We are constantly challenged to do more with less: trim the fat, reduce costs, eliminate the scrap, etc. Simply look at your environmental monitoring program; the amount of time and money organizations spend clinging to manual, paper-based systems may surprise you.

The process at 30,000 feet doesn’t seem very complicated: sample your sites/locations, send the samples to the lab, receive the results, and report the findings. No problem, right?

It’s not until we examine the individual steps of the process that we discover the waste.

For example, before we collect our samples, we need to know how many and what type of samples are required, as well as where these samples need to be taken from in the plant. The process normally involves reviewing the environmental monitoring plan and a random number generator (15 minutes). If I’m unclear where the collection is to occur, I will need to ask or receive additional instructions (5 minutes).

Next, I will need to label the individual sample bags with the necessary information. Assuming, I don’t make a mistake, like record the wrong site number, I can complete a large collection in 10 minutes. Where’s my Sharpie?

Once I’ve collected the samples, it’s time to complete the Sample Analysis Request Form (SARF). I enjoy typing and I rarely make a mitsake, so I can generate an errror-free SARF in 15 minutes. A mistake during SARF submission will take a significant amount of time to correct once results are available. So, in the uncommon case that I have made a mistake…I might add on about 5 more minutes.

The results are back from the lab. Now, I’m free to start cutting and pasting to create my daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and customer-specific reports. Assuming I’m not interrupted, I can generally finish these in 15-20 minutes.

Alright, time to update last week’s mitigation report. I’ll send Joe a quick email (5 minutes). I get an Out-of-Office reply, but the paperwork is in his office. I’ll just walk down there (10 minutes).

We have a customer visiting next week. I need to spend a few minutes preparing to answer their questions (10 minutes).

This is an oversimplified version of what is happening in most food manufacturing plants. In our example, we identified 1.5 hrs per day that can be replaced by EnviroMap. EnviroMap provides an unparalleled system for scheduling, submitting, recording and tracking any environmental sampling procedure no matter where you are.

What improvements could you make with an extra 90 minutes every day?

We can drive additional waste out of the process by trending site-related date over time. ATP and APC are great examples. Trending these results enables our clients to not only satisfy customer and auditor requests, but conduct a deeper analysis of the gathered data. The analysis will assist in identifying seasonal fluctuations in the process. Why are our counts spiking in May? Should we schedule additional sanitation or preventative maintenance before the May spike? Are these spikes leading to presumptives? The data exists, and EnviroMap enables you to act upon it.

Waste exists within your organization. Let EnviroMap remove it.

Meet the Author

Brent Wallen
Director of Business Development for EnviroMap

Brent has over 20 years of experience in compliance software and process management of highly regulated industries. He has successfully worked with a wide spectrum of food industry companies on the implementation of documentation and process control systems at their facilities. Brent is a University of Tennessee – Knoxville grad with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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