Should I change from paper diaries to digital record keeping?

In recent years, technology has become fundamental to the food industry. Whether you are a business owner, supplier or food manufacturer, technology is making life easier across the industry. Going digital is improving productivity and increasing efficiency among employees, in turn protecting the brand and meeting customer needs. This being said, one area of the industry that still primarily operates manually is food safety compliance. However, according to the experts, it is only a matter of time before digital platforms will be required for food safety records. And we couldn’t be more excited.

The reality for busy teams in the food industry involves manual, tedious record keeping daily. However, in order to operate a successful food business, it is critical to maintain these checks, so the repetitive monitoring won’t stop any time soon. In many instances, it is difficult to ensure that regulations are met by businesses using paper-based systems, filling in checklists manually, resulting in staff or owners sifting through huge amounts of paperwork in order to monitor what is happening. To local authorities or EHO’s coming in, this can often seem unorganised and have a negative effect on your ratings.

Using pen and paper for food safety due diligence records can be very unreliable, inefficient and won’t provide management with the real-time oversight they need to ensure the business is operating safely.

Being able to digitally store documents and checks provides greater visibility and control to those who need it within the business. A lot of digital checks apps will even prompt staff when checks are due or documents are about to expire. This is a huge benefit for owners/managers. They are able to have this information in real-time should there be any issues and possibly prevent problems before they occur. This is even more important for multi-site businesses where the owner/senior management can’t be everywhere at once.

Still not convinced? Here is a list of the key benefits of going digital:

  • User friendly
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Clearer visibility of data, across multiple sites
  • Quicker and easier to identify recurring food safety issues
  • Track action management and provide corrective action guidance to users
  • Easier to train new employees and achieve consistency in record keeping
  • All systems stored in one place and accessible from anywhere at any time if cloud based
  • More eco-friendly and cost efficient

So, going digital might be beneficial to owners and managers, but what about everyday staff? There are endless benefits for them to. The ease of its functionality such as: the speed in which you can complete tasks, the visibility of data, the ability to track activity, are what make using paperless solutions so worthwhile. The ability to witness live updates, edit and make changes at the touch of button are just a few of the many attributes that would are not possible with paper recording.

For staff, it isn’t uncommon for them to feel overwhelmed and stressed with the amount of paperwork they have to fill in. Switching to digital eliminates this, of course the checks are still there but they are more efficient, more straightforward and much more engaging. In addition to this, you are able to confidently rely on automatic record-keeping to be accurate and Lost records become a thing of the past

We are big fans of digital checks systems, but it’s important you get the right one for your business.  Good solutions should have a user platform that’s simple and intuitive for staff to use. Don’t lose focus on the important control points within your business and try to avoid those systems that require a great deal of setup and customization if it’s not needed.  The reporting elements of the solution should provide you with actionable information on the important areas and not overwhelm you with a mass of data that takes time to analyse and interpret.