Users of Famous Software LLC’s tracking technology are about to take giant steps toward compliance with the Produce Traceability Initiative, according to Heather Hammack, sales manager with the Fresno, Calif.-based company.
Famous has released one product — Case Tag Printing on Release 116 — and is close to releasing two others — Mobile Tag Printing and Business Intelligence — that represent those steps, Hammack said.
Software 116 brings speed, among other advantages, she said.
“One of the customers case-tagged over 1 million cartons between June and September and sent them to their largest customer, where they were scanned and read,” she said.
“The product is our normal delivered Famous software, but we enhanced it to include PTI compliance, so any of our customers that don’t inventory and are printing power tags today are going to get PTI-compliant case tag as a byproduct of that.
“We didn’t charge our customers for it. It’s just an enhancement to our current software offering.”
Software 116 was released in June.
“We probably have two or three dozen customers running it with the expectation that within the next 12 months, the majority of our customer base will move to it,” Hammack said.
The upgrade brings a lot to the PTI discussion, she noted.
“It offers all of our customers compliance,” she said. “If you own Famous software, you’re going to be compliant with PTI right out of the box.
“We’re printing the logistics label, the pallet tags for our customers, we’re printing case-level tags and there are varying ways in which you can use those, depending on your commodity group. If you can imagine field-packed product, you’re going to be treated a little bit different than shed-packed product. So, we’ve offered our customers flexibility to accommodate any type of transaction they might have.”
Two other products are in the pilot stage, Hammack said.
Mobile Tag Printing allows for field tagging on wireless devices that connects customers to their Famous software setups from any location, she said.
“Mobile hand-held devices allow our customers to print case packs out in the field,” she said. “That’s something new that we’ve been piloting the last couple of months and we’re going to be showcasing at PMA (Fresh Summit) this year.”
It gives customers a new option, Hammack said.
“Basically, what happens, our customers have a couple of different ways that they can print case tags out,” she said.
“One of those are through estimate entries, so if they’re forecasting what is going to be harvested for the day, they can preprint those case tags and take them out to the fields. That’s one option.
“We have customers come out and say, ‘That’s great, but we’ve got orders where they’re same-day orders or our customers have order changes or we’re moving fields because of quality conditions, so we really need a solution that’s going to allow us to print these case tags on the fly out in the field.’”
That’s where the mobile technology comes in, Hammack said.
“Basically, we’ve extended Famous out into the field, so if you have a mobile device, you can download your estimate for today and be able to simply print out case tags in the fields using that mobile device and a Bluetooth printer,” she said.
“Put all the Famous features you need for field case tag printing right in the palm of your hand.”
Business Intelligence also provides data reports in various formats that enable the user to spot trends and analyze data at a glance, Hammack said.
“They can slice and dice their data the way that they want to,” she said.
“So, versus running a static report, it’s going to allow them to run pie charts and graphs and comparison types of report on the fly, which is not something that you can do just out of a typical ERP package.
“It’s a nice addition for our customers to allow them to view their data any way they want to.”
Business Intelligence and Mobile Tag Printing may be available commercially at the end of next year, Hammack said.