Prestage Farms needed a solution that would allow form users to automate the collection and routing of time-sensitive information across their numerous farm locations. They also needed a better way to receive applications, and conduct safety training.
Prestage Farms replaced their limited spreadsheet system with GoFormz, resulting in improved communication between departments, elevated responsiveness to time-critical issues, and increased operational visibility. They leveraged GoFormz Public Forms to streamline their hiring process, elevate the quality of job applicants, and make employee training more trackable.
Prestage Farms pork and turkey production was founded by Bill and Marsha Prestage in 1983. The family owned operation strives to provide an “uncompromising commitment to customer satisfaction” through Bill Prestage’s overarching philosophy: “Be fair to your employees, your growers, your colleagues, and your neighbors.”
Prestage Farms is dedicated not only to the health and well-being of their animals, but also to delivering quality products at competitive prices. For this reason, the Prestage Farms team was proactive in their search for a solution to streamline the collection and distribution of information across their many departments and facilities.
Prestage Farms oversees a large number of farms and facilities, ranging from small family growers (who manage the care of Prestage owned animals) to larger processing facilities. Each of Prestage Farms’ operating locations produces valuable operational data that directly impacts the quality of production, animal care, and facility maintenance. Initially, Prestage Farms employees were required to complete their paperwork at farms and facilities and then deliver the forms back to the office, where they would be manually rekeyed and printed in triplicate for supervisors, accountants and growers.
“It was a lot of paper, it was a lot of writing, it was a lot of gas spent bringing the information back in,” explained Bradley Faircloth, of Prestage’s Information Technology team.
For this reason, the Prestage Farm team began digitally collecting their data using spreadsheets, which would be completed on tablets and routed via email. This initial segue into digital allowed Prestage Farms personnel to experience the ease of electronic data capture — but it offered no opportunities for optimization and resulted in the isolation of collected data in inboxes.
Bradley recognized the potential of improving the flow of Prestage Farms’ operational data through the organization, and sought a more streamlined, powerful solution. Because Prestage Farms had already been collecting data digitally, the decision to pursue a mobile forms platform was less about going paperless, but rather driven by a need to do more with collected data. “Basically it was what you did with the data and the forms after [collection],” Bradley explained. “Before [GoFormz], they had a spreadsheet. They did the spreadsheet and then they emailed it somewhere. And that was it, there was no way to automate processes.”
The addition of GoFormz allowed Bradley to focus his attention on streamlining Prestage Farms’ responsiveness in addressing operational needs and hazards. Prestage Farms employs ‘Servicemen’, who act as the business’ “eyes and ears” at each of their farms, facilities, and grower locations. Servicemen are tasked with visiting farmers to ensure specific conditions are met, including facility conditions and animal wellbeing. Prestage Farms relies on the quality and timeliness of service information, to ensure their facilities are operating responsibly and efficiently. Before GoFormz, the delivery of this information was made difficult by the manual nature of data collection and the vast number of facilities that needed to be monitored.
Digitally collected data has simplified the documentation and delivery of service information significantly, allowing for Prestage Farms’ Servicemen to provide critical production insights from remote locations, in a more timely manner. For example, when dealing with animal care, the instant delivery of information is of the utmost importance. “You do a service report and you want to alert the veterinarian that you have a medical issue,” Bradley detailed, explaining how Prestage Farms leverages GoFormz to respond faster to animal needs. “...if they have a health issue on the farm and they click [in the form] that they have a health issue, [the form] automatically sends a trigger to the vet to let them know, and then we send them a completed form.”
This automation has drastically increased Prestage Farms’ responsiveness. “The automation of processes is the biggest thing that GoFormz has done,” Bradley specified. “If there’s something wrong with an animal, the person doesn’t even have to think about it. All they have to do is complete the service report they were going to do anyway and the vet will know about it. They’re not only going to know it instantaneously, but they’re going to get a copy of that Service Report and start working on it.”
A trigger was also placed within the Service Report that would alert a manager if specific procedures were not being followed. This instantaneous alert allows leadership to respond to issues faster, without reading through every Service Report filed (only those that need their attention). “In a live production business the quicker response you have to animal care issues the more animals you can save. And the more animals you save, the more profitable you are.”
GoFormz’ automated features have also allowed for the simplification of record-keeping, resulting in more accessible, applicable data, as well as a higher degree of accountability. “We file [forms] automatically based on the grower. And based on the month and the year… now the supervisor can go back and pull information on Service Reports if they have a grower that hasn’t been doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”
With Public Forms, Prestage Farms has drastically improved access to their employment applications. GoFormz Public Forms are digital forms that can be easily and securely shared with users outside of your GoFormz account, making it easy to collect Signatures, send surveys, request information, and so much more. The set of form fields that are editable to recipients can be pre-determined, and Public Forms can be equipped with an expiration date, to effortlessly manage external access and data input. “Before Public Forms, you had to go to your local employment security commission and apply,” explained Bradley. This process often led to low quality or inexperienced applicants, making it difficult to find the talent Prestage Farms needed to hire.
Using Public Forms, a link to a job application is easily accessible on their website. “Being able to put an electronic copy of our employment application on our website allows us to attract higher quality employees, because we can reach people who already have a job, but want a different opportunity,” Bradley emphasized, detailing the difference Public Forms has made in their hiring process. “Whereas when relying on the employment security commission, often times the candidates didn’t have a job or experience. Now our recruiters can distribute our public share link to someone and direct them to our application to fill out anytime.” Once an applicant completes their application via Public Forms, the form is instantly routed to Prestage Farms HR, and their information is on file.
Public Forms have also allowed the Prestage Farms team to elevate their safety training. “We create our monthly safety training on a spreadsheet, or a word document. Once we have a PDF, we upload it to GoFormz, and our safety director sends out a Public Forms link, and everyone completes their safety training and it comes back and can be tracked,” Bradley explained. “We’ll also take a GoFormz Public Form, create a QR code and print it on the front of the Safety Training [documents].” This functionality allows training participants to scan a QR code and access the Public Form, signifying that they have completed the training via a digital Signature. Once they have added their signature and completed the form, it is instantly filed and tracked.