Do You Need a Mobile Food Service Inspection Report?

By katie simpson on July 17, 2014

You can’t serve anyone if your business isn’t up to code. Photo credit: christing-O- via photopin cc

Whether you serve sandwiches or enchiladas, food safety is crucial for your business. But you don’t wait for the inspectors just to come to ensure your business is compliant: you test your business regularly. Your customers enjoy safe food, and you rest easy with a safe business.

But what if there were still potential slips in your food safety? What if you had an unnecessary administrative burden? Paper food service inspection reports not only allow room for error but are also time consuming and costly.

Here are 7 reasons why you should go with a mobile food service inspection report:

1. Mobile apps are often faster than paper

A common misconception people have is that a mobile food service 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, 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. Worried about typing on a smartphone or tablet? Many now have speech to text features. Just talk into your device, and it will transcribe the information. 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 business.

2. Get inspections in real time

A major issue slowing down businesses is data entry. First, employees write down the information on paper. Then, they have to type it a second time into your database. This leads to a dangerous lag for your business. If you have something that isn’t up to code, you don’t have time to wait for a report to come back. Instead, paper forms require additional work and hold you back from fixing your business. 

Going with a mobile food service inspection streamlines your process with instant access to information. Every finished inspection is sent immediately to the cloud. There you can view all the information in an organized PDF. No longer hours for a report to come back: fix any safety violation as soon as you find it.

Do you need to look at a whole group of food service inspections? With bulk downloads as Excel or CSV files, simply download the group of inspections you need to work with. With all your food service inspections already in a streamlined format, you can easily look at multiple inspections together. Say goodbye to long nights formatting and putting inspections into one report.

Oh and data entry? That’s no longer necessary too.  

3. Mobile food service inspections return with fewer errors

Inaccuracies in food service inspection reports can cause headaches (and potential lawsuit). Perhaps you have inspections where half the fields are blank, or you find out that an inspection is describing the wrong location! These issues require more work in the long run and liable if a safety violation occurs.

Switching to a mobile app can improve your food safety inspections. In a food service inspection app, you can make fields required, that way employees will always submit important information. Even if an employee skips a required field, she won’t be able to submit the inspection. This will ensure that your employees gather all the information you need to stay up to code.

With clear typed text typed, you never have to wonder about ambiguous entries in the inspection. You can add photos as well. That way you can visually confirm that your business is up to code. Not only is it fast to capture a photo, but photos also provide visual evidence as well.

Do you need to inspect multiple locations? Ensure you are at the right location with one click for GPS. With a GPS location, you can be sure that your employees are inspecting the correct location.

Human error happens. Still, slipping in food service is dangerous for your business and your customers. Going mobile will remove common inaccuracies that happen with paper inspections and help you stay in better compliance.

4. Easily find and organize your inspections

Anyone who has been in management knows, paper documents are naturally chaotic. They get in the wrong file, become huge piles, and naturally 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.

This presents a major danger in food service inspections. That means nearly 11% of your safety documentation could be impossible to find. You’ve not only lost time and money on those inspections, but also crucial information protecting your company.

A switch to mobile food service inspection report will provide better protection to your business. 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. Just type in your search and get back to work.

Never again spend hours looking for the right document, or worrying about a missing form. All your inspections will be safe in the cloud and easy to find.

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

Having to rely on IT support for any change or update on a tech system can be maddening and slow. When food safety requirements can change quickly, do you have the time and money to update your food service inspection report every time?

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 mobile food service inspection reports, without constantly calling your IT staff, or outside help. 

6. Food service inspection reports are safer in the cloud

There’s a lot of discussion about information security today. But paper isn’t a full proof system these days either. Paper forms aren’t safe from security risks, and you may be more vulnerable, especially to human slip ups.

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 food service inspection app, make sure your data will be encrypted and protected from prying eyes.

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. That cost adds up over time, 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.

Working in food service, inspections are always going to be a part of your business. By switching to a mobile app you can save time, get better information, and ditch data entry once and for all.

Browse our collection of Inspection and Survey mobile templates, Accommodation & Food Service mobile templates, or send us your food service inspection report (or any form) and we will convert your first form to a mobile app for free. You can test Canvas for 30 days for FREE (no credit card required) and see how much time you could save.