What’s the worst thing that could happen to an ice cream maker? Melting product. The problem kept happening to Brian Smith, owner of Ample Hills Creamery in Brooklyn, usually because an employee would forget to firmly close the freezer door. “It’s a heart-sickening moment when everything you made the day before is gone because the freezer door is open,” he says.
Fed up with more conventional means of enforcement—“We’ve yelled and screamed enough,” Smith concedes—the owner and operations manager Andy Wandzilak deployed a mobile application called Modularm that alerts them to drops in freezer temperatures. The creamery can now record historical data for health inspections and avoid the possibility that an absent-minded employee could ruin a day’s worth of treats.
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When Ample Hills Creamery first opened in 2011, its most advanced technology was an ice cream scooper. “I wanted to create a place where everyone knows your name,” Smith says. Now, with $4 million in funding, Ample Hills is slowly embracing the notion that technology can help standardize processes across its six locations.
Smith says the “cold quotient” was once one of his biggest business problems. Now it’s just the long lines.
This article is part of the Future of Work article from Fortune's July 1, 2016 issue. Click here to see the entire package.