Customer Success Stories

DNO Produce

June 24, 2021

How the iFoodDS platform helped DNO Produce gain confidence in their food safety operations and make impactful, data-driven decisions.

Executive Summary

For DNO Produce, a family-owned produce distributor and processor in Ohio, food safety isn’t just a priority, it’s a core value. “We feed kids, we feed our own kids. For us, it’s a personal choice,” says Deadra Barnett, Quality & Sanitation Manager for DNO, who is responsible for overseeing all food safety processes.

With a goal of upping their food safety game each year, DNO was looking for a seamless way to increase visibility across their operations and make more informed, data-driven decisions. Since implementing the iFoodDS platform, DNO has seen tangible improvements across their Quality Assurance and Sanitation operations, including:

“Our initiative was to move further away from checking the box on food safety.

We wanted to get functional information and be proactive about the issues we were seeing. We were looking for a better way and iFoodDS filled that gap.”

– Deadra Barnett.

Less time entering data into and reviewing daily check sheets.

Savings from less product waste, fewer QA shifts, and eliminated paperwork.

Fewer customer complaints and lost revenue from product weight discrepancies.

Challenges

  • Visibility into trends

  • Manual recordkeeping process

  • Communication gaps across departments

  • Visibility into root cause of issues

Since 1989, DNO has provided fresh, healthy, and easy solutions to school food programs, retail grab-and-go, foodservice operations, and meal kit offerings. With 150 employees and partnerships in over 15 states, DNO was seeking a way to improve their QA operations and help them become an industry leader in food safety.

Historically, DNO used a combination of Excel spreadsheets and paper forms for recordkeeping. Their manual process took a lot of time and paper records took up substantial space. Their methods also didn’t allow for trending or in-depth evaluations to be taken from the data.

DNO was also looking for more visibility into the root of issues as well as greater transparency across departments. They were experiencing problems with product overfills and underfills, and they were looking for greater visibility into what was causing errors. Underfilled products hurt DNO’s customers and overfilled products hurt their own bottom line, so DNO wanted a system that would let them respond quickly.

DNO was also lacking confidence in the data they were gathering. Were there typos? Were employees taking correct corrective action? With so many moving pieces, DNO was experiencing some communication gaps across departments, even up to senior management. Increasing transparency into their food safety system would enable department heads to collaborate with their employees and with management, eliminating communication gaps and strengthening DNO’s food safety culture throughout the company.

How iFoodDS Helped

DNO implemented the iFoodDS Food Safety platform in January 2021, starting with their Quality Assurance and Sanitation operations. An experienced iFoodDS client implementation team reviewed DNO’s specific processes, forms, and checklists, and created a tailored solution, including interactive onboarding. Shortly after, a significant number of DNO employees started completing their daily work in the iFoodDS application.

With their data now stored in a single, secured platform, DNO has reported both time and cost savings, seen improvements in core metrics, gained greater visibility into the root cause of issues, and become more confident using data to make meaningful changes. The platform’s ease of use and accessibility has allowed new employees to get up to speed quickly, and QA leads no longer spend their shifts staring at checklists or computer screens. DNO has been able to use saved time to educate department leads about the “theoretical” side of food safety: why their food safety processes matter. This has created a ripple effect from department leads down to their employees, strengthening DNO’s food safety culture. DNO also reported better communication between workers and management, as well as across departments.

DNO has found working with the iFoodDS Customer Success Team to be a highly positive experience. Routine changes are completed quickly and iFoodDS continues to tailor to DNO’s needs.

“The whole process is ridiculously easy. Once it’s set up, all the answers are at your fingertips no matter where you are.”

“I love the way this product lets me relay relevant information to senior management and other teams and lets me break it down in ways that make sense without spending hours and hours of time gathering all the data.”

– Deadra Barnett.

Results, Return on Investment, and Future Plans

Once DNO teamed up with iFoodDS, prior time-consuming and costly tasks started to see significant improvements:

2+

Hours/day

QA Leads went from spending 2+ hours a day on paperwork to less than 1 hour a day in the office.

$2k

Savings/mo

$2000/month savings due to less product having to be thrown away after sitting around for too long.

$2k/mo

Less paperwork

Nearly $2000/month savings just in elimination of paperwork alone.

Decreased overfills have helped strengthen DNO’s relationships with customers.

DNO has also noticed considerable improvements in their Adenosine Triphosphate Testing (ATP) scores, and they can use ATP data to quickly determine if there’s an issue with a piece of equipment. Knowing that their first pass ATP scores have been an issue for them in the past, this has helped DNO meet their goal of getting to the root of a known issue quickly. In addition, DNO has found that the audit process is smoother; their first audit after implementing the iFoodDS platform lasted only 3 hours instead of half a day.

“The auditing process is much easier. In our first audit since implementation [it was] much easier to answer questions and see immediately what actions were taken,” says Barnett.

“The iFoodDS system dramatically decreased overweight products and customer complaints about weight discrepancies. This is something we can now see live and by line and product, so we can identify repeat offenders and adjust price, when necessary.”

– Deadra Barnett.

With newfound confidence in their food safety operations, DNO already has plans to expand their relationship with iFoodDS. Over the next few months, they will be bringing their Workplace Safety operation onboard, and by the end of 2021, they aim to have their Production, Maintenance, and Warehouse teams fully on the platform.

In addition, new data has generated internal conversations around what food safety KPIs are most important to track. DNO now has the tools to start tracking safety checklists in spec, checklist completion, MSS on schedule, and GFSI mock audit scores, among other metrics.

Finally, DNO is excited to showcase their food safety processes with customers and position themselves as leaders in their industry. They believe this identity will become even more important as they expand into community outreach.

When DNO Produce partnered with iFoodDS to streamline their food safety processes, they had clear goals that they wanted to meet: greater visibility and transparency across departments, improvements in core metrics, and the ability to make data-driven decisions.

The iFoodDS team quickly aligned themselves with DNO’s unique needs and was able to seamlessly fit into their business requirements.

iFoodDS is excited to continue their relationship with DNO and provide them with the tools to continuously up their food safety game and make food safer for each and every child they feed.

“We will begin getting this system in front of customers over the summer as we begin onboarding for the fall season. The hope is that the added emphasis on food safety and measurable successes are a draw for new customers and that existing customers will increase business as they build more confidence with us.”

– Deadra Barnett.

Learn more about how iFoodDS can help improve your operation.