10 Reasons Big Brands Prefer Digital Checklists Over Paper

By August 2, 2022 Blog
grocery store staff using digital checklists on a tablet

As your company grows, the challenge of maintaining brand standards and operational performance go with it. That means the paper and pen site assessments that work for a couple of locations no longer keep up. If your growing business is starting to struggle with operational management, it’s time to consider why a lot of big brands have switched to digital checklists. But don’t take our word for it; check out what people in the field are saying.

1 – Save Area Managers’ Time With Faster Assessments

Hawaii-based Aloha Gas comprises four brands for gas stations, convenience stores, and Dunkin’ stores across three islands. Even experienced managers find it tough to maintain consistent branding and execution in that environment. When they relied on paper checklists, it could take hours to fill out the paperwork at each store, then tally results, and follow up. But digital checklists cut that time by 30%. Richard Rasay, Area Supervisor for the Big Island, notes, “Paper can be very time consuming – we now save hours a day. And the return on investment is all about manpower. On top of preparing weekly reports, we have to multitask. With this process, getting more time back is huge.”

2 – Move Toward 100% Compliance With Simplified Data Aggregation

Bahama Bucks, offering shaved ice, smoothies, and other frozen drinks, is a franchise sporting over 100 locations in 10 states. They’ve grown fast and understand the challenges of getting franchisees up to speed with 100% compliance to corporate operational procedures. For managers traveling between locations, paper checklists just don’t make the grade. Only digital solutions can share assessment results in real time and keep everyone focused on standards.

Cierra Miller, a shop performance manager for Bahama Bucks, recalls how digital checklists have helped her. “It was the simplicity of the process that made everyone’s life so much easier. I used to have to get back to the office, type up an evaluation, send it to our franchisees and hope they opened it. Now I don’t have to do anything on my end but go through a digital checklist, make notes, and it is automatically sent to them.”

3 – Stay Ahead of Competition With Faster Process Improvements

MOD Pizza started selling personalized pizzas in 2008 and have taken the market by storm with 500+ locations today. Always striving for improvements, they saw that digital checklists would help them identify and address problems through improved processes. When assessment reports show repeated problems, leaders look for the root cause and make changes to solve the issue. Plus, when they want to implement changes across the country, like adding specialty menu items, digital checklists make it easy. “These menu items are a huge part of what makes MOD Pizza unique, but they are often challenging to rollout due to the temporary nature of them—DailyChex helps streamline the process,” says Kristen Driscoll, Vice President of Operations Excellence.

4 – Maintain Brand Standards With Real-Time Accountability

Great Harvest Bread Company is known for fresh-baked breads and bakery items with high-quality ingredients and unique recipes. With franchisees across 35 states, they try to help each store create a unique neighborhood bakery while offering consistently high-quality products. Their field operations tried to manage performance tracking with Word docs, emails, and spreadsheets, but it was too hard. With digital checklists, managers get real-time performance results for each store. According to field operations manager Lauren Johnson, “Action plans have definitely been big for us. When we finish a field assessment, we want multiple actions stemming from every audit so we can follow up and improve on anything that needs it.”

5 – Increase Employee Engagement With Job Support and Coaching

Most companies are dealing with a tight labor market, where skeleton crews have a hard time keeping up operational standards and teams burn out easily. Barnett Management Company, a Burger King Franchisee with over 50 locations in Arizona, have found that digital checklists boost employee engagement because they help people complete their jobs, support coaching, and give teams goals to work toward. Barnett’s HR Manager Al Hurtado describes his experience, “MeazureUp screams engagement and routines. It’s not just another way to access performance, it’s a way to coach your team.”

6 – Improve Performance With Reduced Incident Resolution Time

When Canada’s St. Louis Bar and Grill switched to digital checklists, they suddenly had real-time visibility into store performance for over 75 locations. When Time Crowe, Director of Operations, makes a site visit, he turns the digital checklist results into actionable items that teams can address immediately. As Crowe points out, “The biggest thing that I see is the Year-over-Year results. It allows us to identify items that may be failing on a regular basis, which allows us to create strategy to really tackle those problems.” Customers have noticed the improved operations, boosting the company’s business reviews by 5 points per year since they started using a digital solution.

7 – Improve Maintenance Time With Centralized Management and Accountability

Companies that handle food and perishables rely on their equipment to keep employees and customers safe. Healthy Planet is a health food chain with 28 locations in Canada. They had trouble keeping track of site assessments with paper and pen, which made it hard to stay on top of maintenance and repair needs for the stores. Digital checklists gave them real-time results that everyone could access so they could easily identify and follow up on repairs. Laurence McMulkin, Training and Development Manager, observes, “Centralization is the most helpful part – everything is in one place. We can follow up with people much easier. When something is off, we can send it to the appropriate party to handle maintenance or repair.”

8 – Reduce Costs Through Error Correction

Sarpinos Pizzeria opened in 2001 and quickly grew their Canadian franchise locations to 70 stores, but fast expansion requires standardized operations, which is hard to maintain with paper and pen assessments. Using digital checklists, Sarpinos could easily manage performance and standards. Plus, the data collected from assessments helped them uncover cost savings and process improvements that would benefit all locations. According to performance consultant Tetyana Yermolayeva, “Even after conducting the first round of evaluations, we identified a big issue with our dough making process. We were able to modify this process to make it less time consuming and higher quality.”

9 – Streamline Health and Safety Inspections With Centralized Audit Data

Canadian restaurant Basil Box offers healthy on-the-go meals, but as they grew to 10 locations, they could no longer manage operations on paper. Now with digital checklists, they easily capture store performance and have data ready at their fingertips during inspections. As Business Development Manager, Krya Santa Ana, notes “Whenever health inspectors visit, it’s very easy to show them food temp records for any period that they want.”

10 – Improved Assessment Scores With Centralized Data

Dana Hospitality, a food service management firm, prepares meals from scratch for schools, venues, and businesses at over 160 sites in Canada. With wide variation in work environments and customer requirements, ensuring operational standards was a challenge. When they moved from spreadsheets to digital checklists, however, they had the data to see how all locations were performing and locate areas for improvement. Lada John, Director of Operations, recalls “Before, it was a traditional spreadsheet with no follow up, and minimal comparison of performance. Now, it’s at the click of the mouse. Statistics, comparisons are all there. There really is no comparison between paper and this.” With information from digital checklists, Dana moved performance at individual sites from 50% compliance to between 80% and 100%.

Ready to Learn More about Digital Checklists?

If you’re ready to see why the big brands rely on digital solutions, book a demo for MeazureUp’s DailyChex and AuditApp. MeazureUp’s technology has helped make big-time success possible for these companies. Learn what it can do for you.