Are your District Managers conducting operational field assessments, using nothing more than Paper and Excel spreadsheets to track the audit? In this article, we examine the top Digital Field Assessment Advantages and how they impact your restaurant chains’ operations.
- Stronger quality Assessments and Analytics
- Conduct Faster Assessments/Real Time reporting
- Eliminate Human Error
- Historical Data Repository
- Operational Scalability
- Mitigate Issues and Risks
Stronger Quality Assessments and Analytics
- With a Digital Field Assessment, District Managers (DM’s) are armed with new technology that quite literally results in stronger and higher quality assessments. Currently, restaurant chains are already sending their DM’s into the field to conduct audits and so they should have the ability to extract as much value as possible.
- With a digital solution, scoring is done instantly after each answer is input into the system. Also, DM’s can input comments and photos right into the application as they walk through the location. Rather than attempt to attach photos in an email, each photo will be inserted directly into the assessment, attributable to specific tasks and sections. Aside from this, a digital solution also allows DM’s to add Action Plans based on areas of the operations that requires follow-up consideration from the location. Now you can add the name of who’s responsible for the flagged area including a due date and status check accessible for all relevant stakeholders.
- Because each assessment is completed digitally, the system can automatically compute relevant statistics and data points that can help management identify areas of improvement. Without requiring any excel work, a digital system supplies a dashboard that includes specific information outlining how the overall business operations can be improved.
More Assessments Completed, Faster
- In the restaurant industry, speed is a key metric in every aspect of the business. For DM’s who are constantly out in the field, having the ability to better manage their time can help them increase their overall productivity. Using a digital solution, DM’s no longer spend time documenting their observations using hand written notes only to transcribe them into an excel file or email after the fact. Now, their notes are inserted right into the assessment immediately.
- Once the assessment is complete, the DM can submit it through digitally using the application. The positive here, is that the data is now automatically sent to all the other team members without any emailing, or document consolidation, completed in real-time.
- As a result, considerable amounts of time are saved, allowing the DM to spend less time walking around each location and more time coaching the General Manager or Franchisee. Also, because less time is required on the logistics side of each assessment, the DM can complete more assessments than before.
- A key concern for any operation is consistency. To achieve a strong level of consistency on an organizational level, accountability must be at the forefront of everything that occurs. When DM’s conduct field assessments, having the ability to track each task in an organized manner is crucial to ensuring the value behind the assessment. Using a digital field inspection tool, each response is trailed with the ability to record Action Plans complete with due dates, comments and specific names of the individual responsible for completion. Having the power to assign follow-up plans provides each organization with enhanced accountability built right into the assessment to know if the areas of concern are being attended to in a timely manner. With geo-locational tagging and time stamping automatic, a digital solution provides some new capabilities for bringing accountability into each facet of their operations.
Eliminate Human Error
- With DM’s out in the field, going store to store writing handwritten notes during their visits, human error is inevitable. To no fault of their own, the process of writing notes and transcribing them into other formats will result in human error driven mistakes. With a digital solution, these mistakes are eliminated. Because every question is completed digitally, the answers and comments are input directly leaving no room for error.
Historical Data Repository
- Whether your role is in upper management, as a DM or a Franchisee, having the ability to review past assessments is crucial to understanding how to improve your business. When a digital solution is used, each time an inspection is submitted, the data from that submission is stored online accessible to anyone with access. The days of searching through old papers and folders is over, with each assessment hosted online in an easy to review manner. Also from a legal or compliance standpoint, never worry about missing key documentation. Whether your business is dealing with healthy and safety requirements or an under-performing franchisee, the documentation will always be available.
- Maintaining an up-to-date field assessment is a difficult task for any sized operation. With teams of DM’s spending limited amounts of time in a physical office, it’s important that each team member is aligned in their goals, duties and expectations of each store. Equipping each DM with a digital tool to conduct field assessments allows management, the opportunity to push updates to each DM, in real time, no matter where they are geographically located. With once click, the tasks or focuses of each assessment can be synced together creating a guaranteed consistent audit for every unit.
Mitigate Issues and Risks
- A large focus of in-store field assessments, is to identify and then eliminate issues in each restaurant and the overall company. Each time a digital field assessment is submitted, more data is fed into the system making it easier to spot trends of recurring problems. Rather than simply reacting to issues that arise, leveraging the data that a digital system provides, can result in a proactive approach. Detecting issues and mitigating risks before they occur is the goal in order to create true process improvement.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of every benefit from a digital field assessment however you can see at a high level, the advantages. With a digital solution, the issues plagued by paper and excel checklists will become a thing of past, all in a simple and cost-effective manner.
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