Maple Leafs Foods

With FieldWorker, Maple Leaf Foods was able to automate employee break record keeping, optimize operations and eliminate paper records.

At a glance

  • Global company exporting to 20+ markets
  • Effective distribution of employee breaks
  • Elimination of paper records
  • Time stamping through use of employee batch
conveyor belt worker sorting items


Maple Leaf Foods (MLF) is Canada’s leading consumer packaged meats company, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. They make high-quality, great tasting, nutritious and innovative food products under leading brands, including Maple Leaf®, Maple Leaf Prime®, Maple Leaf Natural Selections®, Schneiders®, Schneiders Country Naturals® and Mina™. The Company employs approximately 12,000 people in its operations across Canada and exports to more than 20 global markets, including the U.S. and Asia.


Facing increasing costs, Maple Leaf Foods was looking for ways to optimize operation efficiencies and reduce paper waste. At one of the company’s largest pork processing plants, management noticed that some employees were taking advantage of break time policies. While the vast majority of unionized workers were taking breaks well within the extra allotted times (15 minutes were allocated daily, in addition to regular breaks and lunch hour for personal reasons), a small number of employees were not respecting the system.

In order to closely monitor employee breaks, management implemented a paper-based tracking system, however, soon realized an automated tracking system was needed to reduce data entry time and to increase accuracy. MLF then partnered with FieldWorker to help track personal break time and eliminate deviations from policy.


MLF acquired FieldWorker Enterprise 7.2 and installed it on handheld devices (Intermec CN2), used by floor supervisors. Each time an employee took a break, the closest supervisor scanned their employee badge when leaving and upon return. The scanned information would be amalgamated and transferred to payroll at the end of each week. The FieldWorker application provided MLF with a simple, cost-effective solution to account for excessive breaks and tied the data directly to the company’s backend payroll system.

The solution was offered by the FieldWorker sales team that met up with MLF and demonstrated how FieldWorker’s Rapid Application Design (RAD) would allow a business-tailored application to be built quickly and without the need to incur the expense of building and maintaining a fully customized in-house solution. Further, by acquiring the FieldWorker toolset, other applications could be built and deployed by MLF as needed.

3 screenshots of the a mobile application

Since full system integration was not required (the excessive break times were tabulated each week and summarized in an Excel export file), MLF did not have need of FieldWorker’s XML interface until future projects. Finally, after an analysis by the FieldWorker project team, a hardware recommendation was made, based on the required functionality that met the client’s budget.

"Configuring the software’s business logic to capture bar codes is standard for FieldWorker. We’ve had lots of customers who had to read bar codes. In fact, we can also integrate photos and GPS on the same device."

- Craig Tyndall , Director of Business Development at FieldWorker

FieldWorker’s Project Manager performed a day-long scoping session with the Maple Leaf team, consisting of operations representatives, accounting and most importantly, the line supervisors. Once requirements were signed off, FieldWorker developed, delivered, tested and deployed the full working solution.


By implementing FieldWorker’s Enterprise platform, the savings will continue for MLF. The technology is already in place, and there is no limit to the number of applications that can be quickly and easily added at no additional cost or in-house IT staff involvement. With FieldWorker, user functions are housed in one discrete platform, not hard-wired into a back-end system. Making changes does not require expensive, time-consuming consultant services.