When four eyes are not enough …
With its Organic Food Program, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is responsible for the certification of 89% of all certified organic producers in Washington. In order to remain capable of handling the increasing demand for organic certifications, the WSDA has decided to invest in a high-performance and flexibly scalable software solution from Intact Systems. After some customization to meet the specific demands of the WSDA, the system went live on 2 May 2016.
Increasing demand in organic – increasing requirements for certification
In 1998, the WSDA Organic Food Program implemented an MS Access database that should facilitate cooperation among its employees and help to enhance the efficiency of processes and the transparency of certifications. Due to the enormous organic boom in the US, however, the number of producers requiring certification has multiplied, pushing the existing database to its absolute limits.
By switching to a new system, the WSDA Organic Food Program considered these developments. With Ecert, our professional software solution for audit and certification bodies, the WSDA has chosen a flexible and highly scalable system that facilitates smooth and efficient processes and easily handles large amounts of data.
Successful launch of the new Audit Management Software
After a successful system launch in May 2016, the WSDA Organic Food Program has switched the entire certification workflow to Ecert, ranging from order management and handling the audit and certification process to issuing the certificates. This is the first time the WSDA uses a completely paperless system, reducing administrative work to a minimum and eliminating frequent sources of error. Another huge benefit of such a paperless system is that all data are available in electronic form, facilitating the exploration and analysis of complex data with just a few mouse clicks.
When four eyes are not enough
One rather special requirement of the WSDA was the implementation of a “six eyes principle” in the certification workflow. In a conventional certification workflow, a certification officer reviews the results of an audit or an inspection and issues a favorable or unfavorable decision. On top of this, the WSDA needed the possibility to have the results of the certification officer reviewed by an independent quality assurance controller before concluding the certification process. With the newly developed Approval Pool, Ecert is now able to provide this functionality as well.
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