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Bath & North East Somerset Council

South Ayrshire

Tower Hamlets

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Blackburn & Darwen
County Care Services
East Herts
East Lancs
Enfield & Barnet
First Choice
Herts Community Meals
Isle Of White
Borough of Redbridge
North Somerset
North Tyneside Council
County Enterprise Foods
Renfrewshire Council
South Gloucester
South Ribble
Suffolk Choices Swindon
Welwyn Hatfield
West Lancs
West Sussex


Knowledge Base | WEB Referrals | SMARTT Support

Welcome to

Smartt News

SMARTT Overview.

Some Essential attributes of SMARTT:

Ease of use:
A principal requirement in the initial specification for “SMARTT” was that it should be intuitive to learn, easy to use, and should never require the input of any given piece of data more than once. All our users to date have commented extremely favorably on the “user-friendliness” of the package, and we have quickly trained a variety of users without any previous PC Experience who again have commented very positively on its ease of use.

Access Control:
Security is inherent within the system software such as to enforce appropriate use of Login ID’s and (routinely-amendable) passwords before anyone can access the system, and enables the allocation of differing levels of access to various parts of the system as may be required for nominated user levels or groups of users, by Manager-level users.

Principal Objectives of SMARTT :
Maintain a database of referred and other Clients (Service Users) including their personal details, dietary requirements, meal preferences, normal Delivery Rounds ( both for Hot Service, Frozen Service and Teas Service, where applicable ), and record a documented Service History.

Maintain an open-ended Service Calendar for each Service user, permitting unlimited numbers of future entries for both Service interruptions ( eg Staying with relatives / At day center / On Holiday / Hospitalisation ) and temporary additional service days outside normal service ( eg following hospital discharge ).

Maintain multiple Menu Cycles per production kitchen, of any length between 1 and 366 days. (NB different kitchens may optionally run completely different menus ).

Automate the production of detailed kitchen Production Lists, Packing Lists and Drivers' Delivery Round Sheets containing detailed information required both by production and delivery staff.

Maintain details of Client Accounts, cash and other receipts, and adjustments, with the ability to produce Client Statements of Account detailing sums paid and due, whether by Clients themselves or by Third Parties, together with appropriate Cash Reconciliations. Allocation of monies paid can be done manually or if preferred completely automatically by SMARTT

Automate the timely production of management, statistical and financial reports

Provide all the above facilities with audit trails as specified by the relevant authority

Optionally maintain Stock control of meals at individual kitchens, with the ability to produce reconciliations between theoretical and actual stock on hand with detailed stock issue and receipt movement records.

Optionally Exchange data ( e g certain statistical and/or financial data, Subject to Specification ) via diskette, or modem or LAN connection, with other software in use within each Authority eg spreadsheets, word-processors or databases. SMARTT can also produce data in formats that can be interfaced with a mainframe system if required.

Underlying system concepts:

Meals Selection:
Virtually all meals production centers operate on the basis that there is a standard menu which runs over a period, offering a selection of meals, and hopefully offering sufficient variety for most people most of the time to be able to choose something appropriate that they like. That’s in a perfect world, of course. However, we know that in the real world, it isn’t that easy, and many service users have both dietary needs or constraints, and many more have particular likes and dislikes.

With the recent clear trends in community meals provision gearing up towards providing a better and more varied choice to the service user, SMARTT offers the very best of three methods of handling the dilemma between offering real choices, but retaining control and making life possible for the production kitchen operators !

Our approach then, uses three tools to do the job, which can all operate together:

A traditional menu cycle, with the possibility of each production kitchen running differing, or the same, menus in any one period. To assist the operator, one menu may be “modelled” upon another, saving potentially lots of time in menu-building.

A “suitable meals” file, unique to each Service User, which can reflect the totality of all meals that each individual can and will eat.

A “Personal Menu” file, again unique to each Service User, to provide for those users who either insist upon certain specified repetitive meals ( eg Fish on Fridays ), whether for one day or seven days a week, and whether for main meals and/or for Desserts and Teas, or whose Dietary requirement means special tailoring of meals to provide for their needs.

… and in addition to the above, there is are Dessert Over-ride functions, which allows users to specify that they “always” want a Milk Pudding, or Fruit, Cheese and Biscuits, or Yogurt as a Dessert.

Naturally, any of these settings can be amended at the click of a mouse button as and when required, to cater for any changes of mind or amendments to dietary needs as they arise.

