S&A Produce, one of Europes largest strawberry producers, has invested in an advanced mobile communications system to monitor and manage its strawberry production. The company is using an innovative new application called Pick-it from Insight IT alongside B2M Solutions mprodigy, enterprise mobile management suite.
With these advanced systems, the company now has full traceability on each and every punnet as it moves from the field, through processing until it reaches a retailers shelf. S&A grows in excess of 8000 tonnes of first class fruit each year.
This comprehensive real-time management information enables S&A to make better-informed decisions and improve its responsiveness to the needs of its customers.
With the Pick-it application and mprodigy, our senior management team now has live data from the fields. They can measure the performance of the pickers, the yields from each field and they can track every punnet of fruit, confirms Andr Simon, IT Director at S&A Produce.
All teams of S&A strawberry pickers are now equipped with one of 90 ruggedised handheld devices managed by mprodigy and running the Pick-it application. As students weigh their pickings at a portable weighing station, the mobile device records the weight and is used to scan the barcode on the pickers identification tag together with the trays unique barcode. This information is sent automatically from the device to S&As data centre in Hereford using mprodigys GPRS capability.
Graham Neal, Managing Director of S&A Produce adds, This level of information has enabled us to improve the management of our business. And since the handheld devices are very simple to operate and are fully managed by mprodigy, it is very difficult for anyone to misuse or abuse the system.
Most importantly, weve had very few failures and the devices have required the minimum of support, so we dont have to send a member of the IT team to fix a device, continues Graham. This means our pickers are always fully equipped with the right equipment in the fields. With B2Ms mprodigy, I really feel that we are now in full control of our IT system we can control remotely the mobile devices and ensure they are working at optimum levels.
B2Ms mprodigy was used initially to commission the devices this includes deployment of the Pick-it application and set up of the appropriate configuration data. Once operational mprodigy allows the devices to be remotely managed and kept up to date. If problems occur, the mobile devices can be rebooted remotely from S&As IT operation centre.
On a day-to-day basis, mprodigy monitors and manages the performance of S&As handsets and the Pick-it application. It ensures S&A keeps the mobile devices up to date with latest software upgrades; it monitors battery performance and keeps devices working at their optimum levels. At the end of the working day, all devices are returned to their docking stations in the office where the following days jobs are automatically updated and any significant software updates can be uploaded without manual intervention.