Free Audits, Forms, and Reporting for Covid-19
We are all living through unprecedented circumstances. Navigating COVID-19 has affected the whole world, and we all need to work together to keep the virus from causing more harm, sickness, and death.
I am keenly aware that my friends in the food service, hospitality, and retail industries are feeling the crushing effect of increased risk to their employees and customers, reduced business, and even total business closure with no indication when and if they will be able to reopen.
That’s why we here at RizePoint could not sit by without offering to help each of you navigate COVID-19.
If you don’t already know us, RizePoint has been providing quality management tools to safety and quality professionals for over 23 years in the food, retail, and hospitality industries. We take compliance seriously and work hard to develop technology that simplifies the complexity of quality management. And we drive our improvements to our software with our long-standing belief that a proactive approach is the best approach.
Given our years of experience in quality management, perhaps we, better than others, know the health and well-being of your employees and customers remains your highest priority, especially at this critical time. Our industry experience and history of quality management advancements make us all ideal partners to tackle this outbreak with you.
As my team and I have looked at the current situation, we’ve asked ourselves how we can serve the global community and what role we can play in helping business navigate COVID-19 and mitigate damage caused by this outbreak.
The solution was clear: We are giving away the use of our world-class app for mobile audits, forms, and reports related to managing the process and risks around COVID-19. This free use will last for a year, or longer if needed. There are also no limits on a number of locations or number of COVID-19-related audits during this offer.
Bottom line — We are here to help.
I personally invite you to learn more about this offer by contacting us at email@example.com or by visiting our website at https://rizepoint.com/mobile-auditor-covid-19-free-use/. This is an all-resources-on-deck situation at RizePoint, and my team is standing by to get you started as quickly as possible.
I know that if we all work together, we can help curb the spread of COVID-19 tremendously and make our world a safer place.
Fast Casual: Trends, Challenges
& Best Practices for Compliance Managers
It will be many years before the food industry and consumers
forget the story of Chipotle’s E. coli outbreak in 2016.
We know the external story: Chipotle was a pioneer in the fast
casual market, offering fast, fresh, and locally sourced food. The consumer
demand and response were so great that the company grew very quickly — Chipotle
moved into new markets, grew their customer base, and hired new employees by
And then a massive E. coli outbreak across 11 states nearly
toppled the company and all 2,000 locations. They spent at least $50
million in the first quarter of 2016 alone on a massive marketing
campaign to attempt to win customers back and reverse brand damage.
The internal story at Chipotle boils down to one thing: they weren’t prepared. Their operations
grew faster than their internal planning, so they didn’t have internal disaster
recovery plans, customer communication plans, or variability in their supply
If you’re building, refining, or strengthening internal food
safety and risk mitigation strategies, join Walt Murray, a food
safety and risk expert at PinPoint Services, Dean Wiltse, CEO and
RizePoint, for the live webinar: “Fast Casual:
Trends, Challenges & Best Practices for Compliance Managers,” hosted by
Food Safety Tech on March 26, 2020.
In this the live webinar, you’ll
- Why top-down
Food Safety Culture should be a priority
strategies for mitigating fresh-prepared food safety risks
practices for c-suite to help mitigate risk and meet customer expectations
at the store level
Webinar — “Fast Casual: Trends,
Challenges & Best Practices for Compliance Managers”
When: March 26, 2020, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT
Tips for Finding the Right Software For Your Company
Quality management software may be designed to help you succeed in your complex job, but the task of choosing the right package for your business can be intimidating. The best choice for you and your company is going to depend on your industry, your business goals, the market, and even your individual team. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but don’t let that slow you down. In this article, we’ll give you actionable steps to help you select the very best quality management software vendor for your company.
1. Understand Your Needs
There’s no such thing as “the best quality management software,” only the best quality management software for you — and you can’t know what that is until you understand your specific needs. The first step, then, is to audit your current process and identify any gaps that exist in your quality management systems. Figure out where you need to improve and prioritize these areas.
2. Refer Back to Your Specific Needs, Often
Yes, you read that right: Step two is to refer back to step one. By necessity, quality management software addresses a wide variety of problems, but it’s your specific needs that you have to meet. Don’t get distracted by bells and whistles. Make sure you’re focused on the essentials, remind yourself of the specific gaps you have to fill and look for something that fits your requirements.
3. Consider All Stakeholders
You’re responsible for managing relationships with stakeholders from every level of your organization and beyond. Their happiness (and you do need to keep them happy!) will depend in large part on your ability to provide them with timely information and insight. Keep this in mind when choosing the right quality management software vendor for your business.
4. Ask Around
Quality management is an enormous field—in other words, you’re not alone. Ask your peers, including folks from any professional associations you belong to, about what they use, what problems they’re trying to solve, and whether it does the job well. Next, take your shortlist to vendor review sites. Capterra and G2 offer a treasure trove of information and reviews about quality management software vendors.
5. Request a Demo and Ask Questions
Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a few contenders, dig a bit deeper. Request demos so you can see for yourself how their products work. Ask to see use cases for organizations that are similar to yours. Your job is to advocate for your business, so come prepared and don’t be afraid to steer the conversation to your specific needs.
In the complex world of quality management software vendors, the key to finding the best software is simplicity. Keep the important things — namely, the needs of your program and its stakeholders — top of mind at all stages of your search. To streamline your evaluation process, download this self-assessment document that we designed to help you narrow down your options and focus on what matters.
