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VersaCold Rolls Out Provision Software to Reduce Commercial Food Loss

Oct 31, 2020
Calgary, Canada

VersaCold Logistics Services has announced it will use Provision software to digitize safety and quality control processes for the largest temperature-sensitive LTL transportation network in Canada.

Provision software will be connected to scanners across the food supply chain, receiving copies of the paper forms used in transport terminals and trucks. Provision applies Optical Character Recognition (“OCR”) to automatically digitize the forms’ contents into organized, searchable, and trackable data. The software captures every process variable recorded in the forms – for example, a truck model, a driver, or a product – and it generates tracking dashboards that correlate these process variables to any customer claim, such as food loss.

With this move, VersaCold aims to achieve transparency and faster resolution for customer claims, which is a common pain point in the food supply chain. By aggregating its claims data, Provision software will identify consistent weaknesses in food transportation, and enable data-based decisions to fine tune VersaCold’s product handling processes. The companies expect this to enhance quality control for the benefit of food producers and retailers across Canada.

Provision’s initial software rollout began on September 1st at VersaCold’s Calgary terminal, and will be introduced nationwide through Q2 2021.

It is pertinent timing, as a recent study published by the UN Food & Agriculture Organization shows that 14% of the world’s food is lost in supply chain logistics between harvest and consumption.

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Without software, most information never leaves a form, so decisions may not always address the facts. We chose Provision because it is capable of harmonizing the reality of paper forms with the business needs of logistics. We believe the software is capable of not only saving time and cost for VersaCold, but also identifying the root cause of cargo claims which affect our customer base.

Jas Bains

Vice President & GM, VersaCold Logistics

To achieve this outcome, Provision has developed machine learning algorithms that are capable of reading and categorizing information in forms. The project is led by Provision’s Co-Founder & VP of Data, Michael Gibbons. Through partnerships with the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute and the University of Alberta, Gibbons has formed a team within Provision that is at the forefront of data science for food.

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Food is a science, and knowing your true variables is step one to achieving control. By creating seamless traceability between processors and transporters within Provision software, we hope to eliminate blind spots from the food supply chain.

Michael Gibbons

Co-Founder & VP Data, Provision Analytics

Adoption throughout the food supply chain has caused Provision’s contract base to grow by over 20 times in 2020. The company now estimates its software is used for over 50% of the refrigerated food shipments made within Canada.

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About Provision Analytics

Provision Analytics was founded in 2018 to provide digital solutions for food safety and quality assurance. Its cloud software is fully configurable to suit any commodity, process, and food safety standard. Provision clients use dynamic digital records to capture process data, with automations to ensure compliance and reports to expedite audits and analytics. Since inception, the software has been adopted by leaders in agriculture, manufacturing, and distribution across three continents. The company maintains Canadian offices in Calgary, and American offices in Chicago.

About Sunterra Greenhouse

Sunterra Greenhouse is the latest addition to the Sunterra Group of Companies. Based in Acme, Alberta, alongside the Sunterra Farms Head Office and Soleterra d’Italia, Sunterra Greenhouse will incorporate 20 acres of the latest technological advancements to supply premium, locally grown strawberries and vine tomatoes year-round. Grown under glass with strictly controlled microclimate conditions, the greenhouse will provide optimal growing conditions for the plants to thrive, even in cold winter climates. The greenhouse expansion plan includes three additional phases over the next 3-5 years, for a total of 70 acres, with the first phase scheduled for planting October 2021.

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