360° SmartCare in the USA: innovation in service and support
There are, says Pas Reform’s CEO Harm Langen, many ways to innovate. And as the world’s only single-source supplier of fully integrated hatchery solutions, Pas Reform and its US partner NatureForm have taken a wide view, to deliver innovation across the full range of products and services.
“SmartCare is one such development,” says Harm Langen, “a multi-faceted approach to service and support that that has grown out of our experience of working with more than 1,000 hatcheries worldwide. It delivers across three pillars of planning, project and lifetime services to support each ‘life stage’ of a hatchery project.
“Customers themselves choose from a number of options – there are 21 service categories in all - to create a support package that is fully customized to meet their own, particular needs.”
It’s a new concept that represents a paradigm shift in how service and support are provided in the industry – and one that is rapidly gaining ground for many of Pas Reform and NatureForm’s hatchery customers worldwide.
House of Raeford: leading the way in the USA
In the USA, House of Raeford’s affiliate Columbia Farms was first to adopt SmartCare, with a Lifetime Services contract to support its state-of-the-art SmartPro hatchery in Monetta, South Carolina.
With a skilled and experienced team in place, Columbia designed their own contract to include:
- Helpdesk support, to maximize support availability and response times
- SmartCenterPro hardware & software support, including the delivery of all new system releases and updates and hardware replacement support, should it be required
- Recommended spare parts, to ensure that spare parts are always in stock
- Remote analysis and advice, for periodic reports based on SmartCenterPro data, with results and recommendations
- Periodic inspections, to provide structural equipment inspections
- Incubation consultancy, for independent, hatchery-wide reviews that include reporting and recommendations from Pas Reform Academy’s hatchery specialists
Complex manager Jim Mabe headed the team that worked with NatureForm and Pas Reform to create Columbia Farms’ SmartCare package. He says: “The Monetta facility is a state-of-the-art hatchery and, when we made the decision for SmartPro setters, hatchers, HVAC and automation, we signed up to levels of technological advancement that would ensure we deliver the best possible birds for our network of growers.
“High levels of technical support and backup from NatureForm in Jacksonville were a vital ingredient of our ultimate decision - and SmartCare brings another level to that for us, with a package that we’ve been able to select according to our own, very specific needs.”
SmartCare has, says NatureForm’s president Steve Warren, been developed to deliver an assurance of efficient, uninterrupted performance at every level of hatchery operations. “SmartCare is a 360° approach through which we share our knowledge, people, expertise and experience at every stage of planning, building, commissioning and beyond.”
Smart apps and 24/7 support
Columbia’s own staff are well trained and have a great deal of experience, but as Assistant Complex Manager David Rush explains, it was important that they were up to speed with the new system as quickly as possible.
“For that reason, the company’s customized SmartCare package includes a fortnightly skype call to discuss any questions, follow up on open points and share knowledge and ideas. The SmartCare Helpdesk is available 24/7 to work closely with maintenance staff and the hatchery also uses the Android- and iOS-based SmartService App, which makes it very easy to send service requests or questions, with photos if needed.
“To optimize operations, we do a lot of preventive maintenance ourselves and under the SmartCare plan that we created, Pas Reform and NatureForm carry out a complete inspection twice a year and we have an agreement on spare parts.”
The plan also includes site visits by an incubation consultant from Pas Reform Academy, to focus on optimizing hatchability and quality.
“For us, SmartCare Lifetime Service is more than just support in case of a problem,” concludes David Rush. “It is a partnership, where we work together with Pas Reform and NatureForm continuously to generate further improvements, increased hatchability and chick quality.”