By Daniel Barnes, Spring Road Store Manager

Date Code is a new app on the HHT that replaces the ambient date code diary and revolutionises the process of fresh date code checking. Instead of using paperwork and manual management of date checking, the app tells you exactly what you need to check each day.

I was asked to be part of the Date Code trial, and it’s been a real privilege to be involved in the development of a tool which I think is a total game changer.

How does it work?

It’s really simple. Just log in to the HHT and click on the app, which will tell you which categories and sections you need to check for that day. The app does all the work for you.

Ambient is straight forward. You get given different sections to check each week to work your way through. However, the process is a little bit different for Fresh. All short life fresh food is still checked every day, including Produce and Food-To-Go. However, rather than date checking everything throughout the fresh areas every single day, the app will give you different long-life categories to check on different days instead. That includes things like yoghurts, cheese and desserts. So now you only check some sections every two or three days.

This is quite a big step change, and one that might take a bit of getting used to, but it does work if you’re thorough with your checks.

One of the key benefits is that the reduction matrix is built into the app, so we don’t need to work out when to do the first, further and final reductions. The process and the time we do reductions hasn’t changed. The app tells you when you need to reduce items, to what price and where to place the product – either on shelf or in the Reduced to Clear bay. 

Simplifying the process and saving time

The app is incredibly intuitive and user friendly. I work with some colleagues who find it a little difficult to work with new technology, but everyone has been able to pick up the HHT and use the new app with no training or instructions – it’s completely self-explanatory and just works.

It’s simple, saves time and best of all – there’s zero paperwork involved, because who likes paperwork.

Once you get Date Code, my advice is to trust the app. It knows what it’s doing, and I promise it works. Don’t check every section every day – I know some colleagues will struggle with that. Get into the habit, follow the sections the HHT is asking you to check.

While you’re checking your long-life sections, you’ll also find a question mark in the app, and if you click on it, it will tell you exactly what needs to be checked. For instance, when you need to check ready meals, you can click the question mark in the top right corner to break down the section to exactly what you should be looking at in each category.

It’s been great to be part of the trial and I’m so proud of my team who’ve taken to the new app and process like a duck to water. It’s also been great to work with the tech guys at the Support Centre to help them shape this new way of working and to work with them on making this app the best it can be. It’s been a great collaborative effort between store colleagues and the central teams.