have. “It even includes a description of each of these individual types of defects, making anyone an instant produce specialist. An additional benefit is that our application can be customized, depending on the client’s inspection requirements. We have the ability to generate standard report structures including field, packing plant, quality of the product, vehicle/machinery, phytosanitary inspections or any other type our customer might request,” finished Alibekov.