School Nutrition News & Events

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K-12 School Nutrition News

February 24, 2016

Newest POS Software for School Nutrition Passes Audit with Flying Colors

The school nutrition program in Calhoun City Schools, GA was the first to undergo a state administrative review while using the newest point of sale system available in the school nutrition market, Solana, from Horizon Software.

After three days of system and process reviews that covered everything ranging from free and reduced-price meal applications, claim reporting, and the point of sale system, the program was pleased to learn of their outstanding performance. “We passed with flying colors and Solana was well received with the review team,” says Kim Kiker, School Nutrition Director at Calhoun City Schools. “The auditors specifically said Solana reports were easy to read and understand.”

With heightened scrutiny of the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs and focus on accountability of the federal program dollars, the accuracy of data captured and reported is crucial to a district’s image and operations. The audit at Calhoun City Schools, a five-site district with an enrollment of 4,100 students, concluded in late January and included a comprehensive review of cashier and manager procedures for selling reimbursable meals at the point of sale. “The review team was impressed with the POS system and the speed and ease of use that it offered.” Additionally, over 500 applications processed by Solana to determine student eligibility for free and reduced-price meals were reviewed, with not a single error found.

In addition to being pleased with Calhoun City Schools’ processes and the Solana software, Kim states “auditors were very impressed with the support that Horizon Software offered to us during the review period.” This played a key role in the audit, as Calhoun City Schools had recently changed technology providers. “We switched to Solana toward the end of the school year and the transition was very smooth,” says Kim. “The product is extremely simple to use, and the service we have received from Horizon Software has been excellent.”

“Solana’s success has been beyond even our expectations out of the gate,” says Horizon Software President Randy Eckels. “The SaaS platform combined with Solana’s feature set improve delivery, ease of use, and affordability for school nutrition programs of all sizes. We appreciate Calhoun City Schools being such a responsive beta partner, and couldn’t be more pleased with the results of their administrative review.”

About Solana Solana offers school nutrition programs an easy-to-use cloud-based system to capture and report the data required for meal program accountability, including a lightning-fast POS, student eligibility management, and real-time reporting center. It integrates seamlessly with the MyPaymentsPlus online payment system for student meal account payments, as well as most Student Information Systems. For additional information or a demonstration, please visit http://www.horizonsoftware.com/solana or contact Horizon Software at (800) 741-7100.

About Horizon Software Operating as a unit of Roper Technologies (ROP: NYSE), Horizon is a Microsoft Gold Independent Software Vendor headquartered in Duluth, GA. Horizon’s software for school nutrition programs and online payments is installed in over 11,000 schools across the United States and more than two million users take advantage of Horizon’s technology. For more information, visit http://www.horizonsoftware.com or call toll free (800) 741-7100.

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July 13, 2015

Horizon Software Releases Revolutionary SaaS Software for School Nutrition Program Accountability

Horizon Software (www.horizonsoftware.com), a leader in school nutrition technology, announces the release of their cloud-based Point of Sale and School Meal Program Accountability software, Solana. This new program simplifies the complex tasks required of today’s school nutrition staff to stay in compliance with Federal & State regulations, while offering responsive service to today’s students.

Solana is the first of its kind in the school nutrition market. The system was developed from the ground up to be optimized for the web, using the latest available web tools, rather than legacy POS software modified for the web. The innovative user interface was designed in collaboration with the User Experience expert behind the design of POS systems for Starbucks™, Wendy’s®, and Subway™ restaurants. The functionality was developed based on extensive feedback from school nutrition directors and employees across the country through an extensive process that included field studies and usability tests.

Solana offers school nutrition programs an easy-to-use cloud-based system to capture and report the data required for meal program accountability, including a lightning-fast POS, student eligibility management, and real-time reporting center. It integrates seamlessly with the MyPaymentsPlus online payment system for student meal account payments, as well as most Student Information Systems. Solana can be accessed via nearly any PC or mobile device, with the POS offering uninterrupted service for off-line transaction processing - critical for busy school cafeteria lines.

With heightened scrutiny of the National School Lunch Program and National School Breakfast program, and focus on accountability of the federal program dollars, Horizon has prioritized the accuracy of data captured and reported. Solana’s intuitive functionality even helps prevent common user errors. Solana can be deployed district-wide in 3 days, and deliver transaction speeds under one second for today’s busy school cafeterias.

“We switched to Solana toward the end of the school year and the transition was very smooth,” says Kim Kiker, School Nutrition Director for Calhoun City Schools, Georgia, and Early Adopter for Solana. “The product is extremely simple to use, and the service we have received from Horizon has been excellent.”

