Not all Checklists Programs are the Same

A lot of companies when they start to digitize their operating procedures start off with a simple platform for collecting data.  They don’t know what they don’t know yet.  They pick a platform that they can use on a tablet or phone to collect data in a simple web form.  Examples of these platforms are: Survey Monkey, Excel, Zenput, Jolt, CMX, Meazure Up, and Google Forms.

Honestly, if you are NOT planning on REALLY using the data to drive better operations and hold your teams more accountable, if it’s just not a priority, then Google Forms is your cheapest and best bet.

As teams start to get a hold of this data, they start to see it’s value, and they start to use this data to make better decisions, to enable coaching and follow-up, and to identify issues.  We’ve always said Data is addictive, once you get it you want more and more.

This is when the What If’s begin. The team responsible for the solution very quickly realize that a simple platform isn’t adequate for all the nuances in their business, and they want more configuration, more options, more processes to drive better data and ultimately better business operations.

Ops Services, IT and Operations Leaders are bombarded with What if’s coming from the C-Suite down to the location managers in the field.

  • What if we could customize the checklist for each location so we aren’t wasting peoples time asking them about things that don’t pertain to their location. 
  • What if we could ask follow-up questions when something is found incorrect to make sure that the issue is handled properly and documented.
  • What if we could have processes that could do complex calculations, like money counting, deposit reconciliations, and KPI Analysis.
  • What if we could have some questions for just test locations without having to build a completely separate checklist.
  • What if we could ignore the bad data and just filter to the good data for better decision making?
  • What if we could tell who hasn’t done their processes in real-time so we can follow-up better.
  • What if we could only show certain locations certain checklists and certain questions.
  • What if we could accommodate for all the different operating hours of our locations.
  • What if we could accommodate for all the different building types, trad, non-trad, drive-thru, etc..
  • What if we could alert management of problems in real-time so they could fix them before they impact customer satisfaction and KPI’s.

The list of What If’s is endless and often times weren’t anticipated by the team who purchased the solution. Therefore they are in the unenviable position of having to tell all stakeholders “No” to their requests for more. This gets compounded when the stakeholders are the executive team, who is embracing having better data to make decisions with. Ultimately, not having the right solution, makes the solution team look less competent because it appears they chose the wrong the solution and they should have anticipated those needs and wants.

Most OpsAnalitica customers who came from another checklist platform came because they couldn’t achieve what they wanted to in their previous platform. They got tired of telling their teams “No, our platform doesn’t do that.“ 

They went out and found the best platform on the market, OpsAnalitica,  so they could say “Yes, that is a great idea, we can absolutely do that.”

That is the OpsAnalitica Difference, we have a powerful business logic engine that allows us to add all this business logic in the background of the webform, invisible to the end user, that intuitively transforms the standard webform into a powerful business process.

OpsAnalitica is the only Checklist Platform that can:

  • Create Intelligent Checklists that customize themselves to each location when they load. 
  • Take end users through different follow-up routines to make sure that we are fully documenting and resolving issues when they are discovered, limiting liability, and ensuring that issues don’t effect customers.
  • Can conduct complex calculations and business logic, imagine having Excel like power in a Checklist.
  • Notify management of issues in real-time so they can fix them during the shift when they can still impact the business vs. learning about them the next day when it is too late to do anything.
  • Clear Concise Reporting that allows you to quickly identify issues across the system  and drill into figure out why the issues are happening by looking at employee comments and photos. 
  • Data Accuracy Scoring to grade how accurate data is when it is being collected so that Management with one push of a button can filter out inaccurate data from their decision making process.
  • Behavior Based Checklists that look at whom is completing them and based on their past behavior provide more accountability and coaching to reinforce the Why and drive behavior change.

At the heart of OpsAnalitica’s Checklist Platform is our business logic engine that allows us to say yes to our client’s business goals.  I will take you through a quick explanation so you can better understand why people are switching from their current systems to OpsAnalitica in droves.

Intelligent Checklists:

Intelligent checklists are checklists that configure themselves to each location when they load.  This has a ton of advantages:

  1. Each location gets a sheet to shelf version of the same checklist. They aren’t asked questions that don’t pertain to their business.
  2. With Intelligent Checklists you can easily accommodate for all the little differences between each location. (In most chains 95% of the restaurants are the same but there is always 5% that is different, with OpsAnalitica you can account for those differences)
  3. You can easily run tests of new menu items, ingredients, and equipment without having to change everything for the entire chain. You can also collect data on your tests and make better decisions.
  4. You can do this from one checklist, which simplifies your reporting. Most of our competitors accomplish these differences by having you copy your checklists and then add the individual questions. This can very quickly become an administrative and reporting nightmare as there are just too many differences in the stores.

By having one safety, operational, and audit checklist that are intelligent and automatically adjust themselves for each location, you simplify every stakeholders experience. From the store level employee who doesn’t have to guess if they have 2 of these or 1 of those, to the above store leader, who is able to look at consolidated reporting, to the corporate employees who are managing the system and providing upper management with accurate data to make strategic decisions.  

Intelligent checklists are a must have if you are looking to roll out an Operations Management System to all of your locations. If you don’t have it in your current system you will quickly start looking for it as you dig deeper into this world.

Real-time Corrective Actions

Checklists are designed to help teams identify issues before they affect customer experiences.  It’s not enough to identify issues, a good process should take the employee through fixing the issue as well.  When you have a program like OpsAnalitica in your locations, it’s like putting a digital version of your best and most experienced manager in every location on every shift. 

