A Vero Beach, Fla., watermelon grower-shipper is one of the first in the produce industry to embrace a paperless safety compliance and inspection management system.

Field ID system uses iPads and iPhones to track safety dataOffered by Toronto-based N4 Systems Inc., the Field ID software allows users to view inspection data on their iPads and iPhones and Android applications.

Gibson Produce & Watermelon Sales LLC is using the Field ID system for food safety compliance and verification.

The inspection management software represents a timesavings, said Trevor Colom, Gibson Produce’s director of food safety and sales.

“Ease of use is the big thing for us,” Colom said. “I literally save 75% to 80% of my time on paperwork alone. It’s tough to set up originally but overall, once you have it set up and going, you’re golden.“

Colom said the system includes a global positioning application that allows for checking on packinghouse operations from anywhere.

He said the grower-shipper used to use pen and paper on a clipboard during inspections of its packinghouses in Florida, Georgia, Delaware, Texas and Mexico. Gibson Produce began using Field ID in February.

Somen Mondal, Field ID and N4 Systems’ chief executive officer and founder, said the software is used in a variety of industries, including energy, nuclear power facilities, mining, manufacturing and utilities.

He said Field ID replaces manual information recording with the latest smartphone and portable computer devices and digitizes information, allowing for more efficient information storage and analysis.

“This can take information a lot farther than the paper-based systems,” Mondal said. “Users can see trends in data, report on specific aspects of data and really start to look at your data in different ways.

“At the end of the day, this reduces liability, whether you’re meeting some sort of compliance law or quality assurance regulation.”

Mondal said Field ID focuses on ease of use.

He said the system requires four hours of online training.

Field ID services an agriculture cooperative as well as foodservice users in the education and aviation sectors, said Jesse Kohl, Field ID’s digital marketing manager.