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Critical Manufacturing: Automating Tracking and Reporting for Quality Control

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Critical Manufacturing: Automating Tracking and Reporting for Quality Control


MaxUS Operations, a contract packaging firm for food and household goods based in Wisconsin, has plans to expand its operations to California. As a rapidly scaling company, MaxUS was facing reporting issues. When companies that handle food, like MaxUS, reach a certain size, they need to keep track so, if any contamination occurs, they can trace the raw materials back to their source.

Tracking and reporting issues with products wasn’t possible under the current system, which relied on spreadsheets, whiteboards, paper, and pencil. MaxUS lacked the staffing resources needed to handle data entry and access databases.

In warehouses, stickers and whiteboards were used to track where pallets were being stored and what was being loaded onto trucks. The company needed an automated way to track and report data on the manufacturing and warehouse floor.


With Macedon Technologies as a partner, MaxUS was able to develop a cost-effective solution for reporting in Appian that is easy to learn and modify using an in-house developer. Macedon used its agile delivery methodology to create a comprehensive application that replaced spreadsheets and integrated with the company’s ERP system, as well as a bar code scanning system.

Leveraging the cloud-based Appian Platform, Macedon Technologies enabled MaxUS to monitor everything that was happening on the manufacturing floor and in warehouses. Macedon developed digital workflows for quality control, asset management, and inventory placement.

This solution includes digitized processes for tracking products and the trucks they are loaded onto. MaxUS can track mean time between failures (MTBF) for packaging and filling machines so maintenance can be conducted proactively to prevent equipment failures that slow production. A dashboard tracks run rates so MaxUS can see how fast manufacturing facilities are producing, set expectations, and adjust to meet or exceed them.


Macedon Technologies was able to solve MaxUS’s tracking and reporting issues on time and within budget using a solution built on the Appian cloud-based automation platform. MaxUS can use the cloud interface for development to add new features when necessary. With Appian, the developer can code once, and the changes show up on devices.

The Macedon team used an agile delivery methodology and a small 4-person team to take MaxUS through several productive Sprints. Within 7 weeks, MaxUS replaced 80% of their reporting functionality, enabling them to discard most of their spreadsheets. By the end of the 7-week Sprint, Macedon had accomplished 90% of the work that needed to be done. Over 6 weeks, Macedon developed a process for producing quotes based on tracking run rates, created a way to print out bar codes, and generated new types of reports, including customer-facing reports that had been requested.

Now MaxUS can create reports in seconds that used to take hours to complete. One staff member can process all the reports, even as the company continues to grow, taking on 3x the business they handled before. Using the system MaxUS has now, the company is prepared for 10x growth as it acquires more warehouses and production facilities.

With the new tracking and reporting system, MaxUS has changed its operational mindset to think of automation as an integral part of technology. The company can coordinate all its processes through Appian.


Simplified tracking and reporting with digitized warehouse and production processes

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