7 Things About Retail Inspection Apps Your Boss Wants to Know

By katie simpson on June 4, 2014

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Do you hear your boss complaining about another long night of formatting a spreadsheet of retail inspections? Are they tired of photos matched to the wrong inspection or coffee stains making forms impossible to read? More than simply irritanting, these could be signs of paper forms dragging your business down, costing you time and money.

Switching to a retail inspection app could help everyone in your store get more done in less time. Discover the seven reasons your boss will want to know:

1. Inspection apps are often faster than paper

A common misconception people have is that a mobile retail inspection is just a fancier way of filling out the same form. So why invest in a new technology that doesn’t actually help your business improve?

Actually, retail inspection apps are often faster than paper forms. Why? With a mobile app you can use features such as:

  • drop down lists
  • barcode scanning to populate fields with one click
  • automatic time/date entry
  • one click photos to provide visuals

These create an easier and faster experience for employees doing inspections. Switching to a mobile app will help the same employees do more work in the same amount of time, a major productivity boost for your store.

2. They have less errors

A major headache when trying to collect and analyze inspections is the inaccuracies. Perhaps you have inspections where half the fields are blank, or you find out that an inspections is describing the wrong location! These issues often require more work in the long run, or weaken your information.

Switching to a mobile app can make your boss’s life easier. In a mobile app, you can make fields required, that way employees will always submit important information. Even if they skip the required field, they won’t be able to submit the inspection.

With clear typed text typed, your boss will never have to wonder about ambiguous entries in the inspection. Barcode scanning and drop down lists can also help reduce errors. Barcode scanning will pre-populate fields, ensuring that employees are inspecting the correct objects. Drop down lists restrict the entries as well, ensuring you get the type of answer you want such as a rating between 1-5.

Do you do inspections in multiple locations? You can also get the location of the inspection with one click for GPS. Not only will you get the right address, but also have external validation that your employees inspected the right place too.

3. Get inspections in real time

A major issue that slows down retail inspections is data entry. Employees write down the information once on paper, then they have to enter into your database. If you have employees visiting various locations, this process can take hours or days to get back to your database for your boss to work with.

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Mobile apps makes streamlines this process with instant access in the cloud. Every form that is finished is sent immediately to the cloud. There you can view all the information in an organized PDF. With bulk downloads as Excel or CSV files, your boss no longer has to waste time waiting for forms to return to the office. With all forms already in a streamlined format, they can easily look at multiple inspections together, saving time and energy in reporting.

And data entry? That’s no longer necessary too.

4. Easily find and organize your inspection forms

Anyone who has been in management knows, paper documents are naturally chaotic. They get in the wrong file, become huge piles, and can become a mess. While in day-day life it feels mostly like a headache, PWC found that 7.5 % of documents are lost and another 3.5% are misfiled, never to be found. In retail, that means that 10% of the time and energy spent on retail inspections will become lost. That’s a huge loss in time, money, and information.

A switch to retail inspection app will help retain your information. All forms go immediately to the cloud. There you can find any inspection with a simple search. You can even have your forms named after entries in the inspection, such as by date, or location name. Never again spend hours looking for the right document. Just type in your search and get back to work.

5. Retail inspection information is safer in the cloud

It’s understandable that companies worry about information security. But paper isn’t a full proof system. Dallas County let prisoners shred old social security and medical cards until the end of 2011. In 2010 patient records from four Massachusetts hospital were found in a public dump. Using paper doesn’t mean that you are safe from security risks, you may be more vulnerable, especially to human error.

At GoCanvas, for instance, we take security issues seriously. These are the ways we ensure your information is carefully safeguarded:

  • Included is a 256-bit SSL certificate for device communication
  • Username/password verification of all data record (DR) submissions
  • A signature is inputted by the DR submitter or in person with the DR submitter
  • A photo may be permanently recorded as additional validation of signatory
  • The system produces a non-editable, routable permanent DR
  • Signatures are electronically and permanently bound to the DR
  • All activity performed is logged to the DR
  • A secure archive of all DRs is maintained for 45 days
  • Connector software uses 256-bit encryption to retrieve all DRs, including signature

Requiring HIPAA compliance? We also provide additional security measures for those with sensitive information, especially in the medical field. This includes

  • Auto log offs of all users
  • Disabled email capability at the end of forms
  • Increase use of logic and check sums to ensure the data has not been manipulated in any shape or form.

Want to know more about our HIPAA compliance? Check out the details of our security measures in this white paper.

No matter what you choose for your retail inspection app, your boss will want to know how your data will be encrypted and protected from prying eyes.

6. You can customize, update, or change your inspection apps without IT support

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Having to rely on IT support for any change or update on a tech system can be maddening and slow. In a rapidly changing business environment, your boss may be hesitant about a process that brings in various departments for a small change.

With a mobile app subscription service you don’t need IT support for creating or updating your mobile apps. Some, like GoCanvas, have drag and drop interfaces, allowing you to easily build or edit your own app in minutes. No coding needed, and no IT support required. Plumbers, contractors, even a girl scout troop have created and used our mobile apps.

You can enjoy powerful, custom retail inspection apps, without constantly calling your IT staff.

7.  Use the technology employees already own

All of these benefits could sound amazing, but mobile apps require technology. Smartphones, or tablets. And that can become expensive, especially compared to the initial cost of paper.

On the surface, paper may seem cheaper, but it can cost you in the long run. Weaker information, slower processes are soft costs that prevent you from innovating. Even storing paper can be costly: Paper records cost between 20 and 100 times more to store than electronic documents. Silently, paper is draining precious resources from your business.

Still worried about upfront technology costs? With GoCanvas, you can use a variety of different devices. Our platform works on Android, iOS, Blackberry, even Windows. Many companies find that employees can bring and use their own devices with GoCanvas. Not only do employees get devices that they are familiar with, but companies reduce the upfront cost of this transition.

Want to Know More?

These are just some of the ways  businesses are saving time and money with mobile apps.  Discover even more in our free ebook: