The Difference Between a Review and an Audit.
We’re still refining the elevator pitch for Action Card. The simplest way to describe the mobile app is to call it an audit tool or mobile inspection app. Our clients use it evaluate whether or not their stores, franchises, departments and people are following the operating standards. However, the bid differentiator about Action Card was that we did not want to simply make a more efficient field evaluation tool. We wanted to build software that affected outcomes. Audits are punitive and only tell a story of degrees. To what degree is this person or location in compliance? But the purpose of following the model to begin with is that it is a template for success. Success in business is revenue and profit. This is a direct result of customer satisfaction. In medicine it is safety and patient satisfaction. We wanted to develop software that helped make this evaluation process collaborative, transparent and outcome oriented. Cloud-based audits and inspections only deal with the front end of that process.
Mobile Standards Reviews and Relationships
When we talk to our clients and prospects about Action Card, inevitably the conversation gets less technology-oriented and more philosophical. Tell me about the relationship you have with your store owners and managers? What is the purpose of these reviews and how do your standards requirements factor into the mission and vision of your customer experience? How do you know that corrective action is being taken and how do you know that your people are clear on what they need to do when you leave? These conversations always come down to the purpose of the reviews; increasing sales by adhering to a proven business model. In a multi-unit organization, you rely on managers and owners to implement the day to day tactics that constitute your brand standards. Your vision is only as meaningful as their ability to realize it. Therefore standards audits and site inspections won’t affect change. You need to partner with your standard bearers, listen to them, sell, train and support them in their mission to follow your model. This collaborative approach is centered around communication. Your conversations with owners need to be clear, documented and easy for them to refer back to and interact. The systems you use to manage this interaction should be the same ones that your franchisees and managers can access to cull reference material and support.
Consultants Review, Inspectors Inspect
Too often success in compliance standards is measured by how many inspections were completed in a date range. This misses the larger point. The reviews are done to shine light on your ability to realize standards across your partner network. If you complete multiple field reviews per owner per year and are not truly driving consistency at each location and outlet, you should look carefully at your process. Your review process should be treated with the same high expectations that you have for the performance of your people. Building a rapport and trust with your owners sets the table for honest interaction and follow up on compliance issues. This is why we don’t like the terms “audit,” or “Inspection.” Action Card allows for your owners and managers to instantly view their reviews, interact with the action items identified, make notes, take photos and even set up self-reviews so that they can push down corporate standards at their location. Since this is cloud-based, administrators, reviewers and reviewees can all see the progress made toward 100% compliance..