The food oil producer and co-packing firm Phoenix Group has invested in a new suite of bespoke apps to give clients and in-house teams access to production reports, stock levels and progress updates in real-time.

Launched this month at a cost of £25,000, the new technology has been introduced across the whole of Phoenix’s production process to make its services more efficient and transparent for customers – part of a wider £250,000 programme of investment.

In an industry still overwhelmingly paper-based, the apps allow staff to keep track of production figures and carry out quality control checks instantaneously. They also provide clients like Vita Coco and Aldi with the ability to track production and see progress as it happens across multiple devices, anytime.

These new apps allow teams to record and analyse up-to-the-minute information about their production progress and make that data immediately available to clients, wherever they are. As well as increasing the confidence that clients have in Phoenix’s failsafe systems, it’s improved quality systems significantly from an already strong base. Before, the team would be largely reliant on paperwork to spot issues but now it uses digital exception reporting to flag up potential production problems, letting them deal with them quickly to keep the lines moving and standards high.

“When Phoenix told us they were developing this software we were pleased to be the first customer to use it. While the use of app technology is now widespread in other industries, logistics and contract packing have both lagged behind until now. This new software could be the start of a move to change all that, making supply chains smoother and supplier-customer relationships stronger.”
Ben Wright, director of global supply chain, Vita Coco

After testing the apps intensively in-house, Phoenix now has a software solution which no other co-packer can offer. Users of the ‘Production Reporting’ app have the ability to take and store large numbers of photos for visual evidence of production and quality control checks, while the ‘Warehousing’ app lets them carry out full internal auditing for Phoenix’s stock control system.

These are then made available to customers through customisable client login portals, with the technology being rolled out to all existing clients by the end of 2015.

“These apps mark a new turn towards technology for an industry that’s been slow to adapt until now. With no suitable ‘off the shelf’ solution available below costly, enterprise level software, we were involved in the development process from the start, getting the right solution that suited our operations and our customers.”
Ben Guy, managing director, Phoenix Group