Culverdocs helps an award-winning food preparation business to save thousands of pounds by switching to electronic forms.
- Machine start-up checks
- Maintenance requests
- Hygiene checks
- HR & Training forms
- Integration with Power BI dashboards & reports
PrepWorld supplies the UK’s leading supermarkets and grocery stores with the very highest quality fresh fruit. Operations span from fruit sourcing to production and packaging at its headquarters near Gravesend in Kent. It leads the market in seasonal interest fruit, delivering convenient, fresh fruit packs to market, including difficult to procure and process fruits, such as berries, pomegranates, coconut, mango and banana.
Fruit is prepared and packaged on specialist machines and, before starting a shift, workers must follow pre-start checks to ensure each machine is in perfect working order. Paper-based checks created more than 120 paper forms every day and required storage for at least a year for auditing purposes which fuelled the need for a paperless approach.
‘We were generating a filing box of paper every day,’ recalls Chris Kay, IT Manager at PrepWorld. ‘If auditors wanted to make checks, we’d have to find that day’s box in the warehouse and, because any issues were written on a piece of paper, it was hard to work back from. The processes we had in place weren’t properly followed – there was a lot of confusion and a lot of emails.’
Chris knew there must be an easier way and, in December 2020, began looking for a solution that would enable the digitalisation of this paper-based process. He looked at seven different software companies, including Culverdocs.
‘Going through our requirements with Culverdocs, it was a match made in heaven. Everything we wanted, they could do,’ says Chris. ‘We could make it mandatory to take photos, we could use Microsoft Flows and we could push information back out into our Power BI dashboards.’
Everything we wanted, they could do. We could make it mandatory to take photos, we could use Microsoft Flows and we could push information back out into our Power BI dashboards.
Having chosen to work with Culverdocs to digitalise the start-up forms, Chris explains that Culverdocs built the initial forms to replace the paper processes for start-up checks and trained key users at PrepWorld to enable them to build and manage new forms in-house.
‘It was incredibly quick,’ reports Chris. ‘And it has been a really good exercise in reducing complexity and bureaucracy. We used to have 120 different start-up forms. We had to really look at each of them to build a digital version and, in doing so, we got rid of 90 of them. Now we have just 36 versions of the form.’
Reducing paper use and storage was only the first benefit of going paperless, PrepWorld found efficiency through supporting data entry with interactive forms. When the relevant form is selected on the app, users are guided through the start-up check and prompted to take photos based on responses. This has a considerable improvement on the quality of recorded information and unlocks new possibilities of automation between the teams.
Previously, if faults were found, users would need to send an email to the engineers. This meant the engineers found it difficult to prioritise jobs and there was no overview of work – requests were stored in individual mailboxes without visibility to management or the wider organisation.
Culverdocs now communicates all new issues to everyone who needs to know. Automated workflows record any issues with detailed information so the work can be completed by an engineer quickly. This saves a huge amount of time because the attached photos ensure the engineer understands the job before attending it. Once the job has been logged as completed by the engineer, Culverdocs notifies the Hygiene and the Health & Safety teams so that the machine can be cleaned, checked and put back into operation as quickly as possible. Now, nothing can be missed and the system ensures the necessary procedures and tasks are completed in the prescribed order by each team.
‘Everything is saved and timestamped and engineers can respond much more quickly,’ says Chris. ‘And all of a sudden we have data on which machines have broken down. We can pull out KPIs and spot patterns. And we have integrated it with Power BI so we can make the information work for us on our dashboards.’
All of a sudden we have data on which machines have broken down. We can pull out KPIs and spot patterns.
With print costs accumulating to over £40k per year, PrepWorld have seen an exceptional return on investment worth tens of thousands of pounds. ‘Being a sustainable company is very important to us,’ says Chris, ‘and we’ve been able to greatly reduce the inks, paper and plastic toner bottles that we use.’
Committed to further reducing costs, Chris monitors each teams printing needs to identify the next department to transition. ‘We can now go to people who are printing a lot and ask them why they are using so much paper. We can work with them to look for opportunities to digitalise,’ Chris explains, ‘and then we can show them how to create a solution in Culverdocs.’
Based on this success, Chris proposed further digitalisation of paper processes, beginning with HR. It was an obvious next step because it affected the IT team directly: they needed visibility of new starters to order the correct equipment and to set up logins and passwords. Furthermore, many HR processes were associated with heavy printing costs.
‘If HR needed our workers to complete a form, this would result in a huge uptick in printing,’ explains Chris. ‘Eight hundred people would print off the form, fill it in and then hand it back to HR. By moving HR forms onto Culverdocs, we’ve saved all of those pages.’
‘What we’ve put in works really well,’ states Chris. ‘The production managers like it because they can now see a list of outstanding jobs, instead of sending emails to several different people and getting nothing back. The engineers like it because they can now work off a centralised list.’
The production managers like it because they can now see a list of outstanding jobs, instead of sending emails to several different people and getting nothing back.
‘The time we will save during the audit process is going to be huge for us,’ adds Chris. ‘We’re now going to be able to give the auditors the information they ask for at the touch of a button. And I think the insights around maintenance and training planning will be equally important.’ With plans to use Culverdocs to digitalise processes further, Chris is confident that PrepWorld made the right choice of technology partner.
‘Culverdocs is agile and responsive to our requests. They took the time to find out how our company worked and what we wanted to the point that I could let them go to meetings and know they would ask the right questions. There’s absolutely a lot of trust there,’ says Chris. ‘And we’ve got a very simple and elegant solution.’
Reduction in Forms