How The Co-operative Group Saves $265,000 per Month with Paperless Retail Audits

The Background

The Co-operative Group, based in the UK, is one of the world’s largest community-focused food retailers. It is also the largest organization of its type in the UK with over eight million members. They even have a store in every single UK postal area (2,800 food stores and Petrol stations total nationwide).

The Problem

The Co-operative Group sought a solution to allow their field management team – responsible for conducting on-site store audits – to ditch pen and paper-based audits in favor of a mobile solution to enable them to spend less time in the office on paperwork and more time on the shop floor, improving their document management practices in the process.

The Solution

The Co-operative Group led an initiative to address this challenge and turned to GoCanvas. Thousands of organizations all over the world leverage our cloud-based, software-as-a-service mobile app platform to replace cumbersome paper forms with highly customizable mobile business apps. These forms can be filled out on any mobile device, and the data can be shared in real time so there are no delays or additional manual data entry required.

To help subscribers get started, the GoCanvas application store has over 20,000 ready-made apps that can be easily customized to an individual business user’s needs, with no limits on how many apps can be used. GoCanvas also offers a do-it-yourself app builder that enables non-technical users to build apps in minutes, with no programming or coding needed.

GoCanvas enables organizations such as The Co-operative Group to convert paper-based processes to electronic forms rapidly and cost-effectively. The Co-operative Group launched multiple apps for this project, including:

  • In-store internal audits and checks – Mobile apps are used to conduct day-to-day checks that ensure stores are up to standard, operating legally and complying with health and safety standards. As part of the audit process, the data captured is transmitted in real-time to Head Office. This ensures that any issues can be dealt with immediately and without delay.
  • Toolkits – GoCanvas mobile apps are used for stores facing a specific issue such as cash loss or workforce management problems. Unlike the audits, these apps are permanently assigned to users. The apps ensure the user asks the right questions of their teams. When the user indicates a policy or procedure is not being followed, the app advises them on how to remedy the situation.

The Outcomes

The ease of the GoCanvas service for both back-end IT administrators and front-end users, along with strategy and leadership provided by the core Co-operative Group Food team driving the project allowed the organization to get 230 Field Managers using the system for these business processes almost overnight. This followed an initial two-month development and trial phase that exceeded expectations. From the initial launch of 230 Field Manager users, an additional 400+ users have been added to GoCanvas. New users include health & safety teams and the quality assurance team. The Co-operative Group’s use of GoCanvas has expanded to include conducting risk assessments and monitoring the quality and freshness of their products.

The shift from paper-based forms and manual processes for auditing and sales to GoCanvas mobile apps has delivered significant productivity and cost benefits to UK Co-operative Group Food, including:

Transformative Change in Work Culture

GoCanvas users access the apps via a combination of devices including iPads, iPhones, Android devices, and Windows PCs. Using GoCanvas has sparked a change in work culture and the way that hundreds of field workers operate. They are more efficient, spend less time at the office inputting data from paper forms and can focus more time on their jobs.

Real Time Access to Data

With almost 700 users, The Co-operative Group leverages GoCanvas for detailed data analysis that can be collected and shared in real-time throughout the organization. Canvas’s cloud-based platform has allowed The Co-operative Group to leave behind paper forms in favor of real-time, actionable intelligence.

The data captured via GoCanvas is transmitted in real-time to corporate offices. Therefore, store issues can be dealt with immediately and without delays. Compliance rates for their stores are often close to 100%. At the corporate office, decision-makers now receive reliable, standardized data delivered in real-time, eliminating the need to collate and organize thousands of datasets.

Improved Information Flow

As a cloud-based mobile service, GoCanvas has provided The Co-operative Group with the flexibility to easily add or edit each app, as user and business needs evolve. With other mobile app alternatives, making even minor changes within each app was cumbersome. At the same time, The Co-operative Group can now create fully customizable forms depending on particular business requirements. This flexibility allows the synchronous flow of information seamlessly between the corporate office and the field teams.

Rapid App Deployment 

Canvas’s intuitive mobile app platform has enabled The Co-operative Group to create and deploy apps for key business processes in a matter of days, by non-technical users within the organization.

Ready to Rethink How You Work?

GoCanvas has helped a variety of businesses across multiple industries transform their safety processes and rethink their efficiency, ultimately saving them money. Why not do the same? Reach out to one of our experts today to kickstart your process revolution.

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