[Benjamin Pitts] The Honey Baked Ham company is a premium ham and turkey supplier for meals at the holiday and every day.
[Anna Kitchens] My role in the company is to provide support from a food safety and quality perspective for our retail stores. our direct-to-consumer business, as well as our product development. The process before we went to SmartSense was very manual in that people were reading a thermometer, writing it down on a piece of paper, which was great. However, there's no way to see that across the company, across multiple stores, to understand how long temperatures might have been out of range.
[Benjamin Pitts] They kept records, and the only time those records were reviewed were when we had an audit from our third party or when the district manager was in. With remote temperature, that gave us a dashboard and visibility to our stores nationwide.
[Anna Kitchens] By having SmartSense, we're ensuring the quality of the product stays consistent because temperatures are able to be maintained. The temperature monitoring is able to help give us alerts before we get to a point where we have to destroy product, avoiding that cost.
[Benjamin Pitts] I can go in and I can look at a freezer and go back the last six months+ and see how many times it went out and deviated out of temperature. It's all on one screen, all on one dashboard.
[Anna Kitchens] We have fairly tight ranges on our temperatures, that we're able to control that, and then be able to react quicker because of the data that we have.
[Benjamin Pitts] Some of the KPIs that we want to improve are being able to protect our assets like our freezers and coolers. At the behest of our facilities crew, we were put in a low temperature alert so that way the cooler, when it gets down to 25 degrees, isn't constantly running, which causes wear and tear on the compressor, which means we'll have to replace it or replace the unit altogether. The other thing is loss in product. If we have a temperature excursion go out of temperature, say over 41, our stores are alerted, and they are to assess what's going on to make it go out so that we don't have product loss and we can continue to sell our premium product to our customers.
[Anna Kitchens] When we made the decision to go to a remote temperature monitoring program and using SmartSense, there was real buy-in cross-functionally across the company.
[Benjamin Pitts] Our investment into SmartSense is nothing compared to what's in that cooler. If we get out of temperature and somebody is to get sick, that reflects bad on our brand.
[Anna Kitchens] I think everybody saw the benefits of having this solution, with the training and the partnership that we had together between Honey Baked and SmartSense, everything from the start of installing the gateways and sensors and working with our store GMs all the way to three or four years later of being able to look at additional technology solutions.
[Benjamin Pitts] SmartSense is an excellent partner. We come to them with ideas or needs that we have, and they've grown their program and met the needs that we've asked for. They'll get your data you need to help with incidents, trainings from the ground up. If you want checklists, they have that. They'll go through your checklists, your day-to-day checklists, and you can have it all in one spot, temperature monitoring and checklists. In our holiday, we also have overflow trailers, and they had a solution for that. And just recently, we have been part of a pilot program for a new sensor that they developed that has a longer range that'll help ensure that our product at the overflow trailers during the holidays is protected, so that we don't have any loss of product.
[Anna Kitchens] We continue to grow the partnership, continue to make it easier for our stores and our employees to get the information that they need quickly and be able to react off of that to help ensure that we're providing a food-safe product to our consumer.
[Benjamin Pitts] SmartSense as a company, and the people I've worked with, they've been really great. They come from all different walks of life. They understand where we're coming from in our industry, the restaurant industry. You couldn't find a better group to work with.