Diane Wetherington, CEO
Addressing food safety risks and improving produce operations requires today’s food companies to collect and manage tremendous volumes of data. “With the proliferation of data food companies need, they now can benefit from easy-to-use technology-enabled solutions for the collection and operationalization of important food safety and quality control data,” says the CEO of iFoodDecisionSciences, Diane Wetherington. iFoodDecisionSciences, a Seattle, WA software solutions firm, offers cloud-based products that enable the produce industry to maintain an accessible electronic database and underlying analytics for regulatory compliance and process improvements. Simply put, binder and file boxes full of paper records are replaced with an electronic database that makes data manageable and meaningful.
iFoodDecisionSciences has been managing confidential customer data for some years and indeed has the industry reputation of being a “trusted data steward.” The firm’s data stewardship program ensures the clients’ confidential information remains their confidential information. Combined with advanced data analytics it now has the potential to streamline supply chain management for each individual business.
iFoodDecisionSciences applications are delivered through tailored websites or “Toolboxes”, that simplify the burdensome task of documenting and managing food safety data required of today’s fresh produce companies. The “Toolbox” is scalable and companies can seamlessly access their own and required supplier data, real time, irrespective of whether the participants are sitting at a desk, in a field or on their phones.
“With our Toolbox applications, employees spend fewer hours reviewing food safety reports for compliance and more time analyzing the results and trends, thereby enhancing product quality and the ability to manage food safety risks at the operational level,” says Diane. “Our portal is a base upon which companies have the flexibility of adding other third-party applications to their website to meet business requirements.”
The Toolbox facility applications allow a company to configure their unique food safety procedures as well as to create product quality metrics. iFoodDecisionSciences facilitates company-specific feature tailoring and supports multiple user types, enabling only authorized users to enter and access data via a secure, password-protected “Toolbox” on the specified user’s desktop or mobile device.
With the iFood “Toolboxes”, customers experience significant time savings, cost reduction, and improved data accuracy, since data is entered only once, eliminating the need to scan or create spreadsheets. Furthermore, as the information is collected and entered, the software provides instant alerts and data analysis for best decision-making. Farm, packing and processing personnel can quickly complete assessments required under both the stringent food safety regulations and third-party audits.
iFoodDecisonSciences’ clients range from growers, harvesters, packers to shippers, processors, and distributors. The firm works with industry trade associations to deliver solutions for their members. Western Growers—a leading produce trade association—is one example. Early on iFoodDecisionSciences developed software tools for Western Growers’ members. “We started by asking food safety managers to identify their biggest pain point. Then by prioritizing and addressing one need at a time, we were able to build a comprehensive solution for many different commodities and companies. We transformed what was once paper-driven audit programs and internal food safety programs to accessible performance data, food safety documents, and field clearance materials all from their preferred devices,” notes Diane. As a result, clients are now able to exchange information among different members of the supply chain for safe production of food—simultaneously improving their operational performance.
“We believe our commitment to helping customers manage and improve their operations both today and in the future is what makes us unique,” notes Diane. iFoodDecisionSciences continually works to understand the changing demands customers face and to develop new and improved products to address their evolving business needs.