Audits are regularly used by companies of all sizes to guarantee the quality and conformity of their products and/or services. They involve systematic processes such as routine inspections of equipment, measurements and other steps that can be complex to manage and even more complicated to analyse when the right tools are not at their disposal.
Audits normally aimed to assure the quality of what is being offered to customers and that they are satisfied with the all aspects of the product or service.nFor example, in the retail industry, audits are especially useful for organisations that have branches located in many cities and locations. An accurate audits helps companies to maintain high levels of consistency across their brand.
But what is an audit?
An audit is conducted to ensure that a particular product or service complies with the rules and standards established by the industry. More than just a mere checklist, it is a detailed report that ranges from the industry being inspected (e.g, the catering industry) to the nature of contact with the consumer.
The frequency of an audit must be systematic in order to ensure the preservation of quality, and it is this, among other details, which separate an audit from an ordinary inspection.
The purpose of the audit is to ensure that operations are running as planned and should draw the managers’ attention to non-compliant aspects of the company and provide insight in to how these issues can be fixed.
There are two types of audits —an internal audit, carried out by the company’s own members in order to guarantee the quality of what is produced and is done in accordance with the possible legislation being applied. The second type is an external audit, which consists of a regulatory body that visits a company to ensure that regulations are being observed and will then decide whether certifications should be granted or maintained.
How to do an internal audit?
Internal audits are essential to help you anticipate the results of an external audit and to ensure that a company is never caught off guard by an auditor’s arrival. As well as this, an audit is an excellent best to ensure that the product is able to fully comply with the rules set by perhaps the most demanding of auditors of all..: the customer.
Retail networks use internal audits to ensure that all of their operations function in a standardised manner. It is the best way to ensure that the product offered in a branch of a company is the same across the board, that the store has the consistent level of cleanliness and hygiene amongst other details that are part of the audit checklists.
In the aforementioned example 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 audits?
With so many details being processed everyday, it is not unlikely for a manager to become disorientated by the number of Excel files, checklists, printed rules, legislation and many other document types. In keeping with the theme of this article, it is very likely that missing or mismanaging this information will adversely affect the audit’s outcome and quality of analysis.
To ensure that nothing is lost or misclassified and to ensure that your audit follows the right time frame, the optimal solution is to use an automation tool for this process.
Integrated directly into the technical operations management platform, an audits module guarantees the execution of all necessary steps, can make measurements and highlights non-conforming elements as malfunctions right away. Furthermore, fact that all of these features are found on one platform makes it very easy for technicians to integrate these tools into their daily work routine.
Finally, an audits module also optimises the role of the manager by providing him/her with simple reports directly to his/her smartphone which indicate the status of each site or piece of audited equipment and which allow a quick decision to be made on the results obtained.