Where, for any particular user, the system detects that none of the various possible “meals of the day” are suitable for a user, the software will look in that particular service user’s “Suitable Meals” file, and select the meal last taken longest ago so as to maximise the variety being offered to that user.

Using the above features, we would suggest that your Service Users can be provided with an enhanced level of choice and variety, but all provided automatically by the software, and, once set up, with no manual or clerical overhead.

The “Suitable Meals” file:
Many traditional meals systems in the past, both paper-based and IT-based, have operate on the basis of “negatives” – ie Mrs Brown doesn't eat Pork and can’t eat this or that, tending to complicate the whole issue of meal selection for everyone involved, and quite possibly leading to inconsistency and ambiguity over meal selections offered.

SMARTT is based on the opposite, positive approach, namely recording what the Client CAN and WILL eat ! This seems to us ( and our users ) a far more logical, and “real-world” approach to the problem of meal selection, which everyone can follow.

The Suitable Meals file plays in determining the “pool” of meals from which each and every Service User’s daily meals will be selected, and we have gone to great lengths to streamline the functionality within this file, enabling quick and versatile alterations to be made, such as excluding individual meals or entire categories of meals, such as Pork, Beef, Fish etc., yet at the same time catering for those users who for example “don’t eat Fish”, but who do actually like Breaded Fish and Chips, or who “won’t eat pork”, but love Sausages !

This flexibility extends to the whole area of meals file maintenance, so that when, for example, new ranges of meals are introduced, previous meal “group” deletions and additions are reviewed in determining whether any new meal introduced should be automatically added in to each Service User’s suitable meals file. Needless to say, everything can be changed at the click of a mouse button, to handle the ever-changing needs of your Service Users.

Personal Menus:
Almost inevitably, every meals service will have to deal with certain Service Users who either insist upon certain repetitive meals (eg Fish on Fridays), whether for one day or seven days a week, and whether for main meals and/or for Desserts and Teas, or whose Dietary requirement mean special tailoring of meals to provide their needs.

SMARTT takes these users’ requirements in its stride, permitting the selection of one, all, or any of four possible daily meal elements over a seven-day cycle. Thus we can (literally ) cater both for the most “difficult” Clients, and those with the most complex of dietary needs.

Meal Selection Procedures ( Summary):
i) Personal Menu entries, if present, take precedence over all other meal selections.
ii) If there is no Personal Menu entry, the system attempts to select either the standard meal of the day or any alternatives, ( subject to whatever dietary restrictions may apply to the service user in question ), providing these exist in the user’s Suitable Meals file.
iii) Failing that, the meal last taken longest ago will be picked from the user’s own Suitable Meals file, thus ensuring that maximum possible variety is given.

Detailed system considerations:
A wealth of data can be recorded within the system, and we show below just some of the key items found among the principal databases:-

CLIENTS database
Among many pieces of data held within the Client record are:

Personal Data:
Case or ID Number (often cross-referred to other Social Services systems)
Surname, Title & Forenames or Initials
Address, Postcode and Telephone No.
Door Entry Code, Door Key and Keyholder details
Map Reference & Directions to Address, and whether Lives Alone
Date of Birth, Sex, Marital Status, Special Delivery Instructions
Social Services Category, and Ethnic Origin Code
Payment Method (e g Cash/Cheque/Account), Payment Frequency, and normal pay day
Paid-by information ( ie Third Parties)
Referred By, and Referral Date
Service Start, End & Review Dates
Care Manager or Team details, with ‘Phone Nos.
Doctor, Surgery Address & Telephone Nos.
Unlimited number of Next of Kin entries with Address, Phone Nos., keys and relationships
Current Service Status, Current monetary Balances due ( or in credit )
Bank Holiday Service Requirements
Freeform history memo (huge), with automatic date, time & operator ID stamping

Service Data:
Assessed numbers of meals, Hot, Frozen and Teas.
Daily Rounds and Round Position (Hot Service and Teas), and Meal Nos (Frozen Service)
Special Dietary Requirements
( 14 diets currently available as checkboxes )
Freeform Dietary Notes
Special Driver/Helper Instructions
( 10 standard phrases as checkboxes )
Freeform Delivery Instructions, and Directions to Address
Dessert Override options
( Milk Puddings, Fruit, Cheese & Biscuits, Yogurt )
Special Tea Meals indicators

Suitable Meals file: Unlimited numbers of entries may be held showing:

Meal Code, Meal Description & Date the Meal was last served.
This file also doubles for holding frozen menu selections and quantities for a rolling cycle of up to four weeks where “we choose”, or a fixed frozen menu is operated ( as opposed to those Clients operating their own menu selections ), and enables the printing of Frozen Menus.

