Audits are part of the routine of several companies to guarantee the quality and conformity of their products and/or services. They involve systematic processes of control, inspections, measurements, among other factors that can be complex to manage, and even more complicated to analyze if we do not have the right tools.
Audits are mainly aimed at ensuring the quality of what is being offered to the customer and that they are satisfied even in the smallest aspects.
In the retail industry, audits are especially useful for networks with branches scattered across different cities and places, ensuring the excellence of work anywhere through a clear and accurate audit.
But what is an audit?
An audit is conducted to ensure that a particular product or service complies with the established rules and standards. More than a checklist, it is a close check that goes from the manufacture of what is being audited (as in the catering industry) to the contact with the consumer.
What defines an audit is the frequency with which it is made. It must be systematic in order to guarantee the quality maintenance.
The purpose of the audit is to ensure that operations are running as planned, and draws managers’ attention to noncompliant items and how they can be fixed.
There are two types of audits: internal audit, carried out by the company’s own members in order to guarantee the quality of what is produced and if it is in accordance with the possible legislation being applied; and the external audit, which consists in a regulatory body that goes to the company to ensure that the plans are being followed, whether the certifications will be given or remain, among other functions.
How to do an internal audit?
Internal audits are essential to anticipate external audits and not be surprised at the auditor’s arrival. Besides that, it is the best way to ensure the compliance of the service or product to the one that is the most demanding auditor: the customer.
Retail networks use internal audits to ensure that all of their operations work in a standardized manner. It is the way to ensure that the product offered in a branch is exactly the same as the one offered in the other, that the store has the same level of cleanliness and asepsis in all operations, among other details that are part of the audit checklists.
In the case of catering networks, control through audits is even more meticulous as strict rules of food handling, conservation, maintenance of kitchens, and more, must be followed.
How to manage the audits?
With so many details to be observed, it is not difficult for a manager to get lost among so many excel files, checklists, printed rules and legislation, among other documents and types of controls. This may even prejudice the outcome and analysis of the audit.
To ensure that nothing is lost and is not misclassified, and to guarantee the periodicity of the audit, the optimal solution is to use an automation tool of this process.
Integrated in the technical operations management platform, an audits module guarantees the execution of all necessary steps, makes the measurements, and already signals the nonconformities as malfunctions. All this in the same environment, resulting in less work for the technician who conducts the audits, that easily become part of his routine. An audits module also optimizes the role of the manager with simplified and direct reports that indicate the status of each site or audited equipment and allows a quick decision on the results obtained.