If I asked you who was going to visit the bakery department of your stores when your team was out doing their operations audits, you would probably look back and say, “The bakery manager, of course.” However, what if only having a single person or a small group of people responsible for completing that audit was limiting you? Here are top three benefits of implementing cross-departmental checks:
Better Communication as a Company
One of the shortfalls that many companies face is a lack of communication of priorities from corporate office to the stores. Put in a different way, it is hard to get store-level buy-in for new initiatives and standards. Many times, the stores simply do not understand the importance and benefits of these changes and won’t focus on them as much as you would like. Now think about the impact it would have if the bakery director for the company talked with a store level employee in the produce department about having country of origin signage up. It must be important if the entire corporate team is checking on it. Not to mention, now each department’s management team is aware of each other’s top priorities.
How many times have you talked with a store or department about an issue, then come back to the same store a week or month later to find the same exact issue again? Yet, a bigger issue may be that it took an entire week or even month to follow up with the store to verify compliance. By utilizing cross-departmental checks, more people are in store checking the same issues. The results are quicker follow up from the corporate office and an escalated sense of priority towards those issues for the store staff because of a quality control system that spans across departments.
Get More Data Points
We all went through a basic statistics course and were taught that the more data points you have, the more accurate the data becomes. What if you caught a store on the only bad day it had all week? The more checks that are done, the more data you have. The more data you have, the more informed you become as a manager by combining the data points together to show trends. This allows you to gauge just how big each issue is, and focus on those that will have the biggest impact on the business when resolved. On a more positive note, it also helps you identify continual top performers.
One of the best ways to get the most out of your store audits is to have your corporate department directors help each other out by implementing cross-departmental checks. Rather than only visiting their own department, they can maximize the benefit of each store visit by checking on key standards throughout the store as well. They don’t need to check on everything, but you would be amazed by the impact you can have by asking everyone to check on the top five priorities within each department.