Routine process audits always seem to make people wince. Even when you have confidence in the eventual result, there’s an aura of uncertainty around the outcome until findings are reported.
One of the best ways to simplify this process is to digitize your process audit checklist. When you have an itemized breakdown of what to review during the audit, it is easier to follow a path toward completion instead of getting lost in various tangents.
Traditional audit checklists provide paper-based forms that take time to complete. If you forget where you set one, you can lose time during this task. That’s why it’s not unusual to see more time spent managing the audit paperwork than the actual review.
By taking the digitized approach, those concerns get minimized.
Why Should I Consider Digitizing My Process Audit Checklist?
Training, competence management, and quality controls on products are only a few of the potential benefits that occur after digitization. Here are some of the possible outcomes you could see with this investment.
1. Image Inclusion in an Audit
Your auditors need to have the most accurate information possible when doing their work. That process includes receiving images of complaint states they can use for reference. When using paper checklists for the audit, it’s rare for them to have space for this asset.
Although you could place an image on a paper checklist, that action could cause multiple issues.
- It might require a complete reformatting of the document.
- The resolution might not be high enough to be helpful.
- Your printer uses more ink, making it harder to complete your work.
When using a digital audit checklist, you can embed visual media quickly and easily. It doesn’t need to be an image! You can include videos and other content to ensure everyone knows what will serve as passing or failing.
2. Data Aggregation in an Audit
An audit’s goal is to provide an overview of your operations. You’re getting to see what works well, the items that need improvement, and where opportunities are to fine-tune things.
Trying to have all this information in a single location is often a burden during a paper-based auditing process. You typically need to enter data into spreadsheets manually. As you start to log corrective procedures, the administrative burden becomes massive.
Digitizing your process audit checklist allows the data gathering to happen in useful formats. The information populates into various breakdowns, charts, graphs, and histories to ensure you have everything you need.
3. Real-Time Results for an Audit
There are almost always delays to manage when using a paper-based audit process. That lag creates potential problems when you’re trying to communicate real-time results.
When you switch to a digitized process, the audit software limits the delays between observation and taking action. You receive real-time pictures of your operations, making it easier to expedite necessary measures.
4. Easier Updating for an Audit
Today’s processes are dynamic. Industries are continuously innovating and evolving, which means the process audit checklists must be changing to accommodate those updates.
Without those updates, it’s impossible to receive an accurate picture of what to expect during the audit.
When using paper-based checklists, you might need to edit spreadsheets to add, alter, or remove specific items. Once that work is complete, you must print new forms, manage updated versions, and juggle multiple information streams.
Transitioning to a digital checklist ensures a simplification of the process. Whenever you need to update an audit item, an application update is the only step required.
That means you’re guaranteeing that each auditor is always working from the same updated checklist, reducing the requirement to recheck certain items.
5. Corrective Action Links for Audits
What happens when an auditor finds something outside of your conformance definitions? A corrective action must occur, but this requires additional layers of work and communication when you’re working on appear.
When you transition to digitized process audits, anything your auditors report as non-conforming links to the appropriate corrective action. Once the failure is noted, you can have a list of necessary outcomes appear. After one gets selected, the notification goes to each relevant party.
Digital Is the Better Way to Audit Today
Getting rid of paper checklists can significantly improve your operational efficiency. Although you’re certainly reducing your environmental footprint by digitizing, the workflows move faster and more efficiently.
Audits are a fantastic place to start a digital transformation if one hasn’t occurred yet for your business. If you’re interested in this process, reach out today to discuss improving your process audit checklists with Azumuta.