Needed a solution that would allow form users to automate the collection and routing of time-sensitive information and result in more accessible data.
Replaced their limited spreadsheet system with GoFormz, resulting in improved communications between departments, elevated responsiveness, and increased operational visibility.
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 to not only stellar customer service but also 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 produce valuable operational data that directly impacts the quality of production, animal care, and facility maintenance provided. Initially, Prestage Farms employees were required to complete their paperwork at farms and facilities on triplicate forms for growers, the service personnel, and also accounting where the representative would hand-deliver the forms back to the office.
“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… however it offered no opportunities for optimization and resulted in the isolation of collected data in various inboxes.
Bradley recognized the potential of improving Prestage Farms’ operational data 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, and more about addressing their 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.”
After being introduced to GoFormz through a colleague, Bradley began by digitizing Prestage Farms’ maintenance work orders at their Iowa location, in an effort to simplify the communication of service needs between farms and maintenance teams. “The farms would call in and the warehouse person would transfer the work orders to the maintenance guys,” Bradley explained of their initial experience. This allowed for maintenance needs to be reported and addressed instantaneously, rather than waiting for the manual relay of information.
With the success of their maintenance work order workflow, Bradley along with a coworker Matt Hall looked to streamline 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 farms to ensure specific conditions are met, such as assessing 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 email to the vet to let them know, and then we send them a completed form as well.”
This automation has drastically simplified 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.”
Matt Hall of the IT team at Prestage Farms, using Microsoft PowerShell, created a Form Trigger (conditional logic) within the Service Report that alerts a manager when specific procedures are not being followed. This instantaneous alert allows leadership to respond to issues faster, without receiving every Service Report filed (only those that need their attention). “[GoFormz] gets information out faster and lets you respond quicker. In a live production business, the quicker response you have the more impact you can have on the overall outcome.”
GoFormz’ automated features have also allowed for the simplification of record-keeping, resulting in more accessible, applicable data. “This could not have been possible without Matt Hall’s forward thinking that allows us to 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 farm that hasn’t been following correct procedures.”
Mobile forms have also improved Prestage Farms’ training programs. When training programs and classes are attended, tablets are circulated to collect participant information and signatures, which are automatically filed. Using GoFormz, Prestage Farms leadership can easily oversee which employees have completed their training and who has not.
GoFormz is now used across approximately fifteen of Prestage Farms’ departments, with plans to expand to Human Resources.