Q&A with Jose Romero: How Horizon is Innovating School Nutrition Technology

Q&A with Jose Romero: How Horizon is Innovating School Nutrition Technology
August 9, 2019 Amanda Correa

With a renewed focus on creating software that makes it easier than ever for administrators to effectively manage their programs, Horizon Software has made a significant investment in their newest technology offering.  Jose Romero, Horizon’s director of product management, provided insight to Nutrition School News.

Q: We understand Horizon had an exciting announcement at ANC 2019?

We’re beyond excited to announce the launch of Horizon School Technology, a new platform designed for K-12’s specific needs, for school nutrition and beyond.  Talking with directors nation-wide, it comes as no surprise that the over-arching challenges in programs today are increasing participation, staying in the black, and ensuring compliance.  Many parts of a program’s operation contribute to those three metrics. We’ve designed our new platform to help address some of the underlying factors inhibiting progress and help school nutrition programs be more successful through efficiency, accuracy, and analytics.

Q: Every minute of the workday is precious. How does the technology help specifically with efficiency?

A: Horizon School Technology is extremely intuitive for users – central office, managers, kitchen staff, parents.  Intuitive is easy to learn, fewer steps to perform actions…time savings. We’ve really tried to minimize manual data entry and time users have to spend in front of their computer.  It provides smart suggestions for menu planning and ordering, inventory control measures reduce food cost and waste.  Eligibility updates and meal account deposits are available for use at the POS real-time.  Students get through the POS line faster than ever with payment options including meal accounts, credit card, and mobile wallets.  Some customers have implemented completely cashless lines; reducing cash handling means less time reconciling and lower theft opportunity.

Q: There are other systems, including your own, that do a lot of this. What makes this different, and why should school nutrition members be excited?

A: This industry and regulations are constantly changing; technology is evolving even faster. Horizon School Technology is a scalable cloud solution – school districts pay for only what they need, and can add or remove modules as their program evolves. No upgrades or communication issues to deal with, the cloud platform is hosted through Amazon Web Services. We have the recent, unique advantage of leveraging technology advancements from other markets such as higher education and healthcare from our sister company CBORD. As an example, in addition to proven mobile credentials and security, we offer the first school nutrition software with native product catalog and ordering integrations with the top three distributors – Sysco, US Foods, and Gordon Food Service.  This is impactful not only because of data entry savings, but from an accuracy standpoint. 

Q: And how will Horizon School Technology help parents?

A: Parents want convenience, mobile technology, transparency. We provide an integrated online portal and mobile app for a seamless parent experience for depositing money, applying for free & reduced-price meals, paying school fees, viewing menus and nutrition, seeing transactions, low meal account balance notifications, and student activity registration. 

Q: How can our readers find out more?

A: Fill out our contact form or call us at 800-741-7100.

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