Monogram Foods Goes Paperless with Factory MES

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Customer Experience, Aptean Factory MES

Rob Hodgetts, director of operational technology, takes a moment to highlight the power of Factory MES for Monogram Foods. Because Factory MES pushed Monogram Foods to go paperless, Hodgetts and his team have eliminated the threat of human error and made their data more easily accessible. They’re able to analyze real-time, up-to-date data to make smart business decisions. Watch the video below to learn more.

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Our inspector would have access to all of our paperwork off of our line. Sometimes you’ll get a big, thick stack of paperwork. Really, the USDA only needs to see a few of those, right? But now he can go into the system, see it in real-time, see that we are in control of our CCPs, and then if he’s got a question about the history, he himself can go back into the system and pull the data out. It frees up our quality folks. We’re always going to be engaged with the USDA, but as far as spoon-feeding him the data, we don’t have to do that anymore. He’s got it at his fingertips and can ask questions as needed.

The benefits of going paperless… there’s a couple of them. First of all, the way that we’ve built it in Factory, it prevents fat-fingering. A lot of times, as we all know, there’s human error when penciling in or using a pen to fill out our quality checks. We find that in the paperless system, there’s a couple of things: first of all, it confirms that the data is correct; the other benefit is ease of access to the data. Before we had Factory MES, we’d have to take some folks, lock them in a room with a big, thick stack of papers, and then they’d manually take that data, that may or may not be right, and type it into an Excel spreadsheet.

The amount of data can be overwhelming. And what we found was happening was we weren’t getting the data into any kind of system that allowed us to an analysis. Now we can do real-time analysis, and then pull that data in for 90 days or more on a specific product, and it helps us make smarter business decisions because the data is reliable and real.

Factory MES has exceeded our expectations in that the visibility to the system is fantastic. Our team members are very attuned to what’s happening on the line—most from a downtime, slow-running aspect, and also a quality control aspect.

This system has provided a great return on investment through improved material variances and improved uptime. So, all-in-all, we’ve had a significant uptick in OEE through all the plants we’ve installed. We’ve seen a rise of 10 points in OEE, which for those of you in the food industry running high-speed lines, that is a big number. That’s, again, where it’s exceeded our expectations.

A lot of that is based on buy-in from the folks on the floor. We all know the data is credible, we can all take action on the data in real-time, and that just drives our utilization, our yield, and our overall equipment effectiveness to improve on a regular basis.

Would I recommend Factory MES to others who are looking to go paperless and gain better control over their processes? Absolutely. It is, again, a change in culture. Certainly, the bells and whistles are nice, but it’s very exciting when you see folks engage with the technology.