With the sensitivity of student data and financial information, security is at the core of Solana’s product development. Both Solana and MyPaymentsPlus are hosted in a state-of-the-art, industry-leading cloud environment that meets the stringent requirements for compliance with HIPAA, PCI, and SSAE 16 standards. Horizon handles all system maintenance and upgrades, and stores the customer’s data for 5 years in its standard subscription package.

“Many school nutrition departments lack a dedicated Information Technology staff to help manage their technology,” says Randy Eckels, president of Horizon Software. “In addition to offering a leading-edge system built for simplicity, accuracy, and speed of cafeteria lines, we wanted to take the IT responsibility from our customers. Solana dramatically reduces the time, expense and support required to implement a state-of-the-art school nutrition platform, allowing our customers to focus on their main priorities of serving nutritious, convenient and affordable meals to students.”

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January 7, 2015

Horizon Software First to Introduce Online Data Analysis Tool Specifically for School Nutrition Programs

Horizon Software International (www.horizonsoftware.com), a leader in school nutrition technology, announces the release of its online benchmarking and visual reporting tool, OneSource Business Analytics. This solution transforms the way Horizon’s customers monitor performance of their school nutrition operations. OneSource Business Analytics consolidates the vast amount of data gathered as part of normal operations and presents it graphically, making it easy to analyze and compare business metrics such as participation, sales, meals per labor hour and more at a glance.

“Our goal is to offer a solution that gives our customers the knowledge and insight needed to make timely, informed business decisions at any time and from anywhere,” says Randy Eckels, president of Horizon Software International. “We are excited to add it to our offering with the far-reaching benefits it provides for our customers.”

School nutrition professionals agree that data drives nearly every decision they make. The scope of data collected each day — from meal counts, labor hours, and inventory to production, participation, and sales — can reveal important management information and trends that may have long-term implications. The key is to analyze the data rather than simply tracking it. Using OneSource Business Analytics, program directors are able to gain valuable insight into their operations, helping them identify where improvements are needed and corrective actions to take.

Pascagoula School District’s Food Service Director Ashley Harris comments, “OneSource Business Analytics is very easy to use and provides us with valuable information about our program. As an example, we had to let an employee go due to performance issues, and I was able to use OneSource Business Analytics to show the district Business Manager the vast improvement we saw in the site’s numbers after making that change.”

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Horizon Software News

June 17, 2016

Horizon Software, a Leader in POS Technology and Online Payments, Unveils Brand Refresh

Horizon Software announced today their brand refresh, updating their look as well as their brand promise for “bright solutions and brilliant service”.  

Horizon provides SaaS and client-hosted software solutions that serve to automate and modernize K12 school nutrition programs, senior living communities, and online payments in order to increase program participation, provide cost savings, reduce workload, and increase student, parent & resident satisfaction.  

“What has always set Horizon apart in our markets is innovative products and exceptional customer service,” says President Randy Eckels. “We realize that providing a consistent, outstanding customer experience is a never-ending quest to fully engage customers and employees in meaningful ways.  We’ve listened to our customer’s feedback, through Net Promoter surveys, customer user group meetings and site visits. They expect simple and easy to use solutions, supported by proactive and responsive service from engaged employees. Bright solutions and brilliant service is Horizon’s commitment to our valued customers.”

Solana, Horizon’s newest SaaS software solution, is the first of its kind in the school nutrition market. The system was developed from the ground up to be optimized for the web, using the latest available web tools, rather than legacy POS software modified for the web.   The innovative user interface was designed in collaboration with the User Experience expert behind the design of POS systems for Starbucks™, Wendy’s®, and Subway™ restaurants.  The functionality was developed based on extensive feedback from school nutrition directors and employees across the country throughout the country.

Implementing new core values, enhanced business processes and talent management, Horizon has also made leadership and organizational changes that align with the new brand promise.  Horizon has restructured its customer-facing departments and hired accomplished industry leaders to round out its tenured management team.

Twenty-year Horizon veteran leader Robbie Payne has been named Vice President of the newly restructured Customer Experience department, incorporating the technical support, professional services and customer relations teams.  In bringing these three groups together, under one experienced leader, Horizon can leverage consistency, talent and expertise in serving their customers. Robbie is committed to delivering the Customer Experience Management processes and best practices that will ensure our customer’s enjoy a great experience with every touch point.

Horizon’s new Vice President of Technology, Steve Cover, will be responsible for Horizon’s software development, product management, information technology, and quality assurance. Steve is an accomplished software development executive with 7 technology patents to his name, and was nominated for the 2015 Georgia CIO of the Year by the Georgia CIO Leadership Association. Steve brings a strong passion for building engaged teams that deliver game changing software solutions that are intuitive and easy to use.

