Often the best ideas come from the group of people who work on the factory floor. In this case of Argus Apps, it was the safety auditors, production and plant level managers who wanted a more efficient way to get timely information directly to the people who could make the necessary changes.
“Argus Apps was started by a group of everyday management and floor people that pulled together to find the answers for the increasing audit standards in the food production sector, “ explained Larry Bean, manager at Argus Apps.
Using mobile applications to enhance the documentation process not only reduces paperwork allowing companies to meet their goals of being paperless and thus being green, it also allows more time to increase quality and productivity, explains Bean.
It seems this application filled a hole as a Fortune 500 food processing has brought the app into its factory.
The food industry in particular has undergone a lot of change due to the rise in recalls. These recalls have led to increased standards which in turn require increased documentation. Under the FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) manufacturers must prove that the required monitoring and verification activities are being followed. And more is being asked of the operators by regulators and key accounts.
In addition to ISO, and OSHA requirements the food industry has a SQF (The Safety Quality Foods Program) certification. All of these need audits.
“What companies need is real-time information,” says Bean. “Too often we found that there was an issue of timing since many people are still doing paper audits and then keying the information into a system which was very slow moving. It could take three to four hours until someone was alerted about a problem. Using the app a photo of the problem can be sent along with a summary sheet right from the mobile device and sent to the proper person.”
Another issue particular to the food industry is the demand for traceability. “A lot of people have a hard time tracing raw materials through the production process,” says Bean. An app is one of the solutions that can help with traceability.
The app can also be used for inspections such as truck and personal safety as well as work order solutions.
The use of apps to perform a variety of functions appeals not only to the food industry but other manufacturing sectors as well. Two other Fortune 500 companies – an auto parts manufacturer and a construction company – have signed on with Argus Apps, which has only been in business since April of 2012.