KANSAS CITY — More than seven years ago, the operations team at Crest Foods relied on a clunky quality control process that resulted in “a lot of paper shuffling” and a “quite lengthy” feedback loop, said Jared Stumpenhorst, an operations manager at the Ashton, Ill.-based dry food manufacturing company.

“We were constantly reacting,” he recalled. “We weren’t getting ahead of anything. …  The reaction was at best an hour after an issue, but in a lot of cases when we were looking at broader trends it was a day later.”

The company has since transformed its frontline operations by adopting a software solution developed by Miami-based QAD Redzone. Mr. Stumpenhorst discussed the benefits of using the Redzone Compliance Module during a webinar hosted by Food Business News.

“In the first 90 days, we got rid of all that paper,” he said. “Because our quality technicians were doing the work in Redzone on the iPads … they were doing the work at the line side so they would be giving real-time feedback … so we could make a correction in the moment. So now that hourlong feedback loop was a matter of minutes. And that was a dramatic change for us.”

He added that adoption of the tool has created a more “unified understanding and appreciation” among the company’s maintenance, sanitation, production and quality assurance groups.

Common industrywide pain points in manufacturing include limited real-time data visibility, communication gaps and barriers, a lack of accountability and a lack of troubleshooting tools and data to solve problems, said Andrew Lansinger, solutions consultant at QAD Redzone.

During the webinar, he shared how connected workforce management solutions can empower teams to adapt in the moment with digital tools, leverage real-time data to enhance productivity and communication, and navigate digital transformation on the plant floor.

View the webinar on demand.