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Protecting public health with accurate, up-to-date data

The government agency responsible for food standards in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland is using K2 Software to gather accurate information from around 200 meat production facilities. With faster access to up-to-date information, the Food Standards Agency can better monitor meat hygiene standards and intervene when necessary to ensure people can trust the food they buy.

Today, reports are generated in hours, not weeks. And after 5 years using K2 Software, the agency has migrated its processes to Nintex K2 Cloud, freeing up IT resources and paving the way to implement more solutions to optimize processes across the organization—not just in meat processing operations.

Food Standards Agency
Food & Beverage
Capabilities Used
Application Development

Who they are

Food Standards Agency (FSA) is the independent government department working to protect public health and consumers’ wider interests in relation to food in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

What they needed

The agency needed a workflow automation solution to support time-consuming data collection and other processes from production facilities.

How they did it

FSA used K2 Software to ensure accurate and timely data collection and reporting from production facilities. The organization since migrated process to Nintex K2 Cloud to free up IT resources and support additional process optimization.

Efficiently protecting public health

Challenge: Time-consuming data collection

To monitor standards at around 200 abattoirs (meat production facilities) across England and Wales, the Food Standards Agency needs to collect a vast amount of information about the health and welfare of animals, the condition of facilities, and the safety of employees—producing a range of reports highlighting any concerns. The Food Standards Agency must be able to monitor regulatory compliance and detect incidents of disease as quickly as possible, so that it can take rapid action to protect public health.

Before the organization discovered K2 Software, the routine collection and consolidation of data from abattoirs was time-consuming. The process relied on spreadsheets and documents, making it both inconsistent and inefficient. For instance, it took at least two days to combine 200 spreadsheets containing information required for the monthly contamination report alone.

Solution: Quick, straightforward data

Using K2 Software, the Food Standards Agency completely transformed the way it gathers information captured by its operational staff in abattoirs. The organization uses SmartForms to ensure that all the required data is collected in a consistent format, at the right time, every time, and consolidated automatically. There are around thirty different K2 Software apps, covering everything from accidents and incidents to animal welfare and hygiene inspection results.

This use of K2 Software has made the collection of data quick and straightforward. As a result, reports can be produced in hours rather than days or weeks, giving managers a faster oversight of standards across the industry.

Migrating to Nintex K2 Cloud is opening up lots of new opportunities for Food Standards Agency. We expect to be able to enhance our existing K2 Software-based apps and develop new ones to further improve the quality and efficiency of our data collection.
David Brown, Senior Application Manager, Food Standards Agency
Eliminating manual data validation

Challenge: Inaccuracies create roadblocks

With previous business process systems and automation efforts, the Food Standards Agency struggled with data accuracy. In fact, a script that had been created to partially automate monthly contamination reports frequently produced error readings. The data had to be manually validated to make it accurate.

These errors and inaccuracies were particularly problematic as the agency needed to publish its audits in support of the UK Government’s Data Transparency agenda.

“All our effort went into collecting, consolidating and validating data, not into producing the reports themselves,” explains David Brown, Senior Application Manager at the Food Standards Agency. “The team that was doing this data collection work was getting larger and larger, but by the time the reports were compiled, they were already out-of-date.”

Solution: Confidence in data quality

Using K2 Software has led to “a dramatic improvement in the quality of data,” according to Brown. The Food Standards Agency became more confident in its data and consequently started to publish its audits as Open Data for the first time. Now, anyone can view Food Standards Agency audits and incorporate the data into new apps.

The team of eight people who previously worked full time collecting, collating and validating data have now been redeployed into other roles, where they are able to add more value to the organization and have more rewarding careers. “K2 Software provides us with up-to-date, accurate information when we need it,” Brown says. “We can therefore focus our time on creating reports that provide valuable management information about meat hygiene standards.”

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