Many quality controllers use tablets these days. There are various software suites available that can be used to draft an inspection report. Still, HDG the fruit consultants believe they can make a unique addition to existing software with the QC4U.
Otto de Groot: “While most inspection reports are based on a pre-planned selection of a number of pallets per container, we take a sample per batch. That could mean, for instance, that we carry out 25 inspections per container.” HDG sees a packing list not as one whole, but as a sum of batches. Different sizes, packaging, growers, products are inspected separately. “That makes the process more laborious, but a trader doesn’t sell pallets, but batches,” Otto continues.
Because of the more intensive approach, more reports are generated as well, and a lot of data collected. To give traders immediate insight into the inspector’s final judgement, HDG uses a traffic light system. Each report gets a colour according to the judgement. Green: the batch is okay. Orange: additional action is required. Red: there’s something wrong with the batch. “Traders don’t always have the time to read the entire report. That’s why we came up with these colours. Of course the details are in the report, and are interesting for the supplier and his growers.”
Judgement and conclusion
“Contrary to other inspectors, we provide a judgement, but we also draw conclusions from it. For instance, we give the client information on how products can be stored best, how long the products can be kept and what measures need to be taken to improve sales.”
The software works both online and offline. “It’s a cloud based system, but works fully offline as well. The report is then uploaded as soon as there’s an internet connection.” The most extreme example of offline use is an inspector of a multinational who receives small volumes. “They fill in the report on paper and send it to the office of the company where QC4U is used, where the report is generated.” QC4U communicates with all modern ERP and warehouse systems, so that sellers have immediate access to reports.
Quality improvement through analysis
In addition to data, the system can also store labelled photos. Of every defect in the products, photos are taken that can be included with labels in HDG’s enormous database. At the end of the season, the photos can be combined per grower, so they get an overview of the development of their products’ quality. “They can then look back on the season carefully, and determine what measures can be taken to prevent defects in the future.”
Otto de Groot