New Features: Farming and Cannabis

New Features Icicle Farming Cannabis Crop

At Icicle Technologies Inc., we’re excited to start off a new year with the announcement of an evolutionary leap of Icicle along with some handy improvements that will make your life easier.

Icicle for Farmers

When was it released? December 10 2018  

What does it do? When we talk about an evolutionary leap of Icicle, we don’t mean the introduction of a new suite of features (though we are super proud of those too) – we mean the expansion into a new sector of the food industry, i.e. agriculture. Previously, Icicle sat between farmers and retailers to service the food processing sector. We had everything needed to bring farmers into the loop, except for the notion of a crop and the ability to do operations (or “actions”) on the crop (for example, applying fertilizer or pesticides or keeping track of watering records).

Icicle now has these notions:

  1. Crops: crops are of a particular variety or strain and located at a particular place, which can be a plot, greenhouse, or any other inventory location.
  2. Actions: Say the first action you take is the germination of seeds. You create a germination action, input the seeds and germination medium into Icicle (all tracked by lot code through Icicle inventory). When the plants are germinated, you create another action to record the transplanting of the seedlings into pots. Not every seedling takes, so Icicle can account for those lost during the transplantation operation. With the introduction of agriculture, we are closing the loop between farmers and manufacturers, allowing for increased safety and quality throughout the supply chain.

Where did the idea come from? Thanks to Jason from PIER Management & Consulting Inc. for his help!

Icicle for Cannabis

When was it released? December 10 2018

What does it do? We already help cannabis manufacturers keep track of the production of things like edibles and extracts, but the new farming infrastructure brings new capacity for managing cannabis production right from the seed to sale. Cannabis producers have a few different needs compared to other farmers, like the ability to keep track of the weight of the product that is trimmed off the plant and unbelievably onerous and detailed reporting requirements. Since cannabis is grown in a regulated environment (in jurisdictions where its growth is legal), you need to keep track of the finished product and all the byproducts as well as the records of how each has been used or handled (for example, making extracts).

With the new ability to track the agricultural side of production, Icicle can output the reports that are required by Health Canada or State regulators. In Canada, for example, growers must submit an inventory report to Health Canada every month, breaking their activities down into 477 fields (not even including the provincial requirements!). It is extremely laborious work for cannabis producers, who have to calculate data points such as how much seed they grew and where each seed went. Icicle can do this with just one tap or click, integrating all of these reporting and regulatory requirements with our existing features for food safety, quality, incident management, traceability, shipping, and so on.

Food safety is so important for the burgeoning cannabis industry, so it’s no surprise that producers are starting to realize which resources the food industry can offer to build up their credibility and ensure public safety. That’s why we’re releasing free sample HACCP plans to cannabis producers.

Where did the idea come from? A big thanks to Pete from Habitat Life for helping us out with this one.

Icicle Release Notes

When was it released? December 19 2018  

What does it do? We only do our big feature roundups a few times a year, but many Icicle users want to know what’s new right away so they can keep up with the latest developments. If you scroll down to the footer at the bottom of the page when you are logged into Icicle, you can now see updates on new releases, including new features and feature updates.

Where did the idea come from? This great idea came from Paul from P&S Frozen Foods during our interview for an upcoming case study!

Simplification of Product Weights

When was it released? December 19 2018  

What does it do? Over the past few years, we’ve had requests to add various weights for different purposes in Icicle, but it started to get a bit unwieldy with too many weight fields. These are now simplified into gross weights and net weights, but you can customize the fields on your own with a user-defined weight label that allows you to add more descriptive information. Say you have 40 chocolate bars that are each 100g. Icicle will calculate the gross weight plus packaging for the final product, which would be around 4.2kg. But you also want to see in your formula that 100g is a bar rather than something else. These labels allow you to do just that when you are creating a formula or recording consumption in production runs or crop actions.

Where did the idea come from? Another great idea from Paul from P&S Frozen Foods!

Shipping History

When was it released? December 20 2018  

What does it do? Now you can navigate to the Product Detail Interface and view the complete history of product shipments based on a user-defined date range. This new tool is invaluable for helping you track down inventory discrepancies. Say you are expecting to see 100 bags of sugar in stock and you only have 99. Instead of having to hunt through the records to see where it went, you can just navigate to Shipping History, define the product history you’re looking for, and see the list of total shipments within the date range of your choosing.

Where did the idea come from? This one was also part of our discussion with Paul from P&S Frozen Foods during our case study interview. Thanks Paul!

Improvements to Inspections

When was it released? January 4 2019  

What does it do? So here’s a neat little feature that’s designed to prevent simple mistakes: the inspection finalization lock. The problem addressed is that, if you accidentally finalize an inspection, you have to go through a process to provide valid reasons as to why we had to undo this finalization in order to satisfy regulatory requirements, which was annoying if the finalization was a simple mistake. Now Icicle prevents you from hitting “Finalize” before the records are verified and an end date has been set (if applicable).

We also added a new filter on the inspection list page to allow you to filter and display only verified or only not-verified inspections – this makes it easier for QC staff to see what’s on their docket.

Where did the idea come from? Thanks to Chris from Ontario Pride Eggs!

Notification for File Deletion

When was it released? January 8 2019  

What does it do? Our latest feature release of the year is another small upgrade to prevent simple errors. This new feature allows you to receive an alert whenever a file is deleted in Icicle. This way, you won’t get stuck in an audit looking for a file that no longer exists and you can use it to help resolve discrepancies.

Where did the idea come from? Thanks to Terry from FreeYumm!

 

Happy New Year from the Icicle Team! Keep up-to-date with the latest Icicle features by signing up for our newsletter. If you have a feature request or question, submit a request and our team will get back to you quickly.

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Breaking the Ice 2019: A Roundup of New Features from 2018

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