In our last post we discussed a high-level overview of a pain-free compliance program, if you missed it you can find it here from SmartCEO. In this week’s thought leadership article we take a deeper dive into how updating your compliance and quality operations can lead to conducting more efficient audit or inspections.
Review the following questions regarding your current practices and you may find that your organization and your customers can benefit from updating current procedures regarding audits or inspections.
Assess Your Current Processes
What methods and devices are you using to conduct audits or inspections?
Evaluate: While most organizations seem to be graduating from pen and paper data collection methods, we found that many quality professionals at the ASQ World Conference on Quality still manually record their audit findings then spend hours re-entering this information into a database. We also found that the majority of attendees use their laptops and a mix of Excel, Word and other documents. These piecemeal approaches lead to inefficient time spent entering data that has already been collected and compiling information from various sources for one report.
Act: Gather a list of the applications and methods that your field professionals use to conduct audits and what purpose they serve; whether it’s a .jpg for image files, a Word document for detailed findings, or hand-written responses. Next, find out the devices used to collect this information (laptops, tablets, etc.) Are all of your field professionals using the same methods and devices, or is there room to streamline processes?
How long does it take to conduct an audit or inspection?
Evaluate: If you do not have metrics on how long a typical audit takes for your organization, choose a small percentage of your field workforce to accompany over the course of a month and determine the average time to complete an audit. I would recommend choosing the method and device that were most common when you polled your auditors previously.
Act: Take advantage of a 30 day free-trial offer from a quality audit or inspection management software system that you think would fit best for your organization’s size, budget, and capabilities. Be sure to do your research before choosing a product, check out our Guide to Optimizing Quality Audit and Safety Inspection Operations for industry best practices. Use the same tracking methods to find out how long it takes to complete an audit using the new software and poll your workforce on their thoughts. Did the numbers improve? What were your field professionals\’ positive and negative experiences? Any trends or common responses?
If your organization is wasting valuable time or resources on manual tasks, it is likely that some outdated processes can be improved through the implementation of updated technology. These processes can be automated to easily collect and store audit or inspection findings at the time of collection with a mobile audit software solution.
Not only are you completing audits or inspections more efficiently, you can automate all scheduling logistics of your mobile workforce and take crucial steps towards continually improving quality for your organization and your customers.