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Streamlining the relationship between produce suppliers and shippers

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HeavyConnect Team

Produce shippers have a lot to juggle in order to meet regulatory requirements and buyer standards. They need to document extensive FSMA, GMP, and HACCP practices as well as local, organic, and buyer standards. In order to do this, they need access to up-to-date reporting from their various suppliers.

Growers need to keep track of their own reporting, as well as any checklists and paperwork their shipper requires. Some work with multiple shippers and need to manage different processes for each.

Exchanging this information through email, in-person visits, and traditional mail is not ideal. It can drain time and money for both parties, and in some cases could lead to out-of-date reporting, a drawn-out audit process, and costly errors.

There is an opportunity for both suppliers and shippers to benefit from a digital documentation solution. We’ve written before about how organizations save money and time by adopting digital compliance solutions. Here, we address what suppliers and growers gain from sharing real-time data through a digital compliance platform.

Large shippers get insight into their growers’ operations and can distribute information quickly

By going paperless, large shippers can gather insights across their supplier network by viewing checklists and reports from all their growers in one place. Instead of traveling to visit different sites and managing physical binders and email inboxes full of reports, they can log in to a single platform to access everything.

Shippers can share food safety plans, SOPs, and logs with all their growers. When a document needs to be updated, they can push it to all sites, ensuring everyone is on the same page. Safety information can also be disseminated right away. For example, when new regulations are announced, shippers can share new checklists with all their growers so everyone can start documenting their compliance with the new rules.

Growers reduce compliance risk and streamline their operation

By adopting a digital compliance platform, suppliers save time and money too. Foremen can use a mobile app to fill out digital checklists in the field. Growers can set up automatic notifications to be sent out when corrective actions need to be taken. Later, the grower can access those reports whenever they need them. When it’s time to prepare for an audit, documents are already organized securely in one location.

Instead of sending or emailing documents to the shippers they work with, they can share reports digitally. Growers get even more out of digital solutions that also help with workforce compliance by providing digital time cards and a way to document worker training.

Shippers and growers need a digital solution that helps them share documents, but also values their privacy

It’s important for growers to control what is and is not shared, especially in cases where one grower is working with multiple shipping partners. In turn, shippers don’t want their suppliers to have access to each other’s data.

HeavyConnect’s documentation platform, Inspector, lets large shippers who manage dozens of growing operations keep all their documentation in one place. Through an Account Linking feature, suppliers can be given separate, individual accounts to track their own information.

The shipper uses a “parent account” that allows the food safety and grower management teams to dissect data and drill down into each operation to see emerging patterns. The information can be viewed in a variety of ways without giving their growers, or “child accounts,” any visibility into each other’s operations. When conducting internal audits, documents can be reviewed remotely before a site visit even occurs.

Parent accounts can share folders, documents, and checklists with any of their child accounts. They have control over which items are shared with which accounts. While simple to operate, this allows them to treat each grower individually.

A parent account selects a folder and chooses which child accounts to share it with.

As “child accounts,” growers using HeavyConnect have the ability to share what they need to with the “parent account” while keeping their own reporting private. This allows operations who grow for multiple shippers to have control over who sees what, while still keeping proprietary information to themselves.

Data can be shared instantaneously through the cloud, so everyone has access to what they need when they need it and expired documents can be replaced in real-time, keeping everyone in-the-know.

Streamlined communication and access to real-time data benefits growers and shippers

With improved communication, it’s easier for growing operations to stay compliant and for shippers to scale while keeping their records organized. By adopting a digital compliance solution, both sides benefit individually and their partnership improves as well.

If you are a grower interested in digital compliance documentation or an enterprise looking to manage records for multiple operations, contact us for a free demo to learn more about our Inspector product and our account linking options.


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