When companies decide to go from one location to two and beyond, it is because there was something that worked at the first location that can be multiplied. Keeping that identity and reason for success can be difficult, however. As the old adage goes, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Overseeing the day-to-day tasks of a location becomes exponentially more difficult when you are not at that location every day. That can be true for companies with a small handful of locations, but just think about how much that grows for companies with an even larger number of locations. You have to staff a lot more people to oversee the operations, and they have to be able to communicate information through the different channels effectively.
Pen and Paper Checklists
Pen and paper checklists have been the go-to solution for addressing the challenge of managing multiple locations for many years. You can create the lists you want and quickly scan the sheet to see how specific stores or departments performed on a specific day. However, this data that you have collected does not always give you the full picture of what is happening. In order to see whether the issues from that day were one-time issues or a long-term trend, you have to go back and flip through a lot of different pieces of paper to figure that out.
E-mail brings a technology aspect to pen and paper checklists, but provides a lot of similar problems. The reports that you get are likely going to be daily snapshots, leaving you clicking through folders and folders of saved e-mails trying to find trends in order to address the big issues. You also have to be concerned about missing e-mails or having them get lost in your inbox. A lot of business executives and managers get an incredible amount of e-mails every single day that they have to sort through. Having everything in the digital format is nice because you can communicate quickly, but e-mail can prove to be overused and something that is going to create problems for you in exchange for the ones it does solve.
Task Management Software
The biggest difference between a task management software and the previous two options is going to be the reports and usability of the data. There are some additional benefits with flexibility to be considered, but having the best information to make decisions is the benefit that drives the most value. You can get that same one day snapshot that is offered by pen and paper checklists or e-mail. However, you can also see data across time and locations, which helps expose bigger issues and things that need to be addressed within a company. Improved accountability leads to improved execution.
Which solution is the best for me?
The right task management or audit software is going to work for companies of all sizes. It will be configurable so you can address the problems that you face, whether it’s for 1 location, 100 locations, or more. Sure, there is a software investment to be made, but if that’s going to have a big benefit on your operations and therefore your bottom line, it may just be your best option.