Recently we sat down with Renelle Leinbach, Administrative Reviewer through multiple state agencies and School Nutrition Consultant to get her thoughts on the state of the school nutrition software industry. Check out this Q&A with her to learn about how Health-e Pro stacks up. Part one of this two-part series is found HERE.

We see a lot of Food Service Professionals balancing the tightrope between trying to save time or trying to save money. Oftentimes, saving money seems to win out. Have you experienced this?

Every school district is so different. Recently, one district  had us build the menus with a school nutrition software, and it took us 80 hours. The software we used is not good with labels–they don’t link to anything–so we had to enter everything in from scratch because the software’s search capabilities are terrible.

If they had Health-e Pro’s global ingredients, we probably could have built that menu in 15 hours. In paying us for those 80 hours of work, they could have purchased Health-e Pro many times over!

If the district could see the value of, “What is the value of your time?” as food service directors and their colleagues are spending dozens of hours inputting data, it would make a big difference. And even with Health-e Pro, it takes time in the beginning, but once it’s set up and ready to go, you won’t need that extra employee entering data for you.

We’ve also heard quite a bit, “We had to hire an outside consultant to help us do our menus.” It’s  hard to put in extra hours to get menus in. What is your time worth? How much time do you spend updating current labels? If you’re using Global Products and the Global Recipes Database in Health-e Pro, you’re saving dozens and dozens of hours.

Another question for food service professionals to ask themselves: When you revamp your menus, do you want to be able to quickly grab the 2018 label or the updated label?

As a state auditor across multiple states, I’ve looked at menus for hundreds of school districts, and thousands of menus. Seeing all of them and seeing some of what these districts go through, some of them send me hand-written recipes with ingredients scratched out. Sometimes districts buy software products that have no support, so things are entered wrong, or it’s done incorrectly. Another software had reports that were really challenging and hard, we almost wanted to re-do it ourselves rather than having to filter through all their stuff that didn’t make sense.

Having spent time as a reviewer, what stands out to you about Health-e Pro software versus others?

Over the past 6 years, I have worked with hundreds of districts and thousands of menus and Health-e Pro is by far my favorite. It is the most user-friendly.

One of the most important components about Health-e Pro is menu compliance. With some other school nutrition software, if you want to see if your menu is compliant, you have to go through a lot of reports, go back and see if it’s right, and then go and make a change.

With Health-e Pro, it’s all on that one screen, and seeing the red exclamation mark in Health-e Pro is super valuable to me. From an auditor’s standpoint, being able to see when the menus are out of compliance and what needs fixing, that’s a huge time saver as well. Why would they send an audit that has tons of red exclamation marks? They wouldn’t!

When someone uses a software that doesn’t make compliance as clear as Health-e Pro, they end up sending something that doesn’t fit the requirements.

From what I’ve seen and the software’s I’ve used, Health-e Pro is my number one choice.

 Do you review districts that use Health-e Pro?

Yes. When we see menus from Health-e Pro, we know it’s all complete. When we get the EZ Review file, we know we won’t have to beg for files and documentation–it comes to us complete.

For Administrative Review preparation, Health-e Pro makes it so easy to prepare all your documents. That’s a big challenge for us as reviewers: we still need your recipes, we need your labels. So many are trying to find them off boxes, in old files, on their desk, where, if they had Health-e Pro, it would be at the click of a button. “Okay, you want week two? Here you go!”

I’ve talked to directors where they’re in tears because they’ve spent 20 hours overtime trying to collect all the necessary information. I feel so bad for them spending all this time where, if they had a good software at the beginning, it’d take them a few hours and they’d be done.

We appreciate Renelle taking the time to sit down with us and talk through school nutrition software. We hope you’ve found this valuable, especially if you have a review coming up and are looking for ways to make it go as smoothly and efficiently as possible!