September 21, 2019INDUSTRY 4.0
How to Digitize Your Regulatory Compliance Checklists
Managing regulatory compliance checklists is challenging. If you have a large business with several sites and departments with thousands of employees, managing regulatory compliance checklists can become an overwhelming nightmare.
Things get more complicated if you are using traditional paper forms or maybe Excel sheets to maintain checklists. Imagine you have to prepare an OSHA compliance report for over a thousand employees in an Excel sheet, it will take a lot of time, grey hairs and unnecessary opportunities for error.
This is a reason OSHA now requires businesses to submit reports digitally.
Because it’s easier and streamlines efficiency.
Managing your regulatory compliance checklists digitally is clearly the trend of now and the future. Even if it isn’t necessary by law, switching to digital checklists helps bridge the technology gap between your field operations and office team. The leading benefits include:
- Error reduction
- Cost reduction
- No training needed with modern digital solutions
- Easy collaboration and communication
- Improved Staff Morale
- Uncover data and insights effortlessly
Even if you’re not required to digitize compliance reports, you should still switch to digital regulatory compliance checklists to enjoy all these benefits.
If you’re not sure how to proceed with this shift from traditional regulatory compliance checklists to digital ones, the following actionable guide will show you exact steps and actions you should take to make it the transition successful.
1. Select the Right Tool
It all begins with selecting the right compliance management app. The right app integrates with your business policies and strategies. It shouldn’t be too off.
For instance, if you’re in the food industry and you opt for a compliance management solution that’s made for hospitals specifically, it won’t be a good fit.
It’s important to consider the versatility of your solution. If your entire team is able to manage operations through one platform, it is more likely your team will actually adopt it and everyone can communicate in one simple to track app. MaintainX, for instance, offers inspection checklists functionality alongside intuitive maintenance management features that enable seamless communication for inspectors to alert technicians of an issue.
You need to use a feature-rich app that does multiple tasks. Using standalone apps will confuse your team, delay communication and increase frustration leading back to pen and paper in no time.
So instead of using multiple tools, go with a comprehensive one.
Here are a few tips on how to find and select the right tool to digitize your regulatory compliance checklists:
- Be sure to use a tool that can manage checklists through a mobile app
- Pay extra attention to the ease of use of the mobile app (not the pretty desktop dashboards shown in demos)
- Will you need to buy additional devices or will your team be able to use their own smartphones?
- Does the app allow cross-functional teams to communicate and collaborate in real-time?
2. Implement the Digital Compliance Checklist System
Statistics show that over 48% of organizations are using field maintenance software. If you’re already using apps and your workforce is equipped with smartphones and internet-enabled devices, implementing the new checklist system will be rather straightforward.
However, if this is the first step towards digitization, you’d need to implement the whole system which includes the internet-enabled devices, an IT team, infrastructure, and more.
Of course, it is a time-consuming process and this is a reason organizations that implement digital regulatory compliance checklists don’t stop at this stage. Once the complete system is implemented and you have invested in the IT infrastructure, why stop at checklists? Why not move ahead and digitize other processes?
This is exactly what you should do.
Digitizing the regulatory compliance checklists should be a part of your business’s strategy and you don’t have to stop here.
3. Begin the Transition
You can’t digitize existing regulatory compliance checklists all at once. If you’re creating checklists for the first time, you can start adding them to the app one after another.
How you add the checklists depends on the app you’re using. If you have thousands of internal checklists, you need to choose a tool that converts checklists easily. If you have to recreate them, it will take forever to digitize them.
Whatever the process is, you need to begin the transfer right away. Assign a team and start adding checklists to your tool. Customize checklists based on type, project, and department. This might take time but it is a one-time activity so ensure it is done appropriately.
4. Train Employees
No matter how easy the new digital regulatory compliance checklist system is, you can’t go without training your employees. You might not need a formal training session but getting the message across is essential.
The best approach is to conduct a formal training session for each department. Show workers how they should use checklists digitally. Provide them with the necessary infrastructure and equipment. Your managers play an important role here. They need to take care of their subordinates. They should guide workers who find it hard to get used to the new system.
5. Monitor and Improve
Monitor and evaluate if the shift to the digital regulatory compliance checklists is working fine. Do employees find it easier to manage checklists? Is it working as expected?
The first few days after the implementation are critical. You need to identify issues and fix them. Take feedback from your workforce. Then ask them if they need additional training and guidance.
While you can’t change the checklists, you can change the processes At times, a few minor changes can do the trick. For example, changing the layout of the checklists template might make it easier for workers.
Your team might need time to adjust. They might resist change – and it is natural. Don’t let this resistance stop you from implementing the digital regulatory compliance checklists.
Get Started With Digital Regulatory Compliance Checklists
Now that you know where and how to digitize your regulatory compliance checklists, it’s time to take action. Choose a reliable tool that lets you automate and customize checklists easily.
One of the top benefits from digitizing your checklists is that you get access to heaps of data which helps you with decision-making. This data is extremely hard to process if you maintain checklists manually. With digital checklists, you can generate insightful reports in seconds! Real-time insights can help make your team more agile and productive than ever.
This data alone is worth more than the investment.
Not to mention, all the other perks of switching to digital regulatory compliance checklists: morale improvement, improved efficiency, lower incident rates, digital audit trails, etc. At the end of the day, your organization will be able to meet rather exceed both internal goals and external laws/policies with digital checklists.
Make your organization and its processes streamlined with digitized checklists today and make an investment towards the future of your organization.