For multi-unit enterprises and restaurant chains, monitoring restaurant operations at individual locations on a regular basis is a struggle, particularly so if they are adhering to the traditional method of using paper and excel sheet based field assessment. This process is not only time-consuming, disorganized and difficult to gather data but also results in a lot of wastage of paper. We live in a world that is dominated by environmental concerns and if by saving paper we can save trees, it becomes a corporate’s social responsibility to see to it that they change to processes that are paper free. It also makes business sense for using digital solutions for field assessments is a proven cost-effective and time-saving method compared to using paper and excel sheets based assessments.
In another article, we have already seen the disadvantages of using paper and excel sheets in conducting field assessments. Here, we take a look at how a business can benefit itself and the world around by adapting to digital solutions for its assessment process helping bring about a paper free culture in organizations that would lead to saving trees and contribute to a better world in the long run.
In paper and excel based assessments, the manual nature of spreadsheets require a lot of printing and reprinting of forms, in case any information needs to be added, and continual “re-importing” of information depending on who wants to access the data which can lead to mistakes in addition to a huge pile of printed sheets. The daily operations checklists themselves are difficult to manage if any changes are required and results in reprinting of forms. Again, owing to continual updates and follow-ups and task creation, and adding comments and pictures makes updating the data a continuous process leading to more reprinting with each new information update. Each level of management wants a different way of looking at the information, causing overlapping of effort and requiring unnecessary reprinting of assessment based information. This method is also very time consuming to consolidate the information to see location, regional and company-wide trends, and each such report only leads to more and more use of paper.
Restaurant field assessments, typically require a district or a regional manager to visit a location and conduct their assessments, marking and scoring the operations checklists and tabulating them separately adding remarks and comments, afterwards in an excel sheet. The more locations and field managers that a restaurant chain has, the more productive time is lost due to the various steps required to complete an assessment. A standard paper and excel field assessment has to go through certain stages before the final report is submitted. These stages can be extremely time consuming due to the following requirements:
- Photo Capture
- Action Plan Creation
- Problem Identification
- Email Distribution
First, when conducting an assessment at a location, the district manager must take handwritten notes and use the “eyeball” approach to gather information based on restaurant checklist. While surveying the restaurant, photos are usually captured, commonly done using nothing more than their own cell phone. With these photos taken sporadically throughout the visit, the District Manager is required to recall the exact photo associated with each task making this more difficult and time consuming.
Only once they have completed their inspection rounds and subsequent meeting with store employees, the district manager must sit and transcribe their hand-written notes into a detailed excel file adding considerable time to the assessment process. When inputting the data into excel, creating follow up and action plans for specific issues are also done.
The process described above is only the starting point for creating a final report. At this point the raw data is populated into excel. However the implications, analysis and bottom line approach remains to be accomplished. The district manager then reviews the data to identify areas for improvement and success within the restaurant. After quantifying a few main points, they can now send out the final report via email with all the photos, comments and action plans attached to the relevant stakeholders. Each stakeholder will require a set of print outs and you end up with even more papers.
This traditional method of conducting restaurant operations auditing practice is extremely common among restaurant chains. Spending hours of time conducting manual tasks and logistics using loads of paper instead of working on improving your business hurts productivity not to mention wasting those massive quantities of paper.
With a digital solution, this process can be done automatically, with reports created along with photos and tasks assigned and updated on a single user friendly platform that makes real-time coordination and follow-up actions easy in real-time. And all this without using a single piece of paper. Think of all the trees saved as an organization adapts to digital solution helping create a paper-free organizational culture while saving on time and money at the same time. This is one definite advantage of using a digital solution among others that have been listed in a detailed article which you can check https://meazureup.com/2017/10/advantages-of-a-digital-solution/.
MeazureUp provides digital solutions for restaurant operations auditing with the stated goal to help move businesses from their old and predominantly paper based methods into a more modern and digital solution making it simple for large organizations to scale, grow and overall work more cohesively. MeazureUp itself is an environment friendly organization being paper-free and is helping restaurant chains to turn to a paper-free model of field assessments across North America.
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