How Mobile Site Audit Tools Ensure Brand Consistency and Compliance

ServiceChannel provides facilities managers with a single platform to source, procure, manage and pay for repair & maintenance services from commercial contractors.

The Challenge

Customers come into your stores every day, expecting a positive experience.  How your customers perceive your brand is based on the conditions of all your locations.  Today, your stores and facilities have a direct impact on perception of your brand and more importantly, your business results.

That’s why it’s critical you have insight and visibility into conditions across your retail portfolio, and be able to remedy any issues that arise.  A site audit program is an essential aspect of gaining that visibility.

Performing regularly scheduled site audits is an important facet of any company’s facilities management program.  Whether you’re responsible for retail stores across a city or across the globe, it’s essential you regularly and properly assess the conditions your customers, partners and employees experience.

Importantly, the audit itself often is the begin and end of the process; there’s little to no actionable data (e.g., no work orders created in response to what’s identified) or even a ‘to do’ list generated that would lead to improved conditions.

Best Practice Implemented

A site audit sounds easy in concept but we’ve found there is often no process in place to ensure continuous, productive and successful site audits.  They’re often one-off, independent events that are incomplete and inconsistent. This week’s audit may be quite different from last week’s or last month’s!  

So, how does one go about making sure site audits are done properly, every time, and everywhere?  We’ve seen many best practices followed by numerous multi-site companies, and have identified five principal elements to ensure successful site audits that drive real value:

ComprehensiveConsistently and thoroughly capture everything important about your stores and their equipment. What’s important is to have a complete and exhaustive list of everything you consider important to managing your brand.
ConsistencySite audits should not vary by location or by the person performing the audit.  A successful audit program makes sure everyone performs the same set of tasks, and reviews the same aspects of every location the same way, every time.  In fact, with the proper tool(s), anyone should be able to conduct a comprehensive audit, identifying any problems that may exist.
ImmediacyTie site audit findings to remediation by logging work orders – on the spot – during audits.  It’s important to make sure that appropriate work orders are created in your FM system, ideally in real-time via mobile site audit apps, so repair and maintenance is neither forgotten nor delayed.
EfficiencyEnsure your audits are performed as quickly as possible.  Too many companies have paper checklists, often out of date, that make for a highly inefficient auditing process.  In such scenarios, double entry of findings is required which slows down time-to-completion and increases error rates.
ActionablePerforming a site audit should not simply be a regular chore that needs to be done or to placate management that the facilities management team is “on top of any location problems.”  Resulting information needs to not only be captured, but be organized in a consistent and comprehensive way, enabling rapid and effective finding-based decisions.

Results of the Best Practice

    • Too many companies take a ‘scheduled’ audit by walking around the location, looking for anything that might be amiss or obviously needing repair. We find that this results in high degree in variability in findings, especially when audits are conducted by different auditors. Make sure to have a pre-defined audit scope, repeatable process to follow and pre-set audit schedule.
    • A consistent audit scope ensures consistent data for analysis to identify what types of issues are most common which can impact your maintenance schedule and/or training.  A data-driven site audit program can prove to be a key factor in everything from capex planning, to identifying common repair issues to capacity planning.
    • Using a proper audit tool, particularly a mobile-based app enables issues to be captured and documented with all requisite detail including pictures.  This way, repairs can be addressed immediately, minimizing brand impact.
    • With a systematic approach to auditing your stores, the process can happen quicker as well as something performed more often.  Rather than postponing a site audit because an ‘auditor’ is not available or doing them as rarely as possible because of the time they take or low value gained, a modern FM software system with mobile site audit capabilities enables anyone to efficiently perform a comprehensive assessment.  This way, audits are a more regular part of operations, driving overall improved experiences.
    • With a focus on boosting transparency across your organization, issues can be identified and drive necessary service requests and work orders to remedy any problems.  In addition, by capturing data consistently across all your locations, you can identify trends to be addressed, recurring issues that may require procedure or training changes and specific types of equipment causing above-average number of problems.  With this type of visibility and data, you can improve decisions from repair/replace to supplier selection.

Verification of Efficiency and/or Savings Captured

Conducting consistent site audits can go a long way to maintaining all the physical aspects of your company, thus ensuring a positive brand experience for your customers.  Otherwise, you run the risk of missing items needing to be addressed, and customers walking away with negative attitudes about your company’s brand and likely impacting store sales.

Lacking the visibility gleaned from proper site audits, you run the risk of minor problems morphing into larger, costlier ones, potentially vastly increasing your company’s risk profile.  Only through a proactive site audit program can you be regularly assured that problems are identified, open issues don’t fester, potential dangers are avoided, costs are minimized and brand standards are maintained.

Learn how Site Planning Manager can help your company achieve its goals.