Facilities also exist here to review and amend previously deleted individual meals or meal groups, and also any meals technically “not suitable”, but deliberately “added back” to the user’s suitable meals file at their own request ( Some authorities may not choose to allow this ).

Accounting Data:
SMARTT incorporates a fully-integrated open-item accounting system, which records charge details for all Meals delivered and their dates, together with cross-references to the original Round Sheet Serial Number.

The open-item system has been chosen since it will always be possible to identify exactly when and how balances ( whether Debit or Credit ) have arisen, thus reducing the likelihood of disputes arising over how a certain balance has occurred.

Allocation of cash and other credits against individual meal debits is simple and quick, and the intention has been to hide the underlying complexity of Debtor accounting from operators ( many of whom are likely to be non-financial ), without sacrificing functionality.

Full Debtor analyses are provided, both individually and by Care Team, and Client Statements are automatically produced at period-end, or at any time on an ad-hoc basis.

Following normal Database-type procedures, virtually any financial reporting requirements that may be specified by individual authorities’ Finance or Treasury Departments, or indeed by Internal Audit personnel, can be added by us to comply fully with any varying local requirements you may have.

Complaints and Compliments:
Facilities exist to record both Complaints and Compliments from Service Users, and issue automatic acknowledgement letters, and provide management reporting and analysis of both.

Summary re the Client Screen:
The Clients Screen is undoubtedly the heart of the system, and the operators will do most of their day-to-day work from within this one screen, which also offers “Shortcuts” to other key parts of the system without the necessity of returning via the Main Menu each time a different module is required.

Navigation is almost entirely driven using “buttons”, requiring only simple “point and shoot” operation with the mouse. Button colour coding has been used throughout the system, leading to rapid familiarisation with the system for operators.

Multiple “FIND” indexes permit rapid selection of required Client Records by Name, or Street Address, or Postcode, Telephone Number, or A/c No.

Other main Databases:

Meals Database:
This contains details of all Main Meals, Desserts and Tea Meals together with details of each meal’s dietary suitability. This in turn is used to generate each Client’s Suitable Meals file. Additional information is stored against each meal, such as dated availability and whether currently available or temporarily or permanently unavailable, whether available to special order only, and whether available as a frozen meal or not. There is also a reporting category, used both for sorting reports, and for grouping similar meal types together when viewing the Client’s suitable meals file.

Kitchens Database:
This holds details of each production unit, and attached to this are as many delivery rounds as may be required. Each Round can hold further information such as pickup times, and special driver instruction messages, etc.

Each production kitchen also has its own individual Menu file, each of which can hold either a single menu profile or indeed multiple ( eg seasonal ) menus. Operators can create a cycle of a variable number of days for each of these menus if required, together with details of the daily meals and alternatives for both “Standard” service users and for those with special Dietary requirements. Separate columns for each day provide for Main courses, Desserts, and Tea Meals.

SMARTT will restart any menu cycle once it reaches its end, although user intervention can readily re-select an alternative menu, or re-set all or any days’ entries according to individual requirements.

A meals statistical profile is also held against each production kitchen, showing separately the numbers of Main Meals, Desserts, and Tea Meals produced for each of thirteen possible financial periods.

Drivers Database:
This records personal details of Helper/Drivers, and also their Pager Numbers ( useful for those users taking the optional additional Pager Module ).

This personnel data can be expanded according to local requirements.

Once all Service Users’ records are set up, there will inevitably be daily maintenance required as new Service users come on service and others are suspended or leave the service. The data entry screens for this maintenance have been designed to be extremely quick and simple to use, generally requiring only a few clicks of the mouse and minimal typing effort at the keyboard.

As far as possible, we have designed the principal Service User’s Maintenance Screen to be the only one required for general day-to-day maintenance of SMARTT, and your operators will probably spend most of their time within this one screen.

Apart from this routine maintenance, the other principal tasks to be accomplished on a daily basis are:

In the current release, all Round Sheets are produced on a daily basis.

For each production kitchen set up, options include reprinting the last round sheet printed, the next due date’s, or for any future date. The system will proceed to auto-select the most appropriate meal for every user on each round for the selected kitchen, taking into account both Service Users suspended for the day in question and those “added in” through the service amendment calendar.

