Last week I had a few minutes to sit down with Chris Bowman, one of our senior implementation specialists, to talk about a project that he had just completed for a foods company in upstate New York. I was really impressed with the story he told me.

If you’ve ever wondered what you can do to help your staff remember when it is time to collect data, you’ll want to keep reading.

This question about making sure that people collect data seems to be a hot topic. And it makes sense because there are two opposing forces at work. First you need data from your staff. You can’t make decisions based on data if your people don’t collect the data. But working against you (and them) is the fact that everyone is already busy. Even well-intentioned people will often only oil the squeaky wheel.

(Of course if you need data, and everyone is too busy, the best solution might be to automate the whole process. But for a variety of reasons automation may not be possible or desirable. We’re talking here about those situations.)

Chris’s solution makes sure that your data wheel squeaks. His solution is very slick and may set the new standard for how customers ensure data are collected in a timely manner.

A little background…

This customer has several checks they want to take periodically, many at different intervals. They want make that as easy as possible.  As Chris put it, “The customer is trying to make it easy to enter multiple sets of data  without having to exit this planned session and launch that planned session, or exit this planned session and launch that planned session.”

And it gets even more interesting. “They’re going to enter the same data over and over again,” Chris said. “But periodically they need to change traceability values, change products and what not, I don’t want to ask them every single time.

At the core of the solution is what Chris calls the “Control Center.” Here is a picture of it:

GainSeeker Data Entry Control Center

So what is going on here?

The most important thing is in the left hand window, the one with the green and red blocks. A red block means that a check is overdue. This window is automatically refreshed every few minutes. A green block means that check isn’t due yet. In this example, the Weight, Process and Line checks are all overdue.

Once one of the checks goes red, all the user has to do is click on the Next Action button (in the upper right corner) and select that check from a list. The Control Center launches the check, passing along all the traceability information along.

Of course one of the Next Actions the user can select is to change traceability, or to select a new product.

This customer also wanted to display live control charts for the two most important checks at the same time. They could display any GainSeeker chart or dashboard they wanted, and of course they could display any number of charts on the screen too.

What do you think? Would your organization benefit from the Control Center idea? Would you like more technical information? Use the ShareThis button below to mark this page, leave a comment, tweet me, schedule a conversation, or call 800-958-2709.