Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are the lifeblood of many local and national economies, often forgotten by legislators and living with small profit margins. For such organisations it becomes even more important to maximise the returns on the processes and methods they choose to implement in the workplace. Every detail is particularly important when the margins of success and failure are so fine.
Another aspect to their nature is that change can be quicker and more radical than many larger corporations. Operations need to adapt to market changes and the surrounding environment to be successful and survive. Many such businesses are now choosing to manage their operations through SME inspections, whether that be checking their self-serve drinks machine or inspecting the workplace office chairs; SME inspections can mean anything large or small, all vital to success.
When undertaking SME inspections, there are certain things that are key for smaller businesses. There is a need for adaptability; to change with an evolving business and marketplace. There is also a demand to be effective; with less time and smaller margins the solution must be time efficient. Finally, all business tools must be cost-effective in their impact on the business. Taking these factors into consideration, many SMEs have decided to implement paperless inspection solutions into their wider business checks. Because of their customisation and tailoring abilities, just as they also can host a variety of different checklists, paperless inspection applications are ideal for SMEs. SME inspections with a digital solution means that the same app can carry out an inspection of the staff kitchen, and the checkout area of the store. With all the reports on one platform, it becomes much easier for the business to keep track of what has, what hasn’t and what still needs to be inspected. The audit trail for the business also becomes much simpler as its easier to see all the inspection data for any asset and see the historical inspection records of the organisation.
Digital SME inspections can drastically reduce the time taken to undertake an inspection. By reducing steps in the inspection process, streamlining the steps remaining and condensing the time taken for data to be uploaded to business records/be sent to the right people, the entire inspection time is lessened significantly. Even if the reduction across these three stages may seem minimal individually, larger effects can be seen when the inspection process is considered as a whole. This is also in the knowledge that the process itself can, as previously mentioned, be tailored to reduce longer steps, or add more detail if required. Compared with traditional pen and paper inspection setups, many businesses experience cuts around 33% of the total SME inspections time. Adaptability and reductions in time taken are great news as long as they are an affordable improvement. If it ends up being an expensive solution, SMEs may think against implementing a change in the organisation. Luckily for SMEs, many digital inspection solutions are cost-saving implementations. By recognising faults earlier, keeping the business digital and hence reducing data loss, and by eliminating large amounts of wasted time, the overall effect often becomes of lower costs than previously.