“When it comes to investing in the equipment and operational costs of these PTI systems, you naturally want to look for other benefits than just avoiding potential negative consequences. You want to look for something positive,” Brooks said.
The solution was FoodLink’s warehouse management system, which provides growers with extended visibility to the product in the field that hasn’t yet been received at a cooler.
This software includes PTI requirements but takes the operational value to a new level. It is similar to an in-house system developed by Mastronardi Produce Ltd., Kingsville, Ontario, but there seemed to be a need for this type of product on the market, Brooks said.
The benefits of the system range from being better in control of scheduling trucks and managing product that needs to reach the cooler as fast as possible to helping the sales staff have a more real-time idea of what product is being shipping each day, he said.
“In some cases, you can add a day of saleability to a product, or a better ability to fill an order,” Brooks said.
The system is still in the early stages of sales, Brooks said, and Grower’s Express is the primary user right now, although other companies are starting to roll it out.