Wisconsin Cheese Group

Now, more than ever before, consumers and regulatory agencies are extremely cautious about the origin and quality of food – and with good reason! The Wisconsin Cheese Group has a deep understanding of this need and over time, has developed a unique and rigorous system to meet and exceed all food safety and quality requirements.

Every vat of cheese produced by the Wisconsin Cheese Group must pass a unique 4 system check for perfection and there is zero tolerance for any deviation. They undertake annual silkier audits to prove they are in total compliance with all FDA and USDA requirements as well as regular quality assurance inspections. The quest for perfection is never-ending.

Manual no-more

DashboardMaintaining a quality assurance system that demands perfection is not easy task. In order to fulfill it's goals and it's commitment to perfection, the Wisconsin Cheese Group developed a complicated but thorough system of spreadsheets and reports that were maintained by a group of several office employees. While the system was functional and supported the Wisconsin Cheese Group's extremely unique quality assurance methods, it was difficult to maintain and use.

According to Eric Losenegger, the Production Quality Manager of the Wisconsin Cheese Group who oversaw the project, “Traceability of our product from start to finish is of the utmost importance. Ultimately we wanted to be able to find the data for a singular vat of cheese in one common place, rather than having to look through and compile data from 5 or 6 different spreadsheets to pull a single report.”

Custom vs. Off-the-Shelf

The Wisconsin Cheese Group evaluated several different commercial solutions, but after a thorough review, none of the pre-built systems were designed to facilitate the kind of intense quality assurance measures the company had developed. Recognizing that one of the Wisconsin Cheese Group's definitive strengths was its strict commitment to quality, the company decided to have software built that would accommodate its unique quality assurance processes. A new system, codenamed CRATE, was commissioned with the web software development firm, Computer Know How.

“Wisconsin Cheese Group needed the CRATE application to store and compile data in a single place, and ultimately produce reports in a closer to “real-time” manner that showed all of the pertinent data we would desire in a traceability exercise. In the food manufacturing industry, product traceability is paramount. When an auditor or inspector enters the facility, time and accuracy are keys to making sure you can continue to produce and ship product. The software also needed to have parameters set to alert or detract from the human element of data entry error. The CRATE application Computer Know How created for us met all these requirements and beyond.” - Eric Losenegger, Production Quality Manager

VatsTo develop the system, Computer Know How began with the open-source, CFML development framework called ColdBox. By utilizing ColdBox, Computer Know How was able to quickly and affordably develop the advanced systems needed to facilitate the Wisconsin Cheese Groups complicated quality assurance processes.

Losenegger confirms: “The smooth integration of ORM management, caching, AOP, and modularity in ColdBox allowed us to easily integrate our complex data structure into a unified application structure. The breadth of services that are available within the *Box offerings allowed Computer Know How the flexibility to create CRATE, but allow for easy enhancements in the future. Applications that manage data structures of this magnitude benefit greatly from the ORM management, caching, AOP, and modularity that ColdBox integrates seamlessly.”

Open Source FTW (for the Win)

While ColdBox performed the heavy lifting, other modern open-source was also used. Bug tracking software Hoth was used to track and report any problems reported by end users; the MXUnit project was utilized for unit testing new improvements, and jQuery was used on the CRATE front-end. This is a fantastic example of how open-source CFML can work in any modern open-source development stack.

The open-source approach payed off, and the end result was a system that dramatically reduced costs: “In the past, it took 3 employees to enter the same data into separate spreadsheets based off of functionality and purposes of those spreadsheets. Now, one person is able to enter the data once and it flows through the system. It has streamlined the need for pre-filled data entry points and populates reports in "real-time." UsingCFML as a language alongside the ColdBox framework helped the developers at Computer Know How develop quickly and efficiently. This was a huge benefit in saving upfront development costs as well as saving in ongoing maintenance costs.”

“I cannot overstate the uniqueness and complexity of the way Wisconsin Cheese Group chooses to do business. I know it took great skill to create the CRATE application in a way that meets those unique business requirements. It speaks volumes about Computer Know How, and their ability to understand our requirements. CFML and the ColdBox framework made this all possible.”

Milk ForecastUsing the power of open-source CFML, the Wisconsin Cheese Group was able to reduce development costs, drastically increase efficiency, and reduce ongoing maintenance costs. Talk with your developer to see how open-source CFML can improve your business today!

► Learn more about the ColdBox framework

About Wisconsin Cheese Group

The four highest priorities of Wisconsin Cheese Group are product quality, customer service, innovation, and low costs. These four attributes make us important to our key distributors and direct buying accounts by providing value to them and by differentiating us from our competitors.


About Computer Know How

At Computer Know How, we understand that technology is changing faster than most of us are able to keep up with. That is why we have assembled a team of system analysts, programmers, network engineers, and web architects ready to assist you with handling your technical projects on time and on budget. No matter your business or project size, we will find creative solutions to fit your needs.