Imagine you’re one of the quality assurance personnel at your restaurant chain; and in response to a complaint or safety inspection violation, you need to look up the checklists within a certain date range for that store.
Now imagine you’re an organization with hundreds of stores across California, each of which completes multiple checklists every day and sends a weekly envelope stuffed with all of those paper checklists to corporate headquarters. That’s how it’s been done for years. You walk into the file room at corporate and are presented with a teetering mountain of file boxes of paperwork crammed so densely that you could only get to the back boxes by emptying out the room. Now you have to find a handful of checklists.
This is a true story. We’ve seen it with our own eyes.
That’s part of the beauty of digitizing food safety checklists – it empties out the file room and spares workers from being edged out of their own offices by paperwork, while putting every piece of information within easy reach via computer or personal device. That hapless QA person need only pick up their tablet or log onto their computer to get the records they need.
But there’s still a problem: just digitizing isn’t enough.
Digitizing has an unforeseen aspect: it creates a massive amount of data that could potentially still be as difficult to use as raw paper. For example, that organization might simply have scanned all of those forms into PDF files. It would empty out the file room but could leave finding the right information nearly as difficult. How do you make that data searchable, meaningful, and useful?
The key is using a platform that offers the ability to adequately query that data for usable information.
Paper in those quantities is hopeless. The amount of time and manual labor it would take to extract usable, actionable insight is prohibitively difficult. Most brands have no choice but to remain purely reactive, pulling specific records in response to problems, rather than getting ahead of the curve.
Digital gives you the power to drill into the data quickly and efficiently – as long as you use a platform that gives you that functionality. The good news? If you can do that, you suddenly have access to an amazing array of information, and you can get answers to questions that you didn’t even know had answers. You can drill down so deep, you can pinpoint safety risks by supplier, by product, by store, by person, by date, by almost any aspect of the data you can imagine.