Bangert looked at a variety of traceability solutions. As a co-op, Carolina Blueberry Association wanted one system that could accommodate the wide range of size and packing operations across its member base.
The association selected HarvesterGear to implement a fully compliant PTI system for its growers. The company designed its caseTracker software solution based on the exact guidelines of the PTI and updates the software as guidelines change.
HarvesterGear recommended Zebra printers to complement the software system. "We've tested quite a few different printers," said Daniel Price, business development at HarvesterGear. "Zebra has a good reputation and track record of being low maintenance."
Most growers use the Zebra ZM400 industrial printer, which provides industry-leading throughput and high-reliability labelling. Growers can flexibly change labelling based on the size of the product they are packaging, typically from six ounces up to two pounds. Some run a single line while others run several.
The partner deployed the complete system at the various farms, with a few farms choosing to print at the association headquarters rather than on site. Most connect laptops running Windows® directly to the Zebra printers.
Though some growers were initially apprehensive about the change, the rollout and first growing season went smoothly. HarvesterGear provided onsite installs and group and individual training to ease the transition.
"We were very pleased with the implementation and support we received from HarvesterGear. Many of our growers were nervous with anything computer related, but the programme they developed, along with the training and support they offered, did not cause us to slow down one bit," Bangert said. "Their hands-on approach and the ease of the system gave our members a comfort level."