New Features: A COVID-19 Prevention and Control Plan and More

This issue of New Features covers the new parts of Icicle that we’ve built to help our users minimize and manage risk during the COVID-19 pandemic (a COVID-19 Prevention and Control Plan, a pandemic status report, and COVID-19 screening templates and records), as well as changes like improvements to Icicle’s BarTender integration, expansions to Icicle’s ability to automatically calculate best before dates, and scannable barcodes for production runs.

Consolidated Production Input Report

When was it released? May 9 2020

What does it do? Icicle already generates Production Input Reports for each specific production run, which displays exactly how much ingredients, materials, and packaging were used in that run. But what if you want to see all the input for all the production runs in your facility? The new Consolidated Production Input Report makes it easy to review all this information for accounting purposes. If you want to generate a Production Input Report for a particular run, just generate the report from that run and it will only display the information you need. The Consolidated Production Input Report can be accessed in the Production tab. 

Where did the idea come from? Thanks to Mia from Made-Rite Meat Products!

COVID-19 Screening Template and Records

When was it released? May 15 2020

What does it do? As part of our Icicle’s COVID-19 Prevention and Control System, we’ve added the ability to screen employees and visitors at your facility. These screening records are based on a preconfigured COVID-19 screening process but you can also create your own, with questions to ask employees and visitors when they arrive at your facility. These questions can also be weighted according to your decision making process on admittance and you also have the option to assign an automatic fail for certain answers.

This feature not only keeps your employees safe, but also provides evidence to show any auditors, inspectors, or other parties to prove that you are doing your best to prevent transmission of the virus.

Where did the idea come from? This feature comes from our team and works seamlessly with a slew of Icicle’s COVID-19 Prevention and Control System features to ensure safe operations for Icicle users.

Enhancement to BarTender Integration

When was it released? May 30 2020

What does it do? Attention BarTender users! We have now enhanced our integration with BarTender. You can generate the information you require for your label template directly within Icicle and Icicle will automatically send that information over to BarTender, matching the data from Icicle with the template from BarTender to create the label you need. This integration provides greater flexibility to customize labels for each product, whether you need to include specific information (e.g. eligibility to ship to another jurisdiction) or whitelabel products for a customer.

In July, we also released a new update that allows you to set up a default printer for each template type. Let’s say you have a printer in the receiving area and one in the production area, and these two are quite far apart. You can now set the default printer so you don’t end up having to run around. This feature can be overridden at the user level in case any changes are required.

Where did the idea come from? More great ideas from Neil from Snow Cap Enterprises!

Expanded Product Specifications

When was it released? June 1 2020

What does it do? Icicle already helped you define product specifications like weight, water activity, and pH, and test against those specifications as part of your quality control checks. We’ve now expanded this to include specifications for ingredients, materials, packaging, and parts as well, enabling you to conduct quality control checks against incoming raw materials and parts quickly and easily.

Where did the idea come from? Thanks to Ali from American Harvest. This one has been on our list for a while and we’re excited to finally release it!

Sales Order Numbers on Packing Slips

When was it released? June 9 2020

What does it do? This minor feature upgrade will make life a little easier for your customers: you can now display sales order numbers directly on packing slips. When your customer receives a shipment, it will be easier for them to match the incoming shipment against purchase orders they’ve issued to you. You can turn this feature on if you want to use it – find it under “Packing Slips.”

Where did the idea come from? Another thank you to Mia from Made-Rite Meats!

COVID-19 Prevention and Control Plan in Icicle

When was it released? June 14 2020

What does it do? Another part of Icicle’s COVID-19 Prevention and Control System, you can now create and generate a COVID-19 Pandemic Control Plan directly in Icicle. This plan pulls information from various parts of Icicle into a straightforward and organized document, which you can hand to an inspector (or auditor) and use in your daily operations. You can also configure this plan like any other Icicle plan to make sure you fully comply with local regulations. In the plan configuration, you can:

