How Mobile Audits Optimize Grocery & Convenience Store Health and Safety SOPs

By September 24, 2021 Blog
a smiling female staff at grocery store

Like all grocery store and c-store managers, you’ve spent the last months scrambling to accommodate new health and safety requirements. You’ve scheduled more frequent sanitation, started offering new services, such as pickup and delivery, and revised health and safety standard operating procedures (SOPs) accordingly.

You and your managers put in a lot of work updating SOPs, communicating them out to each location and helping employees adjust. Those SOP changes need to make operations safer and the work environment healthier. Otherwise, your time and money are wasted.

Do you know how well your SOPs are working?

If you don’t have a detailed picture of SOP effectiveness, mobile audits will help. With regular mobile audits, you can quantify the impact of health and safety procedures, how well employees are following them, and how to improve them.

Mobile audits show you the way by:

  • clearly documenting current adherence and infraction rates across locations,
  • capturing detailed records including comments, photos and video,
  • revealing trends over time.

Get a complete picture of current performance.

You can’t make improvements until you have a solid understanding of ongoing safety compliance across all locations. If you’ve been doing regular audits, you’ll have this information, but if you’ve been using paper forms to capture results, there’s a lot of work ahead to pull the data together in a meaningful way. And if regular field audits haven’t been on your calendar, it’s time to figure out how to get them done.

Mobile audits, using a digital handheld device, pull the crucial elements of your safety picture together quickly and efficiently. Mobile audits can be completed on-site or remotely, allowing field managers to cover more area with less travel. They incorporate pictures, video, and comments for each audit item, adding considerably more detail and explanation than paper forms can.

With digital devices, auditors spend no time entering manual notes into a spreadsheet or writing up reports. That means instant results and fewer transcription mistakes.

And when more audits are completed, you can slice and dice the data into trends over time, tracking performance at individual stores, within geographic regions, and corporate-wide.

Uncover issues that call for improved procedures.

Not every safety violation requires an SOP update. But if mobile audits reveal the same problems popping up in various locations, missing or unclear procedures could be causing confusion.

For example, customer-facing grocery store workers are 5 times more likely to contract COVID-19 than their other employees. Higher risk team members might need more detailed guidance from the SOPs on how to protect themselves or what to do if they feel sick before or during a work shift.

When your mobile audit data highlights a problem, examine SOPs to ensure they’ve addressed the issue. If not, it’s time to revise, retrain, and follow up.

Set data-driven improvement goals.

Once regular mobile audits have uncovered the trends you need to improve, make the required changes to procedures and set goals for your locations. For instance, aim to improve safety adherence by 10% or cut infractions by 50%.

Because data can be separated out by location or rolled up across all stores, you can set corporate-wide objectives or customize them for each store. Base performance incentives on audit results as well, offering bonuses or rewards for teams who meet the goal.

Gain the edge in health and safety.

MeazureUp’s AuditApp offers industry-leading technology for mobile audits across all locations, including:

  • fast and easy access to key information
  • integration with on-site temperature sensors
  • trend analysis
  • support for remediation, accountability, and follow-up

Get the right data with ease.

With MeazureUp’s AuditApp, you can get mobile audits going fast. Start with one of our specialized templates or create your own in a snap. The templates ensure consistency from one audit to the next, so you get dependable data for an apples-to-apples analysis.

AuditApp’s dashboard also includes the ability to rank critical items, cut directly to high-risk problems, and prioritize remediation activities based on urgency.

And with all your data stored in the cloud, you don’t have to keep logbooks up to date manually. When a health inspector asks for records, they’re at your fingertips.

Keep tabs on temperatures.

Your safety protocols specify the temperatures at which perishables have to be stored. And if equipment fails or isn’t set up properly, you need to know about it immediately. In addition to regular audits, MeazureUp integrates with temperature sensors at your location, which alert you if something’s wrong. You can address the situation before pathogens set in and record the incident as part of the audit record.

Get to the root of health and safety issues.

With AuditApp’s rich data interface, you can determine what’s causing problems and how to fix them. For example, photos included in regular audits may indicate that safety equipment is not stored where expected or boxes have been stacked improperly.

And with the analysis AuditApp performs, you’ll see how to address problems effectively. Issues occurring across multiple locations suggest a problem with procedures. Issues that were rare in the past but more common now point to the need for refresher training. Problems never seen before likely come from unanticipated safety requirements related to COVID-19.

Implement improvements and follow up.

Once you have a clear path forward, AuditApp helps managers fix problems. Auditors create action plans for addressing problems with an individual or a team and assign responsibility to the store manager. Subsequent audits will ensure the problem is solved for the long-term.

If you need to deploy changes to health and safety SOPs across the board, AuditApp and the companion DailyChex checklist application, remind employees of the new procedures and allow regional managers to monitor compliance in real time.

Maintain and refine for the future.

Today’s crazy health environment is probably not going away. Grocery and c-stores have to stay nimble and be ready to adjust protocols. When the unexpected happens, the data and benchmarks you’ve collected through AuditApp will help you maintain solid safety performance. Regardless of what’s ahead, you’ll keep your team and customers safe and your stores thriving.

Find out how to easy it is to improve your health and safety SOPs with an AuditApp free trial today.