KipTraq, by Green Willow Group LLC, is a mobile data collection and mobile forms app that was built with plant and field operations in mind. The system runs on Apple and Android operating systems, providing real-time, accurate data collection with instant email notification for “out of specification” operations.
“KipTraq helps you manage your processes better, ensure tasks are done on-time, and present clean and accurate data to auditors and customers,” said Bryan Banks, founder and COO of the Salinas, CA-based company. “During development, we recognized the value of offering a flexible, easy to use, cloud-based solution for data collection, analytics and reporting. Our goal was to provide our customers a configurable software platform without the expense of customized solutions.”
Bryan Banks, founder and COO, KipTraq
Because KipTraq is a mobile field data collection and reporting program that addresses FSMA’s and USDA organic mandatory records review requirements, many in the organic field see great value in working with the company.
Today, the company works with numerous growers and processors, including Pure Pacific Organics, Earthbound Farms, and Taylor Farms, where it currently operates in 19 of its facilities across the U.S. and Mexico.
To date, users have logged more than 15 million inspections, both in the field and on the processing room floor, through KipTraq.
“Our customers can attest to a quick rollout, increased data accuracy, and even reductions in QA staff by using KipTraq,” Banks said. “It also provides a full suite of reporting functionality including charts, graphs, and personalized dashboards—all automatically emailed on schedules they define.”
Naturally, any business directly involved in organic food production must be certified organic, including seed suppliers, farmers, food processors, retailers and restaurants, and Banks noted USDA Organic certification adds another layer of monitoring, reporting and auditing to existing FSMA Regulations.
“Rather than seeing the additional reporting requirements driven by both new FDA and USDA organic regulations as a burden, we see it as an opportunity,” Banks said. “Companies that do a better job of data collection and reporting will be able to leverage that into increased efficiency, throughput, and quality. The right tools, implemented correctly, will not just ensure regulatory compliance, but will also be a competitive advantage in the marketplace.”
KipTraq eliminates time-consuming paper-driven processes used for both FSMA and USDA Organic Certification and in many cases, replaces multiple stand-alone systems and Excel spreadsheets.
“Most organizations are still using paper, spreadsheets and often have multiple stand-alone systems,” he said. “The capability to harvest data and gain insights is becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. A company cannot afford to not have systems in place to mine vast amounts of data to identify and prevent risks.”
The company prides itself on providing personalized support to its customers and team members work tirelessly to quickly resolve technical issues, and often add functionality to the base KipTraq functionality free of charge if the requested feature(s) have potential applicability to other customers.
“We take a hands-on, consultative approach to doing business,” Banks said. “The goal behind KipTraq is to provide tremendous value to our customers wrapped into a monthly service fee. We do not charge for email or telephone support, which routinely includes consulting with our customers on best practices.”
Occasionally, new functionality ideas arise from these conversations, and the company usually adds this new functionality free of charge.
In the years ahead, the company plans to expand KipTraq with new, customer-driven, features and functionality.
“We are incorporating satellite technology for more precise agricultural insight in the areas of vegetation health, soil nutrition and crop disease,” Banks said. “Facilities are moving towards full automation. We are adding machine integration into our business intelligence tool through programmable logic controllers. Indoor sensor technology continues to evolve. We plan to be of the forefront of incorporating new technology for our current and future customers.