New features for May

As agile:NPDtech and agile:SA are rolling out to new customers we’ve been listening carefully to customer experiences and ideas.

We’ve now released some (we think) great new features and enhancements based on this learning and we’re keen to see as many customers as possible adopt.

As always, the goal is to reduce the administrative workload for food manufacturers and free them up to focus on developing new products or making the compliance process a lot smoother. Please try out these new ideas and give us as much feedback as possible!

Spec. template values

Many thanks to the many people who responded to our twitter poll on this, as well as Orexis Fresh Foods for suggesting the idea in the first place.

52% of respondents to the poll saw a benefit to filling out chemical, microbiological and physical properties in the specification from a template. If you develop many products within a range that are similar to each other, there’s now no need to manually type in dozens of specification values, you can set up a template once and auto-populate them.

All values can still be individually changed following that.

Allergen entry

As a ‘nudge’ to ensure allergens are not neglected, all allergens now default to “present” in an ingredient rather than “not present”. This means that allergens which are not present need to be un-ticked, rather than the other way round.

In products with a recipe, allergens will automatically roll up into the finished product, as long as ‘auto calculate allergens’ is ticked in the spec., which is now also the default.

Past performance charts for supplier reviews

When reviewing a supplier to confirm continued approval, you want to look at past performance. The system now makes that easy by showing charts of any supplier non-conformances and customer complaints involving the supplier (for customers with the complaints module), on screen when performing a review.

Custom risk assessment questions

We’ve always allowed customers to customise risk assessment questions, but we’ve now made this a much quicker process. So if you want any tweaks to the questions in your system, just let us know.  Thanks to the guys at Sous Chef for sparing the time to discuss this with us in such depth. It was looking at your set of questions that helped us think this solution through!

Milestone stage gates

Our work on milestones continues with the addition of an optional stage gates module. Suitable for larger food manufacturers in particular, this allows a more advanced, custom process to be followed. The system will enforce rules to make sure that people need to complete previous stage gates before moving on to the next.

More information about auto-generated specifications

Auto-generating product specification is one of the biggest time savers people report when adopting agile:NPDtech, particularly for those moving from manually creating specs in a word processor.

These two improvements add to the work already done.

  • Ingredient percentages can now be shown in tabular format (alongside the countries of origin for each ingredient), as well as, or instead of, the standard ingredients declaration.
  • Companies selling component-based products, e.g. a package made up of a selection of dips, can now break down the nutrition on the spec per component, as well as showing the overall product nutrition.

We hope these updates prove useful and we look forward to hearing all of your feedback.

Please get in touch if you’re interested in using agile:NPDtech or agile:SA in your company.