OpsAnalitica can be configured to offer no corrective action and just document there was an issue all the way to the other extreme which is to walk an employee through a process of correcting and documenting the fix to the issue.  This means that you can decide based on your business requirements what needs to happen from a risk management and customer experience perspective.  

Imagine how much better everyone will sleep at night when you know that the big issues that could get you in trouble as a company are being identified, fixed, and documented in real-time. That is conducting Due Diligence and Due Care right from a tablet.

Putting the Power of an Excel in a Checklist Form

Here is a stat that will surprise you. Only about 15% of the processes in OpsAnalitica are daily safety and operational readiness checklists.  Our users have discovered that OpsAnalitica is the most effective platform for collecting any type of information and ensuring regulatory compliance at the locations.

Examples of great customer developed processes:

  • Real-time labor cost % (with notifications)
  • Scheduling and labor law compliance
  • Safe counts and bank deposits
  • Daily KPI’s with +/- variance reporting
  • LTO and marketing promotion compliance
  • Risk Management 
  • Equipment and  building preventative maintenance
  • New product releases
  • Government/Insurance safety inspections
  • SOX IT compliance
  • COVID-19 Compliance
  • Incident reports

Ask your current checklist company if they are able to do complex calculations in their checklists. If they aren’t you need to switch vendors because the ability to calculate will expand the usefulness of the platform 10X. 

A really great Checklist platform will evolve from just daily checklists to being the way corporate communicates and gathers information from their entire field organization. 

Gone are the days of a corporate employee sending out 1000’s of emails and then hand entering that data into a spreadsheet. One of our clients has figured out how to best optimize these data requests and routinely gets 99% response rate from every location in their organization within a week. He is then able to dump all the data into a spreadsheet and pass it on to the requesting party. It’s so easy that every department at corporate regularly come to him get data and to make sure the stores are compliant.

Real-time Notifications

OpsAnalitica’s exception notification system can quickly alert management to critical violations and how they were rectified in real-time.  As each checklist is submitted the system determines if any critical items were found  and will quickly alert management to their existence so the appropriate team members can confirm that the location handled them properly.

Criticals are reported on throughout the system so that they can easily be identified, counted, and investigated.  

Reporting and Data Accuracy Scoring

When you invest in a checklist system you are doing two things. 

  1. You are creating a tool that can be used at the location level to run better daily operations.
  2. More importantly, you are unlocking an operations data feed that you never had access to in the past. You are putting eyes in every location every shift to see how people are truly running your locations.

The data you collect is the most important part of these systems. The data is what is going to allow you to make better decisions, to allow your field teams to better coach and develop the location teams, and allow the GM’s to better coach and develop their teams.  

You need reporting that can look at all the locations and very easily identify a single location or single process where people are struggling.  

You need reporting that can be looked at in the aggregate or can be downloaded into an excel at the question and response level for further analysis.

You need reporting that will allow you to look at pictures and comments to crowd source what is really happening on the ground and to look for easy quick solutions. 

Most importantly, you need a way to filter out the bad data and only look at the accurate data when making decisions. Making decisions on pencil whipped data is just dumb, because it isn’t accurate.

OpsAnalitica is the only Analytics Platform in the world that has Data Accuracy Scoring. A real-time analysis of the data being collected that determines if it is accurate or not, and then identifies it appropriately.

With OpsAnalitica you are one click away from discarding all the inaccurate data and just focusing on the accurate data, literally no one else in the world has this.  They can’t because it requires the ability to grade the data as it is being collected, which is something we can do and no one else can.

Behavior Based Checklists

Using Data Accuracy Scoring we know if a location or a team member does a good job following procedures or if they try to cut corners. Based on that knowledge we can customize their experience.

The Good Location: they do their checklists diligently and accurately every time. The take the process seriously and understand it’s value. Their checklists can automatically be quicker to complete by removing some of the required follow-up steps because we know from their historical data, they are going above and beyond all the time.

The Bad Location: they don’t do their checklists consistently, when they do complete them, they are not deemed accurate. Those locations, get checklists that are more prescriptive, the checklist provides additional training, additional follow-up requirements, additional photos. These measures along with above store leadership holding the team accountable can be used to change behavior.

Just like every other part of OpsAnalitica, this is highly customizable and can be turned on or off for any location in a couple of clicks.

In conclusion, when people make the decision to start digitizing their processes and using an Operations Management Platform to manage their daily operations. Often times, when they begin they don’t know what they don’t know yet about the features that are really important. 

They go with a solution and they roll it out to their locations.  As the solution becomes ingrained in their organization and as people start reviewing the data and using it to run their operations better. Inevitably they see other use cases and additional business problems they could solve with the solution, and the What If’s begin.

OpsAnalitica is the one checklist and operations management platform that has a truly powerful business logic engine that can allow you to say yes to 99% of the What If questions that our competitors can’t.

If you are in the market for one of these systems or your company is entrenched into the What If’s phase in your business, then I invite you to come and see a demo of the OpsAnalitica Platform. Come armed with your What If questions and let us show you how we could customize your processes to do everything that your hearts desire.

If you are just starting out in your checklist solution search. We invite you to check us out and get some ideas from us on how our customers are making themselves more successful than they could have imagined with the power of OpsAnalitica.

To schedule a demo, please click here:

Tommy Yionoulis

I've been in the restaurant industry for most of my adult life. I have a BSBA from University of Denver Hotel Restaurant school and an MBA from the same. When I wasn't working in restaurants I was either doing stand-up comedy, for 10 years, or large enterprise software consulting. I'm currently the Managing Director of OpsAnalitica and our Inspector platform was originally conceived when I worked for one of the largest sandwich franchisors in the country. You can reach out to me through LinkedIn.

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