Randy Fields Talks About Great Advancements in Food Traceability and How the Industry Can Comply

Randall K. (Randy) Fields, Chairman and CEO of ReposiTrak, was interviewed by Adam Torres on Mission Matters Business Podcast.

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ReposiTrak is a Utah-based SaaS firm; in this interview, Chairman and CEO Randall Fields talks about its commitment to help clients comply with health and safety standards from farm to fork, using technology to keep track of it all.

Randall Fields says his company wants to contribute to the supply chain retail management in the food industry by helping them make the right decisions, keeping health and safety as a top priority every step of the way. ReposiTrak is a compliance, supply chain, and e-commerce platform that partners with retailers, wholesalers, and their suppliers, to accelerate sales, control risk, and improve supply chain efficiencies. Its parent company is Park City Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: PCYG).

How did you start your entrepreneurial journey? 

As a co-founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies in the 1990s, he says he came to understand the many complexities of real-time supply chain management systems. The simple act of selling cookies at the counter, he explains by way of example, affects an entire series of supply chain activities. As he applied that knowledge elsewhere, he found to his surprise that the retail food industry in the US generally had good data but a poor information system. So, he decided to put his technical and managerial skills to use to bridge that gap.

What do you mean by the retail food industry in the ‘90s was data-rich with poor information? 

Through working with Mrs. Fields Cookies’ data and information systems, Fields says he knew that when data is collected and analyzed properly, the links between data and supply chain management and other activities in the business can be useful in decision-making processes around generating revenue and customer satisfaction. 
Customer satisfaction is important, he notes, because it can build or break an organization all on its own. Together with co-founder Debbi Fields, he built Mrs. Fields Cookies with customers’ perspectives in mind, and likewise, all decisions were made with customer satisfaction in mind. Knowing their customer-centric technology could be useful in other places, they decided to create tools that could help humans do a better job in a department store, convenience store, grocery store, or elsewhere, helping to manage stock, shipping, and more. 

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What new food safety regulations are coming, and how will that impact the largest industry in the world? 

Fields says the FDA is now imposing regulations on products considered high-risk when traced from farm to fork, and in the future, buyers will be able to identify problems more quickly. In September 2021, the FDA published a list of products to be tracked and traced, and by the end of 2022, new rules and regulations will be published based on that list. He notes that the system is changing for the better, but adapting to it may present some challenges. 

Beyond the new FDA regulations, though, food traceability is good for the industry. If you’re capturing this information as part of your process, you’re ready to respond when a recall is issued. Having a solid, technology-based track and trace program in place makes the whole process faster, easier and less expensive. Sustainability and food waste management are becoming more important for the industry as well. Tracking where a food product comes from also enables you to track where it ends up. Finally, consumers want transparency; they want to know where their food comes from and having traceability records on-hand will help food supply chain companies to give them answers.

He notes that the system is changing for the better, but adapting to it may present some challenges. The good news, he notes, is that ReposiTrak has worked with a broad array of retailers and sellers, delivering effective solutions for many years now. Currently, the group is developing technologies to help with traceability for a nominal fee. 

Tell us more about ReposiTrak and how are you helping solve the challenges in the retail food industry? 

The company is a thought-leader on one of the newer challenges in the industry: food traceability. By capturing key data elements on a product’s journey (including expiration dates), ReposiTrak can speed the time it takes to locate and handle recalled products and also help companies to predict and anticipate food waste. To help retailers reduce out-of-stock issues, which may lead to losing customers and increasing competitors’ revenue, ReposiTrak offers technical solutions for better supply chain management, including manufacturing, production and inventory. The company also offers an audit management solution used around the world.

Consumer tastes, needs, demands, and expectations have changed drastically in the past 20 years, Fields notes. What’s more, retailers today are faced with intense competitive pressures, and he says ReposiTrak provides the only end-to-end supply chain solutions in the market today.

What’s next for the group? 

One day, Fields says, news will break of new regulations imposed on the food industry, and somebody has to be prepared to handle the ensuing chaos. ReposiTrak, for its part, has already helped clients in the food industry overcome an array of challenges, and he says it stands ready with technological solutions for what lies ahead.To learn more, visit ReposiTrak.