The updated record-keeping tool was presented to a number of clients who are members of MPS-ABC during the customer panel yesterday. Kees van Egmond, Bianca Groen, Karin Ammerlaan and Rob Wubben were the first to try out the new record-keeping environment. The feedback they each gave will be used to further improve the tool. Bianca Groen of Triflor said: “I am positive about the new environment; it is much more user-friendly.”

Area Manager Raymond Scheepens guides Bianca Groen of Triflor through the new registration environment of MPS-ABC.

The new record-keeping system can be configured to suit every user’s needs. Before logging their data, the customer fills in a questionnaire with preferences which determine the configuration of the environment. Martine Holtkamp, Programme Manager at MPS, told the participants in the customer panel: “Based on the answers you give, certain fields will be left out. Some companies might use no energy, for example. If you state this on the questionnaire, energy will be omitted from the menu, so you no longer have to fill it in.”

Much easier
After a brief introduction, the four participants were given the assignment of creating a crop schedule. While setting up his crops and dragging them to the right place in the crop schedule, Rob Wubben of Elstgeest Potplanten said: “It is much easier to set up my crop schedule now; I had to do a fair bit of hunting around in the old system. But it’s still quite a job with the large numbers of pot plants we produce, so I will already have to start thinking about the best way to set up the crop schedule in the new environment.”

After setting up their crop schedules, the four panellists entered their water and energy meters and started logging their usage. This produced various observations. “Generally speaking, it is easy to enter data, but I think it would be helpful to indicate which fields are compulsory,” Karin Ammerlaan of Ovata said. “It would also be good if the button you click to save your usage was at the bottom instead of the top, to make it easier to find.” Van Egmond agreed. “You sometimes have to scroll a lot and work with the mouse, so that would eliminate that. I get a bit of a kick out of these kinds of systems.”

The fact that you can enable and disable fields keeps the interface nice and uncluttered
– Rob Wubben, Elstgeest Potplanten

Once they had entered their usage, the data for the form was sent off and the panel members discussed the exercise. “It is easier to enter data and I like the fact that you can enable and disable fields, which keeps the interface nice and uncluttered,” Wubben said. Groen agreed. “There are a couple of things missing here and there, but I like the new environment; it is much easier to use.” Holtkamp drew the meeting to a close with a summary. “We will take your feedback on board and make sure we tweak the main points before we launch the new system. Some things will appear in version 1.2.”

MPS will start gradually transferring MPS-ABC participants at the end of this month. Around October, everyone should be transferred to the new system. Customers will receive an e-mail with an information pack a month before it is their turn.