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Case Study – Oxfordshire Catering Management System

After successfully establishing and nurturing Catering Recipe Information System (CRISp), founder Carl Kelly began to work more closely with the School Food Trust that was formed in 2005. In May 2006, the Government announced new legal standards for school food in England. The national standards now made sure that the average school lunch offered the right mix of energy and nutrients for growing children, and limited their exposure to sugary, fatty, and salty foods. It was at this time that the School Food Trust did a comparison analysis of the three main software providers in the UK, with CRISp being one of them.

Subsequently after receiving positive feedback from the report a number of local authorities throughout England contacted Kelicomp Computing regarding CRISp including Oxfordshire County Council. They were looking for a menu analysis package that was easy to use, was functional and also included backup and support. CRISp ticked all these boxes and after an on-site consultation, installation and training of the software package to designated staff, CRISp was successfully deployed. As the relationship between Kelicomp Computing and Oxfordshire County Council developed and with continued success of CRISp, the Kelicomp Computing team were asked to create a database for catering staff providing in-depth data of absence and training records.

The problem that Oxfordshire County Council faced was that they had approximately 200 schools in their control but 100’s of Microsoft Access based databases many of which were obsolete. Staff at the council had a lack of knowledge of how these databases operated and so asked for Kelicomp Computing’s expertise, analysis and advice of which databases to keep and those to discard. Immediately the Kelicomp Computing team quickly set about updating the relevant databases in a more recent version of Microsoft Access. During the analysis stage the Kelicomp Computing team identified that many of the databases were duplicated and unmonitored.  A decision was taken to transfer all the relevant databases and amalgamate them into one centralised database known as the Oxfordshire Catering Management System (OCMS).

The Kelicomp Computing team devised a web-based application designed to make it far more user-friendly to maintain and update data records. Details of meal numbers, invoicing, staff absence, training, equipment, registry inspections and cleaning were introduced. Furthermore deployment of the new OCMS software database ensured a huge amount of time, man-power and money were saved each month on data entry alone. Previously each month a member of staff(s) were required to painstakingly send out letters to the 200 or so schools in the county along with the cost of stamp postage. With the new OCMS software database, emails were automatically sent to heads of schools’ within minutes with details of re-charge invoices attached. This ensured that all invoices were sent out earlier and payments were made on time.

As a direct result of the new OCMS software database designed and installed by Kelicomp Computing, Oxfordshire County Council’s overall Key Performance Indicator (KPI) was significantly improved. Subsequently management decisions from the council were allowed to be made earlier ensuring resources were optimised far more effectively and efficiently. This has been a template that we have implemented successfully across a number of other local authorities throughout England. 

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