Project Summary

Custom Application Streamlines Production and Reduces Costs

Custom Application Streamlines Production and Reduces Costs

A well-known consumer packaged goods (CPG) company specializing in pet food contacted Imaginet to complete and polish a custom application started by a few interns. The application was not as far along as they initially thought, and they needed support.  

The App: 

In summer 2023, the interns visited all the facilities to understand how they handle the production of their “meat mix” pet food. The facilities where the product is made are separate from the supplier locations. At this time, they were tracking products via a spreadsheet – a method prone to error. Per year, 10,000 tankers haul the meat mix product to and from the supplier locations, and this data was tracked in spreadsheets.  

The interns wanted a better way to handle all the data, as well as track the tanks (where they are coming from, scheduling amounts based on how much product the supplier is making versus how the product the facility needs, etc.). The interns came up with the idea for an application, but unfortunately, it didn’t get very far. Other than some documents about the app requirements, nothing had been created or implemented. We were essentially starting from an idea, albeit a very good one.  

Our Solution  

We developed an application that tracks the input of how much product demand each facility requires for a given week – there are several facilities. They also can track the input of how much supply each supplier location can produce on a given day for the week. Once all the data is gathered for a specific week, they can schedule the tankers based on the data.  

There are going to be unavoidable issues when scheduling a large volume of tankers. For example, tankers breaking down, being late, or needing to be rerouted. We developed a way for the client to reroute tankers to different locations within the application. 

Additionally, the client has what they call freezer and render destinations. Freezer destinations require the product to be put in a freezer to make it last. Occasionally, a tanker may arrive at a facility, and after quality inspection, they realize the product isn’t good, so they will send it to render. That tanker will then need to be scheduled to go to render. Our client was losing money when sending tankers to render due to an inefficient system.  

Our application tracks the tankers that go to freezer and render, allowing them to see which facilities might be experiencing issues. At each specific location, our client can see the entirety of the delivery process – a luxury they did not have by using Excel spreadsheets.  

We used a SQL database backend to house all the data and provided a reporting functionality so the client could see all the activity from a given location on any given week. They are given access to the tanker numbers so they can easily be tracked.  

Alongside this application, we are also building an administrative app. This will allow for the addition of tankers and locations, contact information, adjusting the distance chart, and more.  

Why Our Solution Was Helpful 

The custom application has Power Automate workflows within it to automatically adjust the status of the tankers based on the time of day and when it was scheduled. Meaning, that if a tanker is scheduled to arrive on say, a Wednesday, but doesn’t arrive until Thursday it will automatically update it to “late.” Therefore, it can be easily identified when a tanker will arrive late.  

Many of our clients use Excel spreadsheets to track and manage their data. Adopting this practice leads to inefficiencies, inaccurate data, and wasted resources. The application we developed for the client will not only make scheduling and data tracking easier, but they anticipate this will save them millions in lost revenue every year.  

This is one of the heaviest applications we have worked on at Imaginet. It’s common to have 10-15 collections or variables, and this one has 150. It is by far one of the biggest our team has worked on. A challenge that was welcomed eagerly by the team working on this project. 

Our team has been working hard these last few months, and we are excited to share our success with you. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on our most recent Microsoft 365 projects. Fill out the form at the bottom of the page if you are looking for a custom application.   

Technologies Used

Custom Application

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