Flowfinity stood apart from other enterprise app solutions because it enabled us to custom design the app to do what we needed to do, and tailor it additionally to add more functionality...
IVI Streamlines Farm Services and Inventory Management
Company Size: Medium Enterprise
Industry: Farming & Agriculture
Function: Field Sales, Field Maintenance
Industrial Ventilation Inc. (IVI), the industry leader in ventilation technology for vegetable storage, is no stranger to state-of-the-art technology. The company prides itself on leveraging technology to deliver excellent customer service.
Like many organizations, IVI had invested in customer-facing apps, but lacked a mobile solution for improving productivity and streamlining business processes internally. The company's service technicians and sales representatives were still using paper forms in the field to document sales, service activities and materials use.
Typically employees would wait until the end of the week to submit their paperwork, which then had to be re-keyed at the office. Invoicing took two weeks on average, which was leading to cash flow and inventory issues. With employees spread across hundreds of miles and working with different paper forms, occasionally paperwork would be lost, causing further delays.
Adding to the challenge, IVI provides vegetable chemical application services, which require chemical applicators to gather a significant amount of data for each job to satisfy government regulations. Using paper forms to collect this data made it more difficult to maintain a complete and accurate audit trail of information related to each chemical application.
IVI wanted a mobile solution to eliminate the delays and inaccuracies of paper forms. The solution needed to enable sales personnel and field service technicians to accurately document their activities and quickly access company information in the field. It also needed to be flexible enough to meet the company's existing business process requirements, while providing the ability to easily tailor the app in the future if business processes or environmental regulations were to change.
IVI selected Flowfinity software to replace paper forms and streamline information management between employees in the field and the office. Using Flowfinity software, IVI created custom enterprise apps to collect and access data in the field with iPads.
"We had specific requirements surrounding our data collection needs, accounting inputs and regulatory obligations, and Flowfinity gave us the flexibility to meet every requirement."
"Flowfinity stood apart from other enterprise app solutions because it enabled us to custom design the app to do what we needed to do, and tailor it additionally to add more functionality or adapt to new regulations," said Jerry Bartels, CFO, IVI. "We had specific requirements surrounding our data collection needs, accounting inputs and regulatory obligations, and Flowfinity gave us the flexibility to meet every requirement."
Now, employees in the field use Flowfinity on iPad to process sales information, collect chemical application data, and document service calls. All of the information is sent to the office immediately, which has reduced invoicing delays and improved cash flow.
"With about half a million dollars being invoiced each week, eliminating delays in the invoicing cycle was a key objective for us. We buy all the inventory in advance, so reducing that invoicing time has helped us improve cash flow and resource planning," said Bartels.
No More Lost Paperwork and Delays
Now that IVI's field staff are equipped with Flowfinity on mobile devices, they no longer need to carry around paper and submit it back to the office. Every sales order, service job, and chemical application is accurately documented and accessible by the office in real time. Switching to electronic record-keeping has eliminated data entry, which has reduced IVI's administrative overhead by 20%.
Audit Trail of Service Activities
For chemical applications, IVI uses a custom Flowfinity app to record all the information required by the EPA. The time of the application, the exact location, amount of chemical, temperatures, wind conditions, applicator, license number, and other details are reliably captured with mobile devices and sent directly to a database. This provides an audit trail of every service activity.
Accurate documentation helps with liability issues, since service technicians can take photos of the vegetables or storage unit when they arrive, and save the photos in the mobile form. This ensures complete documentation, and the ability to locate and retrieve it, in case there were any pre-existing issues before IVI arrived on site. "Keeping electronic records helps us prove what we did, and show that the record was not altered," said Bartels.
"With about half a million dollars being invoiced each week, eliminating delays in the invoicing cycle was a key objective for us."
With Flowfinity enterprise apps, IVI achieved the following key benefits:
- Reduced administrative tasks by 20%
- Improved inventory management
- Reduced cash flow delays by two weeks
- Achieved more accurate record-keeping and better management of field activities
- Boosted productivity in the field