MidIsle Farms was looking for a solution to a problem they’ve been dealing with for a while. They needed a more efficient process for labeling their pallets of potatoes and entering the information into an inventory system. They were printing pages of labels from Microsoft Word each morning, applying them to pallets of product as they were built, writing the label number on a piece of paper, and that information was later entered into a spreadsheet for inventory purposes. There were too many opportunities for errors using this process, not to mention a lot of unnecessary work and waste.
They called me to help them find something commercially available to do the job. After searching around on the internet, making several telephone calls, reading lots of advertisement, and installing several demo programs, it became evident that a commercial solution would not do exactly what they wanted and would not fit into their budget. So we decided to build a custom application that would meet their needs and cost them less than half of what a commercial application would cost.
Now, it has been a few years since I’ve done any application development. However, it was almost like riding a bike. I knew what I was doing, but I did have to access the help files quite a few times to refresh my memory. It was a relatively basic application so it was done in fairly short order.
They are now using the program in conjunction with a high capacity label printer – a Citizen S700 – to create labels as pallets are assembled. The database records several pieces of information including pallet number and product type. Administrative staff can then retrieve daily production information as required without any requirement for unnecessary data entry.
It was a fun project and I look forward to working with them over time to enhance the application even more.