The Food Safety Division of the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s mission is to enforce food safety regulations by conducting inspections of both retailers and manufacturers. They also conduct outreach activities for the industry and the community to promote goodwill. The organization has a robust training program to ensure their 90 inspectors are fully equipped to ensure compliance with FDA standards. Because they receive federal funding, they’re required to maintain training programs and track training data for each of their inspectors.
Because there are many training programs which involve several modules, and since the Department must track the details of each inspector’s progress through the modules, as well as accompanying certifications, there is a lot of data to process. Originally, the organization was using a folder system on a Cloud-based server to store this data. Each inspector had a folder, and Angie Corder, Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS) Coordinator, had to manually email inspectors asking for information and then file documents on the drive.
To find data and run reports, Angie had to manually search each folder and extract the data into spreadsheets to be parsed. With thousands upon thousands of records in the system, and over 50,000 hours of training to track within the last few years alone, Angie was spending almost 40 hours a week just doing records maintenance. They needed a better system that would automate the process and make it easier and faster to find information and create reports.
As Angie and her team began looking for solutions in 2014 and evaluating various options, they realized that FileMaker would allow them to create a completely custom system that would perfectly fit their needs. The fact that development time was dramatically reduced using FileMaker was also a plus.
They knew they couldn’t handle the development in house, and when they discovered The Scarpetta Group and met for a demonstration, they knew they’d found and ideal partner to work with them.
Angie says, “Partner is a good word to use when you talk about people like the Scarpetta Group. They are complete pros. I can’t say enough good things about them. They’re just really good folks to work with.”
Within a matter of months after the contract was signed, Angie’s team was testing the beta version. Angie says, “The process of designing the app was easy and fun, even though it was a lot of work to figure out exactly what we wanted in a solution.”
The new FileMaker-based system automated much of the process of getting the data into the system when modules were completed and certifications were earned. It also dramatically decreased the time Angie was spending on finding information and creating reports. She says that she’s experienced a 90% reduction in time spent.
She also shares another benefit of the new system: “For us, in the food safety division, it has created a fresh commitment to quality of work. In the past, because things weren’t as organized or easy to find, inspectors knew that if they needed information they may have to wait extended periods of time to get what they needed. As a result, they weren’t sending me certificates and other documents to enter into the system in a timely manner. Now that they know I’ll be able to help them when they need information, they’re more committed to doing their part. Because they have more confidence in the way we maintain the information.”
Angie highly recommends both FileMaker and the team at The Scarpetta Group. She says, “Be prepared to work with a great team of people who are dedicated to getting you the type of application you need. They really listen to what you need, interact with you, and then deliver that product in a very timely manner. And not only that, once you’re done, they’re there to hold your hand as long as you need.”