  • Select which schematic diagrams represent your facility and identify the points on the plant floor where transmission could occur;
  • Pick which incident templates are specific to the COVID-19 pandemic – when you generate the plan, it will display any associated incidents automatically;
  • Determine which Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are specific to your pandemic response and the plan will display inventory levels for those items to ensure you have sufficient PPE in stock;
  • Choose which SOP and policy documents are specific to the pandemic – when you generate the plan, these will be included automatically;
  • Indicate which work order templates are relevant to your pandemic response (ex. installing plexiglass barriers) and these will be included in your plan;
  • Determine which tools and equipment are PPE specific in terms of where transmission can occur (ex. the touch panel in a packing machine that needs to be included in your cleaning schedule);
  • Track COVID-19 lab tests, including swab testing for residual virus on surfaces or even tests of waste water treatment;
  • Create and include COVID-19 specific inspection templates with checklist inspections (for example, ensuring that waste paper and garbage is safely disposed of, lunchroom is sanitized between staggered breaks);
  • Identify hazards that are COVID-19 specific and associate them with particular process steps and cross contamination points (the resulting HACCP analysis will be included in your plan).

Once your COVID-19 Prevention and Control plan is configured, you can press a button to generate a plan with all of these elements, giving confidence to your employees, inspectors, and auditors that you’re effectively addressing the COVID-19 prevention and control requirements of your jurisdiction.

Where did the idea come from? Another part of Icicle’s COVID-19 Prevention and Control System. You can check out a video to see how it works here.

Pandemic Status Report

When was it released? June 19 2020

What does it do? Once you create your COVID-19 Prevention and Control Plan, you can generate a report that shows you elements from your plan, where you are in the implementation process, any associated incidents, inventory levels for PPE, status of employee training on related procedures (who needs to be trained, who needs to have training renewed), a list of COVID-19 related work orders and their statuses, lab tests in support of your plan, and a complete history of inspections that shows how well your plan is being followed during the global pandemic.

Where did the idea come from? All part of Icicle’s COVID-19 Prevention and Control System!

Barcodes for Internal Use Only

When was it released? June 20 2020

What does it do? Previously, Icicle only supported scanning traceability  barcodes with fully described Global Item Identifiers, which required users to allocate identifiers to each item, even items that are only used internally. By adding new support for scanning barcodes with only internal codes, Icicle now allows you to code items without consuming your allocation of Item Identifiers. The new Application Identifier we now support for traceability is 240.

Where did the idea come from? A great idea from a superstar user, Neil from Snow Cap!

Expanded Automatic Calculations of Best Before Dates

When was it released? June 21 2020

What does it do? Not all suppliers will include explicitly defined best before dates on their products, and this creates a time-consuming nuisance for your team. Now Icicle will use the production or packaging date as the lot code if none is available and automatically calculate the best before date based on the best before days defined by you in Icicle. Users will no longer need to manually calculate best before dates, eliminating human error and making your processes just a little bit smoother.

Where did the idea come from? Another great idea from Neil from Snow Cap!

Exportable PDF of Receiving Interface

When was it released? 21 June 2020

What does it do? In the receiving section of Icicle, you can now export a PDF of the receiving interface so you can share an electronic or hard copy with your customers or others who may need this information.

Where did the idea come from? A nice improvement courtesy of Matthew from Vitamin Cottage Industries!

Barcode for Production Runs

When was it released? July 24 2020

What does it do? Icicle now creates a barcode for production runs, which is included in PDF and Excel exports, and corresponds to a scan button on the Production page. With this new feature, your production manager can now create a scheduled list of production runs, and instead of having to search for specific production runs, the workers on the floor can simply scan the barcode and Icicle will display the correct production run for them, saving time and reducing human error.

Where did the idea come from? A helpful idea from James from Country Prime Meats!

Approvals for Production Runs

When was it released? July 24 2020

What does it do? Another small improvement, we’ve now added an approval mechanism to production runs so supervisors can approve scheduled production runs for greater oversight.

Where did the idea come from? A nice idea from Mia from Made-Rite Meats!

Keep up-to-date with the latest Icicle features by signing up for our newsletter! Icicle users can also check for updates in real-time in the Icicle Change Log. If you have a feature request or question, submit a request and our team will get back to you quickly.

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