Jennifer Lima, as the new Vice President of Human Resources, was hired for her extensive experience and high standards for recruiting and developing talent focused on customer experience. Jennifer spent her early career helping build CareerBuilder from a start-up company to over 2,500 employees world-wide. She’s a certified Professional of Human Resources with more than 10 years’ experience working in the recruitment technology and human capital space.

Horizon has also implemented a customer success program to ensure proactive and personal service, assigning Customer Success Advisors to customers on their Solana SaaS platform and Customer Relationship Managers to customers on their OneSource client-server platform.

“The investments we are making solidify an engaged, talented team capable of driving the brilliant end-to-end experience our customers expect,” says Eckels. “Our customers can look forward to a bright future with Horizon.”

Visit their new website debuting the new brand, launched this week at http://www.horizonsoftware.com.

About Horizon Software  Operating as a unit of Roper Technologies (ROP: NYSE), Horizon is a Microsoft Gold Independent Software Vendor headquartered in Duluth, GA.  Horizon’s solutions serve to automate and modernize school nutrition programs, K-12 online payments and senior living hospitality, ensures compliance with government regulations, offers flexibility and program accountability, and provides meaningful data that can be used to make informed business decisions.  For more information, visit http://www.horizonsoftware.com or call toll free (800) 741-7100.

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May 21, 2015

Horizon Software Named Winner for Information Technology at IMPACT Regional Business Awards

Horizon Software (www.horizonsoftware.com), a leader in school nutrition technology and online payments, has been named the 2015 IMPACT Regional Business Award winner for Information Technology by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.

Presented by BB&T and hosted by the Gwinnett Chamber, the IMPACT Regional Business Awards honored and celebrated exemplary organizations from the community at a luncheon ceremony last week at the Gwinnett Center. The Chamber honored more than 100 finalists across ten industry categories from over 500 organization nominations. The awards luncheon celebrated leading organizations in critical industries that are driving economic development and job creation, while also enhancing quality of life.

"We are delighted to have been named the winner in the Information Technology division for the 2015 IMPACT Regional Business Awards. Horizon is proud to be recognized for the innovation and outstanding customer service delivered by our talented employees each and every day,” said Randy Eckels, President of Horizon Software International. "We are honored to have been recognized amongst so many other best-in-class organizations. We have found Gwinnett County to be a wonderful place to develop and grow our technology-based business over the past 23 years."

"The IMPACT Regional Business Awards celebrate premier organizations that represent the creativity, determination, and engagement of our business community and are examples of the enormous contributions of Gwinnett businesses and their employees," said Dr. Dan Kaufman, President & C.E.O. of the Gwinnett Chamber.

“These risk-takers and innovators are the ones who create jobs and provide much-needed services for our community, creating a better quality of life for everyone,” said Randy Dellinger, District Manager at Jackson EMC and 2015 Gwinnett Chamber Board Chair. “These are the leaders who are laying the foundation for a bright future of opportunity.”

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Events

School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference
7/10/16
to
7/13/16
San Antonio, TX
Washington School Nutrition Association Annual Conference
8/1/16
to
8/3/16
Spokane, WA
School Nutrition Association of Pennsylvania Annual Conference
8/2/16
to
8/2/16
Hershey, PA
School Nutrition Association of Arizona Annual Conference
9/22/16
to
9/24/16
Phoenix, AZ
Florida School Nutrition Association 2016 Food & Equipment Expo
10/7/16
to
10/8/16
Orlando, FL
Georgia SNA C.R.O.P. Show
10/18/16
to
10/19/16
Athens, GA
School Nutrition Association of Kansas Annual Fall Conference
10/20/16
to
10/23/16
Wichita, KS
TIPS Vendor Event
10/23/16
to
10/25/16
Frisco, TX
School Nutrition Association of Michigan Annual Conference
10/27/16
to
10/30/16
Dearborn, MI
Missouri School Nutrition Association Annual Conference
11/4/16
to
11/6/16
Independence, MO
Annual School Nutrition Association of Connecticut Food Show
11/4/16
to
11/5/16
Mashantucket (Foxwoods), CT
Mississippi School Nutrition Association Annual Conference
11/10/16
to
11/13/16
Tupelo, MS
California School Nutrition Association Annual Conference
11/10/16
to
11/13/16
Anaheim, CA
Georgia SNA Industry Seminar
12/12/16
to
12/13/16
Lake Lanier, GA