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In 2010, BASIS (Registration) Limited, an independent organisation that assesses standards in the pesticide industry relating to storage, transport and competence of staff, selected Greenlight Assessments from Muddy Boots to manage the integrity of the audit process. The company has since witnessed significant time and productivity gains and has identified a steady improvement in the performance of the ag-chem supply and distribution industry since the implementation.
BASIS standards and certification are recognised under the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 and are required by law, by all those involved in the storage, sale and supply of pesticides. An annual inspection of UK-based pesticide stores is completed by a BASIS Assessor and the information generated is collated and shared with the Environment Agencies, Fire Authorities and the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD). Ensuring the consistency, accuracy and reliability of the audit process across its 600 registered stores is fundamental to the business which is why they enlisted the help of Greenlight Assessments software from Muddy Boots to help them do this.
“Traditionally, the audit was a manual and time consuming process for the Assessor, the pesticide store and for BASIS,” states Rob Simpson, Managing Director at BASIS (Registration) Limited. “Completing the audit by paper meant there was duplication of data input and despite our Assessors being incredibly skilled and trained, it was difficult to guarantee that the process was as stringent and consistent as possible.”
Muddy Boots Software was implemented to enable data to be gathered through a mobile device that prompts and disciplines the audit process. Once collected, the data does not need to be re-entered, so assessment completion is quicker and the resulting information and actions are available immediately; significantly increasing productivity for the business. “We have reduced the time the Assessor spends on site by around 20 – 25%, sometimes more, and the entire process is now more prescriptive and therefore more consistent across our business,” continued Mr Simpson.
“The greatest impact has been the reporting functionality within Greenlight Assessments and the speed at which the reports come back to us. Previously, there had always been a delay in getting our hands on the data and then further delay in alerting the distributor of our findings. With Greenlight Assessments, the Assessor is able to synchronise the audit back to us and any major issues can be identified in real-time. Similarly, we can alert the distributor immediately, enabling them to react quickly to any non-conformances.
“The software has been really well received by all stakeholders and is helping to raise industry standards across the storage, handling and safe use of pesticides. The improved efficiency that we are witnessing allows us to spend more time working with distributors to help them become compliant, rather than just chasing them all the time. Some of the larger distributors that have more than one pesticide store are even utilising the data themselves, to trend performance across their sites and identify which sites are performing well and which sites are underperforming and therefore need further assistance.
“We will continue to invest in the software over the next 12 months, introducing some of the new system enhancements and moving onto tablet PC format,” concludes Mr Simpson.
Jeff Goulding, Business Development Manager at Muddy Boots, talks about the company’s experience of working in pesticide management and their on-going relationship with BASIS.
“Muddy Boots has been involved in pesticide management and agronomy systems since the mid 1990’s. Our Grower Management software is one of the most widely known agronomy tools in the UK for farmers and growers and can be used to advise farmers on the safe use of pesticides and fertilisers. So, we were delighted when BASIS selected us to support them in the management of their national pesticide storage scheme.
“When BASIS first approached us in 2009, they wanted to increase productivity, ensure consistency in the audit process and improve the speed at which reports are generated and distributed. Over the last 3 years BASIS has fully embraced the software and has subsequently met all of these objectives. We look forward to further developing our partnership with BASIS over the course of the year."