Bowerman Blueberries, a Michigan blueberry grower, began using PickTrace to track their operational efficiency during the harvest of 2016.
Before using PickTrace, Bowerman Blueberries was relying on manual data entry to track operational progress, which requires hours of time investment before generating updates.
“Our previous system required extra time, lots of data entry, and was therefore prone to error,” says Andrew Vantil, Bowerman’s Operations Manager. Vantil indicates that making next-day projections for shipping and packing was challenging without actual production measurements from that day.
To streamline these processes, the farm acquired PickTrace to track and organize their data.
Vantil regularly uses the system to compare daily, weekly, and seasonal progress, making more accurate projections for shipping and packing. He also appreciates the operational insights that compares pounds picked per crew, picker productivity, and yields from specific areas of the field.
“The real-time capability is very powerful,” says Vantil. Data is collected in the field via PickTrace’s mobile application. This information is instantly transferred to the web interface with analytics and reports that are continuously being updated. Using these tools, Vantil can see an overview of the farm at any time.
During last season’s harvest, Vantil recalls using PickTrace’s analytics to identify an operational inefficiency and avoid a great loss. The team began finding bins of bruised fruit and were unsure of the cause. Using PickTrace’s analytics, they were able to identify that some employees bins weighed significantly more than others. It turns out that several employees were overpacking bins to reduce their trips to the weigh station and increase their productivity. With real-time data, the team was equipped to identify employees whose bins weighed significantly more and work with them to resolve the problem.
Bowerman Blueberries is now using PickTrace for a second season.
Learn more about how PickTrace can streamline your operation.
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