Round sheet layouts may be in landscape or A4 portrait format, and contain a wealth of driver information, including; full Name and Address, Round position, Delivery Comments ( both standard and free-form ), Door Entry Codes, Key Codes, directions to the Address, Normal delivery and payment days, exact meal descriptions selected for delivery, account balance brought forward, amount due today, paying-in codes, Recorded meal temperatures etc.

As with all other report layouts, it is expected that individual meals service administrators will wish to have the round sheet layout customised to some degree, and we are happy to work with you to achieve the ideal layout to suit your own needs, including the incorporating of your corporate identity logo, etc.

All Round Sheets are uniquely serially-numbered, and whilst the round sheet is being printed, a “skeleton” accounting record is generated, which is non-erasable and awaits the ultimate completion of “actual” meal numbers, returns and non deliveries, and cash collected, at which point individual Client Accounts will be updated ( see below ). By this means, the power of the software enables the least-financially aware operators to drive
A sophisticated open-item accounting system whilst remaining largely unaware they are doing so.

At the end of each round, a summary list is printed showing ( separately for Main Meals and Desserts ) total numbers of each individual meal required on the round, to act both as a driver checklist and to assist with packing the meals.

Using similar internal procedures as the Round Sheet described above, the Kitchen Production List consists of the “summaries” as printed at the tail end of each Round Sheet, plus an overall summary listing the grand total numbers of each meal required to be taken from stock for the day’s production. The production list is currently in A4 (portrait) style, but changes to this layout can be considered if necessary.

( Meals, Non-deliveries and Cash )

As described above, a key feature of the implementation of the accounting system is that the creation of Client Accounting entries is largely automated as a by-product of printing Daily Round Sheets.

A non-erasable Round Sheet batch posting screen is generated for each Round Sheet, bearing the unique serial number printed on each Round Sheet produced.

This screen-based form is designed for rapid keyboard input, on the basis that most of the time, most of the meals due to be delivered are indeed delivered, and most of the cash that should be collected is indeed collected.

Since SMARTT is already aware of what was due to take place for each round, it is therefore only necessary to advise the system of those deliveries that did not take place, or the cash collections that were not made.

As these adjustments are entered, running totals of nett meal totals and cash collections for each Round Sheet are maintained, and once the operator has “balanced” these totals against those endorsed on the physical round sheet returned to the office, clicking the “Confirm Batch” button will, after a final confirmation dialogue, automatically transfer the appropriate Debits and Credits to each Client’s account, and update the nett running Debit or credit Balances Due.

Non-deliveries and reasons for these can also be tracked in this screen, for further reporting and analysis elsewhere in the system, and non-deliveries may be treated either as chargeable or non-chargeable to Clients, depending upon local custom and practice.

This technique has been proven to work well for even the least financially-inclined operators.Once a Round Sheet has been “completed” in this way, it may not be reopened or edited in any way, to preserve the integrity of the Accounting system. If it proves necessary to make adjustments to individual Client Accounts, there is an adjustment posting mechanism within each Client’s accounts details screen.

SMARTT may be configured to “auto-allocate” Debits against Credits, and where this is not possible the manual allocation process of “matching” Debits (meal charges) against Credits (payments or other credits) has been made as simple as it can be.

Statements of Account show only any individual unallocated debits and credits, and may be produced at any time, either ad-hoc ( on an as required basis, for individual Clients ), or globally by Client Care Teams, area, etc. Since ALL unmatched debits and credits are listed, there is never any doubt as to exactly how any balance on an Account has arisen – the account is self-reconciling.

Invoices may be produced for any Clients billed on a monthly or four-weekly basis, and these can optionally be addressed to third parties responsible for the payment of Service Users’ accounts. The precise format of these invoices is expected to vary considerably from one Authority to another, and as with all other reports, customisation is possible to cater for exact requirements, including for example the export of billing data for subsequent processing by other computer systems in use within an Authority.

Access Control Database:
This contains user Login ID's and their passwords, together with details of each operator’s “User Group”, which provides controlled access to various arts of the system.

Other features:Virtually all entries made within the system are date and time-stamped, together with the operator’s login ID, thus audit trails can be produced showing exactly who did what, and when. In some cases, the “why” is also recorded, eg when Clients’ Diets are amended or the Dietary Suitability of Meals is amended. Such audit data is generally read-only, ( ie non-amendable or erasable by the operators ).We will happily consider providing any additional specific audit-trail type features that your Internal Audit Department may require.

A large number of standard reports are available within SMARTT, and our pre-sales team will be happy to discuss individual reporting requirements with each potential Local Authority or Contractor user as part of the pre-contractual specification work before finalising any Purchase of the SMARTT software.

