When you visit your neighborhood supermarket one of the first things you’ll notice are all the bright, colorful fruits and vegetables that line the produce section. From shiny red apples to leafy green lettuces, fresh domestically-grown fruits and vegetables are an essential part of shopping lists across the nation. Ever wonder, though, how these fruits and vegetables get from farms and orchards to your local supermarket?
It’s all thanks to companies like A&B Packing Equipment. This Michigan company designs and manufactures cutting-edge equipment that helps produce growers meet the challenges of cleaning, grading, weighing and packaging fresh produce. A modern-day Cinderella story, A&B Packing started in a small garage back in 1995 and has since grown to become the leader in fresh-pack and processing equipment. A milestone in A&B Packing’s growth was its transfer to a new 55,000 square-foot plant in 2012, allowing them to expand their client base from North America to also include South America, Europe and China.
Like many rapidly-growing companies, A&B Packing found itself needing a more sophisticated way to manage its expanding workforce. This task eventually found its way to A&B Packing’s Senior Field Technician Mike Wood, who, in 2010 sought to develop an application that would track and record the daily activities of its field technicians.
Though he is not a developer by profession, Wood has experience using off-the-shelf database solutions. His first instinct was to use a popular database management system to set up remote desktop access for employees. However, user problems in accessing the database made automation a painstaking affair. Real-time monitoring was nearly impossible because the system slowed down whenever technicians did simple tasks like uploading photos. It was clear to Wood that an easy-to-use and highly accessible online solution is a better alternative.
Creating a Service Report Application
As a field technician himself, Wood is aware of the project’s urgency and knew that the application must be deployed quickly. It was while searching for a rapid application development platform that Wood discovered the Caspio low-code platform.
Using Caspio’s visual point-and-click application builder, Wood quickly built A&B Packing’s Field Tech Service Report application. With this application, A&B Packing was able to monitor the individual tasks of its technicians and create detailed maintenance reports on equipment. The application also generates reports that categorize duty assignments, enabling managers to delegate tasks more effectively. Visually-appealing graphs make the data easier to comprehend.
For Wood, Caspio’s intuitive and straightforward features are important because all applications developed with Caspio are easy to deploy, scalable and require little to no maintenance and upkeep. This frees Wood to spend more time working on higher-value projects.
Building More Caspio-powered Applications
After building the Field Tech Service Report application, Wood continued using Caspio to create more applications, such as an ordering web portal. With the application, technicians and support teams are able to place their orders online instead of by e-mail. This helped A&B Packing process orders more efficiently and deliver the machine parts quickly. Another application Wood created with Caspio is a searchable parts database where technicians and support staff are able to find the right parts for their machines. Wood also developed a scheduling calendar that was designed to help the company plan, schedule and manage tasks. A&B Packing uses the application to identify available technicians and assign them to repair and installation requests, streamlining what had been a tedious administrative process.
To date, Wood has created an incredible 19 applications for A&B Packing and lot more in the works given how easy it is to build applications with the Caspio rapid application development platform. The all-in-one platform is embraced by business professionals for its ease of use and trusted by IT professionals for its security and scalability.
So, the next time you take a bite out of a juicy red apple, or sit down to a delicious Caesar salad, you’ll know that Caspio helped A&B Packing bring those yummy fruits and vegetables to you.
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