Paper Nightmare

Create an app and database to eliminate thousands of quality control paper documents each year.

This challenge is closed


This challenge is closed



We are drowning in paper!  Thousands of pieces of paper are stored everywhere from under desks, in cupboards, on the floor (you get the point).  After they are created very few will ever be looked at again (only by an auditor).  Not only is it a mess but it is a waste of resources.  We want to become way more paperless than we are today! Not only do we want to save the planet (we produce recycled products for a great use (dogs)) we want to make our life easier with an easy-to-use app.

GENERAL PROJECT DESCRIPTION:  We are a small employee-owned producer of innovative dog treats and chews.  We insist upon the highest quality in our products and engage with BRC (British Retail Consortium) to validate these high standards in food safety and process quality.  As with any food quality and safety certification it is required that processes and procedures are monitored, measured, documented, reviewed and audited.  Ultimately, the primary purpose of these BRC records is to audited by a third party auditor and occasionally used for internal purposes.

REPORTS:      These records are relatively simple and often validate a specific process (cooking, packaging, etc.). These documents all have similarities such as approvals, retrieval, editing, security, and record retention.  They will be created by a USER or multiple USERS in a sequence, reviewed by a SUPERVISOR, and specifically or randomly selected and audited by an AUDITOR.

PROJECT:      Create an app or template for each form that is available on an ipad or android device (Surface) using SQL Server Express (inexpensive and simple data base) to capture, retain, and retrieve the data from these forms.

Each form will allow for the following functionality:

SECURITY:  USERS are allowed to enter and select information from drop down menus as well as edit entries until a form is “COMPLETED”.  Once completed the form is user and date stamped.

SUPERVISORS have the ability to review the document make notes on each field i.e. edits but cannot change the original entries.  Once the “REVIEWED” field is selected the form is user and date stamped as reviewed. 

The ADMINISTRATOR can create/edit/delete individuals who are designed as USERS and authority of SUPERVISORS for each form.  The ADMINISTRATOR has the ability to add (or make inactive) entries (additional or discontinued processes) in predefined value fields in the forms.

The security is form based and USERS roles are determined uniquely for each form.  Therefore, an individual can be a USER on one form and a SUPERVISOR on another but cannot be both on the same form.  The ADMINISTRATOR determines which individuals have which roles on each form.

USABILITY: Each field on the form will be predefined and have the following types of information.  Fields will be predefined as required and non-required fields.  Required fields could have defined values and in some cases N/A (not applicable) is a valid option.

Dates and time:  Date fields will default to today’s date but may provide the option to pull down a calendar and/or select a date. Time fields will be entered based upon 24 hour values.

Open narrative: Allow for USERS to enter narrative as needed either alphanumeric or numeric values.

Yes/No: Provide drop down with YES or NO options and some cases N/A.

Either/Or Fields: Checkmark either area of the form to confirm correct option or completed task.

Drop down predefined values:  Provide relevant values in a drop down for predefined value fields.

Calculations:  Calculations range from totaling columns to calculating values coming from other fields.

Initials:  When a USER enters values on a multi-USER form their predefined initials will be entered into the field after acceptance/confirmation that the information is correct.

COMPLETION NOTIFICATION: Some forms will be used in sequence by USERS and eventually be approved by the SUPERVISOR.  In these cases each section of the form will be defined to be entered by different USERS and in a defined sequence.  Each USER will be notified when it is available for their entries or, in the case of the SUPERVISOR, to be reviewed and approved.  Until the USERS complete the form in totality and confirm its completion it would be considered “OPEN” to the USER.  Until the SUPERVISOR approves the individually completed forms that form would be considered “OPEN” for review.

SUPERVISOR can attach a note to individual fields as they review per above.

RETRIEVAL: Individual forms or a range of forms can be retrieved by any user on-line by using query functions appropriately defined for each form.  Once retrieved provide the user the ability to print form or multiple forms.

FORMS:          The following forms are required to be created and approved for the BRC audit.

High Project Priority:

  • Cooked Production Yield Log - Completed by USER “A”.  Document is verified by SUPERVISOR.  Serves as the primary traceability documentation which is one of the twelve major portions of the BRC standards.  Also serves as valuable information for labor rates and costing information.
  • Raw Production Yield Log – Completed by USER “D” occasionally based off of production information provided by production personnel.  Document is verified by SUPERVISOR.  Serves as the primary traceability documentation which is one of the twelve major portions of the BRC standards.  Also serves as valuable information for labor rates and costing information.
  • Ambient Temperature Monitoring Logs – Cooked side is filled out by USER “A” (cooked side supervisor), Raw side is filled out by USER “B”.  Document is verified by SUPERVISOR to make sure temperatures are not outside of the acceptable temperature range.
  • Pre-Operational Sanitation Inspections – Cooked Side, Dock, and Oven Room are completed by USER “A”, Hot Room is completed by USER “B”, and Raw Room is completed by USER “C” (five different reports with the same format but different values in "area and equipment" column).  Documents are each verified by SUPERVISOR.  Pre-Op Inspections are required by BRC Standards.


Medium Project Priority:

  • ATP Monitoring Forms – Raw and Cooked sides are completed by USER “B”.  Documents are verified by SUPERVISOR weekly (form is designed as a weekly form).  Information ensures all food contact surfaces are cleanly prior to production. 
  • Start-Up Shut-Down Forms – Raw side is completed by USER “B”, Cooked side is completed by USER “A” (two different forms with same format but different items on the list).  Verified by SUPERVISOR daily.  Document is primarily used for BRC in the tool clearance section.  The document has a starting tool count and an end of day tool count to ensure all tools remain at the end of the day (knives especially).
  • Weekly Cleaning Checklist – Oven Room and Cooked Room are completed by USER “A” primarily, Raw Room is completed by USER “E” (three different forms with the same format but different values in the first column).  Documents are filed in the front office after having been reviewed by SUPERVISOR.  Weekly cleaning checklists are a requirement through BRC standards.

  • Preventative Maintenance Log – Filled out by USER “C” and USER “D”.  After having been reviewed, the document is filed in the front office by SUPERVISOR.  Is required by BRC and serves as a way to prevent total machine failure and save the company money. 
  • Operational Sanitation Log – Filled out by USER “D”.  Verified by SUPERVISOR and filed in the front office.  Is required by BRC standards and serves as a validation that proper GMP’s are being followed and plant remains as sanitary as possible during the production day. 
  • Product Quality Checks – Filled out by USER “D”.  Reviewed and filed by SUPERVISOR in the front office.  Is required by BRC standards and serves as a way to ensure that all products are consistent and that poor quality products aren’t being shipped to customers. 


Submission requirements: Provide working app and database as described in the objectives.

Prizes:  $7,500 and a box of dog treats for each form created

Rules: The app and data base requires no additional licensing or fees.

Timeline: Delivered no later than September 13, 2018.

Judging:  Whomever delivers the product with the following priorities in order of importance i.e. higher score:

1. Functional, simple, user-friendly (high school or less) app meeting the objectives specified.

2. Delivery of at least the "High Project Priority" forms but the more forms delivered gets a higher score.

3. Speed of delivery - The faster the app is delivered the higher the score.

4. Bilingual (English and Spanish) depending on the user's language preference (this is optional and not required).