This section describes how each partner has benefited from their participation in the SaFES trial and how they will exploit the knowledge gained from this European Commission funded project.
9.1 Partner 1 - van Helsing Limited
Participation within the SaFES trial by van Helsing Limited has extended generic knowledge previously gained by work in system development, training and consultancy over the last 22 years in the IT industry using simulation, modelling, CBT, KBS, TQM, RCM and web technology.
Being part of the trial has enabled van Helsing to see first hand the user reactions of e-working in a non-ICT related sector, in particular the areas where the technology was embraced and where there were barriers to its use. Web technology provides an exciting myriad of facilities to the global developer but if there are barriers (whether they be legislative, regulatory, sociological or psychological) that are perceived as detrimental to a business user then these technologies will not be utilised.
Back in the 1980s when van Helsing’s employees worked as system developers for an international R&D company it was then the policy within that company to choose knowledgeable customers. It has been interesting to witness similar reactions in this trial by many of the users for fear of data misrepresentation and misunderstanding. E-working, being beyond e-commerce, is advanced and early adopters run the risk of having to educate the market. Therefore, potential target customers have to have the capacity to embrace these concepts. This will influence the way in which van Helsing undertakes its forthcoming activities.
Van Helsing has been interested to witness the usage of high-level GUI tools, whilst recognising their power would not choose to use as the sole code generation mechanism themselves due to the loss of control over code.
Van Helsing has recognised for many years that specialist consultancy services, due to their specialism and fragmented markets, know no geographic boundaries. It is time consuming and tiring to have to travel to distributed assignments; the power of e-working can enable distributed teams to work effectively together.
Working as part of an international team on a regulatory product has been useful; it has indicated differences in interpretation and usage of HACCP and legislative frameworks. We expect that this difference in interpretation would apply across the board.
9.2 Partner 2 - EQMC Limited
The SaFES trial has been particularly beneficial to EQMC Limited as the developer of the original off-line SaFES tool. The trial has provided the opportunity to prove the concept of the on-line SaFES tool at two plants, namely Oak Crown Meats, a meat cooking plant in the UK and Padborg Fjerkraeslagteri A/S, a poultry processing plant in Denmark. EQMC has had the opportunity to have direct focused input from Scanfo, international HACCP experts, regarding HACCP and as a result of this co-operation Scanfo is able to confirm that the resultant tool is generic for the poultry processing industry internationally. Furthermore, Scanfo has confirmed that the SaFES tool complies with the legislation as cited in the section entitled "Accepted industry requirements of a HACCP tool" above.
The trial has been assessed and evaluated by all the users in the trial namely Scanfo, Oak Crown Meats, Padborg and Emborg representing consultant, food processor and reseller functions. Of particular benefit has been the "arm’s length" assessment and evaluation undertaken by NQA. The detailed questionnaires devised by the assessment lead, van Helsing, were formulated to tease out as much information as possible from each of the assessors in an unbiased fashion. The resultant data offers invaluable input in terms of strengths and areas for improvement to meet all aspects of the industry covered by the trial.
As a result of the trial, the team has thus provided EQMC with feedback and requirements for the commercial specification which can be further developed for commercial gain. Commercialisation activities are well underway by EQMC; many of the suggested modifications have been made to the SaFES tool and others are in progress. EQMC means to exploit the tool internationally.
9.3 Partner 3 - Scanfo Aps
Scanfo has had the opportunity to influence the design of the generic SaFES toolset to be applicable to the international poultry processing industry. Scanfo has therefore had the opportunity to hone the SaFES functionality and user interface to be suitable for an international consultancy practice.
9.4 Partner 4 - Padborg Fjerkraeslagteri A/S
As a result of the SaFES trial, Padborg have been able to benefit from HACCP consultancy from Scanfo and the ensuing HACCP Plan is now an on-line embedded HACCP. Furthermore, Padborg undertook all the installation and setting to work activities of the SaFES system including the SBC and the DAQ units. They therefore have a very detailed knowledge of how the system works from a configuration point of view which will be beneficial in any downstream maintenance activities.
9.5 Partner 5 - Emborg Foods A/S
Emborg’s Sourcing Manager has found participating in the SaFES consortium very beneficial as it has afforded the opportunity to be directly involved in the trialling of technology that could have a huge impact on the food industry in the future.
Emborg was introduced to the trial by Padborg; Emborg is Padborg’s reseller. This customer - supplier relationship is a very mature one, being in existence for many years and is based on a strong foundation of trust. This may not be fully representative of the industry at large! Due to the very special relationship, any thrust for usage of the SaFES tool is more likely to come from Padborg rather than Emborg as Emborg feels no need for further reassurance on the quality aspects of the business at the moment. Nevertheless, Emborg saw tremendous potential benefits to the system, viz: the ability to view data without having to disturb already very busy staff at the poultry plant, this applying to Emborg’s staff in Denmark and at international sites.