Headquartered in Clackamas, Oregon, Pacific Seafood is one of the largest seafood companies in North America. Operating across three countries with 40 facilities, Pacific Seafood is involved in every aspect of their supply chain, from harvesting and fishing to processing and distribution. Their utmost priority is offering customers the freshest, highest-quality, and most sustainable products. Some of their most sought-after items are oysters, Dungeness crab, rockfish, coldwater shrimp, wild salmon, and steelhead.
Managing a multitude of seafood harvesting operations and vessels across different locations, Pacific Seafood requires real-time access to their food quality data, in order to rapidly coordinate across their many teams.
Prior to GoFormz, Pacific Seafood relied heavily on their pen and paper process for capturing data in the field, which, due to the nature of their work, posed various challenges, like damaged or wet documentation due. As a result, they would manually enter collected data into Word or Excel spreadsheets for documentation and reporting purposes. “We were collecting all this information and we didn’t have any automated reporting from these documents,” explained Israel Portillo, R&D Engineering Manager for Pacific Seafood.
Additionally, Pacific Seafood teams were required to save these forms for auditing purposes. “Looking at it from a quality perspective, due to audits we have to save these forms that are submitted for up to years at a time,” noted Portillo. Struggling with their paper-based process, Word and Excel spreadsheets, and company-wide hard drive, the Pacific Seafood team knew there was an opportunity to achieve impactful change using a digital solution.
GoFormz wasn’t the only digital form solution that Pacific Seafood considered. After assessing Forms on Fire, ProntoForms, and GoFormz during an evaluation period, it became evident which solution stood above the rest. “When I was looking at all these other companies during our trial period, GoFormz stood out just due to the PDF upload feature,” explained Portillo. GoFormz is the only digital form solution that allows users the ability to convert their existing spreadsheets or paper forms into identical, digital versions, allowing Pacific Seafood teams to use the form they know, while harnessing the many benefits of digital data collection.
Aside from being able to utilize their existing forms, GoFormz's integration capabilities and Automated Workflows were deemed significantly superior by Pacific Seafood. “GoFormz has more advanced workflows and backend integrations as well,” noted Portillo. “How we fill out our forms is somebody will fill out the document and then it gets sent over to a manager to sign off on. So we wanted to automate that process and GoFormz offered a way to do it that was easier than the other two platforms.”
After implementing GoFormz, integrating the new software into their existing processes was effortless, with minimal resistance from the rest of the Pacific Seafood team. “At first, of course, with any new modern technology, they were a little hesitant, especially our facilities outside of the state. We do a lot of remote training and it can be a little hard to communicate what exactly to do in certain aspects,” explained Portillo. “But after a couple of days, they reached back out to us and were like, ‘you know what, this is very helpful.’ We’ve received a lot of positive feedback like that.”
Pacific Seafood now employs numerous digital forms in their business operations, but the most notable aspect of their data collection is the streamlined process, precise information gathering, and various features that have improved data capture.
To improve visibility into remote facilities, Pacific Seafood utilizes Image fields. “A couple of our facilities conduct checks for Kroger, so now using images we’re able to actually see what they are seeing out at the floor from another location, in another state,” explained Portillo. Additionally, Pacific Seafood utilizes Checkbox Groups for their numerous checklists. “We do sensory checks, on a scale of one being the worst, five being the best possible quality,” noted Portillo. Checkboxes provide a convenient way to obtain quick insights into vast amounts of data.
To manage their digital form collection and automate approval processes across various facilities, Pacific Seafood utilizes GoFormz’s Users and Groups capabilities. “We have most of the templates grouped into their different locations and we generally create a user group for each of those locations and give them access to all of the form folders that they need,” explained Nathan Shine, Business Intelligence Architect for Pacific Seafood. “Then we have a subgroup for the admins for that location.” This helps structure their automated approval processes.
“Once a form is completed it gets transferred to that admin user group. So any one of those three admins could go in there, take ownership and sign it off,” noted Shine. As several electronic signatures are required throughout the lifespan of a form, standardizing the flow of documentation is crucial to Pacific Seafood’s data collection.
The adoption of digital forms has made Pacific Seafood highly mobile, leading to a significant improvement in their business operations. “Team members now have their own account and they're able to log in and then select what form they want to view and then fill out. So it definitely gave them more of an opportunity to be more mobile out on the floor,” Portillo explained. “Instead of being stationary at a desk, now they're able to walk and do their checks.”
Not only has the data collection process become streamlined, but the transfer of forms from one person to another has become highly efficient. “Before, it would take up to 20 minutes to try to even locate a certain individual, so being able to transfer documentation from different departments has definitely helped that side of the business processes.” As soon as forms are completed, they are set to automatically email to managers for final approval.
Once the final authorization is obtained, all digital forms are then automatically routed and stored in SharePoint. “100% of the documents that are signed off on are stored somewhere in SharePoint so a record of it can be accessed somewhere,” explained Shine.
Pacific Seafood also utilizes SQL for some of their forms. “We do use SQL for the forms we send over to a database and that allows us to build dashboards.” These dashboards are set to automatically update by the hour, ensuring the team has real-time access to critical data. “Then I can look and see the quality of what they’re inspecting at a specific location,” noted Shine.
Pacific Seafoods has achieved various benefits from digitizing their paper forms. One key benefit is their significant time savings. Through the implementation of streamlined authorizations and the elimination of manual form delivery, the Pacific Seafood team has achieved considerable time savings in their daily form-filling tasks. “Usually a paper form would take about 45 minutes… now with GoFormz, we’ve cut it down to half of that time,” noted Portillo.
Pacific Seafood is also able to incorporate Conditional Logic and over 200 automations to streamline and standardize their verification process across numerous facilities. “Conditional Logic and Workflows have been really helpful, mainly because of our signature verification process,” explained Shine. “With GoFormz, we’re able to ensure forms end up in the hands of whoever needs to give the sign-off and are uploaded and emailed to whoever needs them.” The elimination of paper forms has also allowed Pacific Seafood to become more eco-friendly. “We’ve completed more than 11,000 forms across multiple facilities, so that’s definitely helped save on pieces of paper consumed,” noted Portillo.
Having real-time access to data regardless of location has significantly improved the efficiency of their business operations. “We are doing reporting off of collected data that we couldn’t do before. Unless you want to have somebody sit there and type stuff into a spreadsheet, which isn’t very practical, we can actually use this information.”
Without the GoFormz and SharePoint integration, Pacific Seafood's data stream wouldn't be where it is today. “Having data in SharePoint is pretty helpful. Before, if information gets filed on location and you need to access something, we weren't able to do that, but now we can,” explained Shine. “What used to be done when completing QA documents, is corporate headquarters would require them to send over a sample of a few of their documents to make sure they're filling them outright. But now they can just access those directly.”
“We are planning to expand GoFormz to six other facilities. Two of them being our Alaskan facilities, two down in California, and then a distribution center in Phoenix,” explained Portillo.
Other departments have also expressed interest in GoFormz at Pacific Seafood. “Our GoFormz experience has been pretty much entirely with our quality assurance type of forms, but we’ve gotten some interest from our environmental health and safety teams and other different areas of the company that also might be looking to use GoFormz,” noted Shine. “Now that we’ve been able to see what we’ve been able to report off of from that data, there’s definitely a lot more interest in the company.”