Almost six years ago, Thijs van Alebeek introduced the quality control software, QC One. This company has a tablet which contains a special QC application that can be used for the inspection processes of fresh produce. The app was developed to assist the inspector in his daily tasks. It is available in English, Dutch and Turkish. “We now have over 40 clients worldwide”, says Thijs, enthusiastically.
In the early days, mostly Dutch fruit and vegetable businesses showed interest in this certification solution. In recent years, however, the company’s international client base has grown significantly. “We are now active in Asia, South America and South Africa. We have a pilot project in Canada, and there is also interest in Australia”, says Thijs. “For example, Agrolibano, a melon exporter in Honduras has started using this app for inspections in the United States and Asia. We are now looking at ways of introducing this to the rest of the world.”
Over the years, the app’s functionalities and online platform have expanded rapidly. “In the beginning, we were under the impression that everyone would be able to use the new system easily. We, however, quickly realized that there are many client-specific requests. We added these in a manageable way. All the functionalities are in one system, to which we can add clients modules.”
“In this way, the client determines which qualities they want to inspect. The end user can then also set their own tolerances. The exact information requirements can be set per user, supplier or client. An inspector can, also, for example, set it so that a particular poorer quality product needs to re-inspected after two days. This information is automatically linked to the ERP system. If the products are not sold, the inspection department then receives a second inspection request the next day”, explains Thijs.
Last year, QC One also launched a mobile app. Android and Apple phone users can view rapports. This means each location can be kept up to date with regards to rejections, quality and so on. “We are also seeing that more people on the market are looking to have their systems integrated into ours. GlobalGAP, for example, is directly linked to our latest certification module and we have integrations with temperature recorder systems. We are also, shortly, going to be linked to laboratories, which means the specific MRL results can be automatically linked to a report.”
When asked if they have much competition, Thijs answered: “Fortunately, yes. This was not the case when we started, but competition keeps you on your toes. Existing ERP packages do often have a certification functionality, but because quality policies are so important, we see that companies are in need of further options. In particular, being able to quickly share reports and forward commercial photos, without inspection reports, makes life easier for traders.”