In common with most database system, the principle behind reporting is quite simply that if the data exists, it can be reported in almost unlimited permutations, and we can therefore almost certainly provide for any requirements you may come up with.

All reports can optionally be output to the screen as a “preview”, in addition to being sent to any physical printer accessible via the Windows operating system. Reports can be directly to any email or fax service available on the host PC.

Optional Modules Available:

Reviews & Questionnaires
The Reviews & Questionnaires module is available as a fully integrated option. This module allow you to produce the questionnaires. Modification of the Question for these forms can be changed by the operator to suit your Authorities individual requirements.

SMARTT will print the due questionnaires up to advance dates which can be set up by you the operator.

SMARTT will then enable you to print the blank questionnaires to be completed for or by each client. The Client Reviews Timetable by Round form allows complete control of this operation. Overdue Client Questionnaire replies can be listed in Bulk or by individual Client.

Replies from the clients can be input into the system allowing all information to be analysed.

Under your Smartt Software Support Contract additional reports of data held within the system will be provided subject to specification.

One of the most exciting developments to SMARTT which is already under way will be the ability to view & input information into SMARTT via the Internet. For example Social Services could input new Client referrals and alterations directly into your system.

Optional Features used within different versions of SMARTT:

As you will appreciate it is impossible to cover all the features of a sophisticated product such as SMARTT. The following list contains just some of the enhancements that have been incorporated in different versions of SMARTT. During our many years of developing the software it has become apparent that no two Community Meals providers operate in quite the same way, and our mission is always to get as near to 100% "fit" with our client's requirements as is humanly possible.

• "No Spicy meals" checkbox on Client record / "Meal is Spicy" checkbox on Meals

• S117 Mental Health Act checkbox = FOC Meals

• Complete revision of Service Amendments based on OVER-RIDE Quantities

• "Private" Client Service and separate pricing structure & documentation

• Weekend Waiting List

• Client Service Reviews & Questionnaires

• Output of specified reports in `Excel` format for email etc.

• Part/Whole Ledger Balance Transfer to a.n.other account (journals)

• Automated allocations of unallocated cash

• Ability to dispute a ledger entry

• Specialized Frozen Meals order entry screen

• Function Keys on all screens, to cater for users who are prolific with a keyboard

• Cheque Batch Entry

• Banking Reconciliation

• Forward Ordering

• Streetname Gazetteer

• Separate "Local Authority" Month end routine and reporting (for contractors)

• Meal Probing tracking and recording

• Web Integration, for use by e.g. Social Services staff for new referrals, Client changes etc etc

• Bespoke Statement formats

• Transfer of periodic Accounting & Invoice data to mainframe / other corporate financial systems.

• List/Print/Screen Preview reports from all systems

• Deceased Client recording

• Birthday Card Facility / Roundsheet reminders of Client Birthdays

• Drivers Packing lists (reverse sequence)

• Handheld devices

• SMARTT is compatible with CITRIX Metaframe Thin-Client Technology.

• Quick Personal menu selection screen

• Day Care Center Maintenance & Invoicing

• Welcome Letters for New or Restarting clients.

• Vulnerable Clients flag on Client details screen & report

• Letter writing module. Ideal for Mail shots.

The following Diet types are currently handled within the system:

Low Fat
Low/Moderate Salt
High Protein
Low Protein
High Fibre
Halal ( Meat )
Asian Vegetarian

Any combination of the above Diets is also possible.

Menu-Based Meal Choices
Developed especially for a commercial contractor, the system is now able to print weekly menus for distribution to Clients, with the ability to re-input those menu choices to form the basis of a subsequent week’s Round Sheet Meal Choices.

In Conclusion

SMARTT is designed to run on standalone or Networked computers and operates under Microsoft Windows 9x ( '95, ’98, 2000 & XP ) also the Windows NT/2000/2003/2008 Server family including thin-client technology such as Citrix Metaframe and Citrix equivalents.

There are no practical software limitations as to size of data files or numbers of entries anywhere within the system – any such limitations would be imposed only by the hardware or operating system software environment upon which the software runs.

No brochure or written software overview can really do justice to a complex and sophisticated software product such as SMARTT,with this in mind we will happily arrange a demonstration in your own offices. Do please feel free to ring us on 01392 464596 for an informal chat about your requirements, or to request a demonstration, or email us at the address shown below.

Thank you for taking the time to read about SMARTT, and we look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Smartt Software Ltd

… “Promoting Care through Community Meals”

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