Pork producers participating in the National Production and Financial Database want to make sure their software conforms to the database standards.

To ensure this compatibility, software vendors were challenged to identify a set of requirements for all suppliers.

Additionally, they were asked to develop a vendor certification process that will ensure producers' data entry is as efficient as possible. The process has two steps — compliance and certification.

Production Software Providers

Production-based software vendors can certify their breeding herd software and grow/finish records software separately.

To simply attain compliance, the software must collect the standard data. Data element compliance means Pork Office can read the data files directly and assemble the information needed. This allows the software to produce the standard production-stage and productivity reports by combining standard production data elements with the corresponding NPPC standard financial data elements provided by Pork Office.

To attain the certified status, the software must meet all compliant standards, including the optional requirements. The software also must have full documentation explaining how to use it, and all terminology and definitions must match the standards.

Financial Software Providers

Financial software will have two compliant levels and a certified level.

To attain “level one” compliance, the software must produce the data elements and reports at the Total Pork level. The data elements are produced from date range reports and must be exported in an ASCII file format. The inventory adjustments at this level can be done manually.

At the “level two” compliant status, the software must meet level-one compliance plus generate cost/profit center reports and data elements.

For a software program to be certified, it must meet both compliance levels plus do all inventory and allocations electronically. Likewise, vendor documentation must meet NPPC standards for explanation and instructions.

Table 1 is a display of the functions and features production and financial software providers offer. The functions will likely broaden over time. Additional features will likely be offered as compatibility issues are solved.

For additional contact information for the software providers, click here.

Daniel Uthe, National Pork Producers Council

To request a printed copy of this article and accompanying sample reports and educational spreadsheets, please click here to e-mail Jenny Felt or call (800) 767-6888.