RizePoint offers highly flexible and configurable quality management software that empowers people just like you to collect, organize, and manage data around quality assurance and supplier quality management. Click —> here to learn more today.
Tips for Identifying & Managing Project Stakeholders
If you’ve ever managed a project, you know that key stakeholders can make or break your success.
Meeting the expectations of a single quality management stakeholder can be a job on its own, beyond all the other elements needed to make your project successful. Unfortunately, it’s rare to have only one stakeholder when you’re leading a project. It’s more likely that you’ll have several quality management stakeholders, both internal and external — from your CEO to the customer — invested in the outcome of your project.
Every added stakeholder makes your project more complex. That’s why it’s important to create a stakeholder management strategy that helps you understand and manage each stakeholder relationship, so you can effectively keep your project on target, manage expectations, and maximize your chances for success.
The first step in building a holistic stakeholder management strategy is identifying quality management stakeholders and understanding the key differences between them. This article identifies and defines internal and external project stakeholder types and offers a few tips on how to manage each one.
Note: Depending on the size and structure of your company, quality management stakeholder types may partially or completely overlap, so be sure to adjust your stakeholder management strategy to best suit your business.
Internal Quality Management Stakeholders
1. Top Management
Top management stakeholders include anyone who’s responsible for the strategy and development of your organization — from c-suite executives to department directors. Reporting to these quality management stakeholders is often highly visible, which means failed projects will also be highly visible. Additionally, these stakeholders can make or break a project based on their buy-in and commitment.
Here are a few tips for managing top management stakeholders:
- Develop detailed project plans for top management to review and approve
- Update top-level leaders when big roadblocks threaten to affect your timeline or projected outcomes
- Ask every top management stakeholder what reports they’ll need and how often you should give updates
- Put a reporting process for top management in place and stick to a standard delivery schedule
2. Direct Manager
It goes without saying that your boss dictates what your projects are and what resources are available to you in much more detail than top management. That’s why it’s essential to keep communication open and visibility high with your direct manager, so you can manage expectations and build a case for more resources as needed.
Here are a few tips for influencing your direct manager:
- Have detailed discussions about his or her expectations as well as how your performance will be measured, then document goals and timelines around those discussions
- Set regular meetings to keep your direct manager informed about project progress and challenges you encounter along the way. Make sure to bring up anything that needs direction or clarification.
- Put a reporting process for your direct manager in place and stick to a regular reporting cadence
3. Internal Customers
An internal customer can be anyone in your organization that will have final sign-off on your quality management project. Keep in mind that while you need to get buy-in and support from top management and your direct manager, they may not be the “customer” you’re serving. It’s critical to obtain as many details as possible from the internal customer and then negotiate realistic deliverables and timelines based on your resources.
Here are a few tips for managing internal customers:
- Create a detailed project brief or worksheet that helps internal customers provide the details you need to complete the project to everyone’s satisfaction
- Document every requirement and specification, then use that documentation as a written agreement for the project, and include signatures from both parties
- Include change procedures in the agreement to better negotiate requested changes to any part of the project scope or deliverables
- Understand the team culture of your internal customer and “speak their language” in your communications
- Establish that you’re the main point of contact for the project, not your team members, to keep communication clean and clear
4. Project Team
A quality management project team includes anyone who’s assigned to your project on a full- or part-time basis. This can include people from your department, borrowed members from other departments, interns, and more. They will be looking to you as a leader to communicate the value of the project, to clearly define their roles and tasks, and to support and motivate them in these efforts when needed. It’s important to create a culture of collaboration in order to support, learn, and problem-solve together.
Here are a few tips for managing your project team:
- Involve your team in the planning process to increase project buy-in and encourage members to volunteer for responsibilities that best match their strengths
- Clearly define and document the responsibilities of each team member, including relevant deadlines
- Establish that you’re available to team members whenever needed
- Set regular, short team meetings to celebrate success and solve problems
- Schedule conversational one-on-one meetings to both build rapport and address anything the team member may not want to share with the group
- Act early and decisively when you discover personality conflicts, value clashes, or other team culture challenges
5. Company Peers
Your peers include anyone who’s at the same level as you in the company, which could include a vast number of people, depending on the size of your organization. The specific peers you need to consider may be assigned to your project team or otherwise be invested in the success of your quality management project. Either way, they do not hold a leadership role in your project, nor do they have any accountability for its success. Managing peers may be highly political and hampered by personality conflicts, disparate instructions from your respective managers, or even envy that you’re the project lead instead of them.
Here are a few tips for managing company peers:
- Ask top management to make project roles clear to all project team members and emphasize that cooperation is expected from all parties
- Clearly define (and repeat often) project expectations and goals
- Have regular meetings to discuss the progress of each invested peer
- Act early if it’s clear that a peer is hampering the project in any way, such as being uncooperative or choosing gossip and bad-mouthing over moving the project forward
6. Internal Resource Managers
Aside from peers, there may be others within your organization that control resources you need, from data analysts and subject-matter experts to equipment managers and technology administrators. Fostering goodwill to build a solid working relationship with any coworker is always a good idea, but it’s a critical necessity when it comes to tackling quality management projects.
Here are a few tips for managing internal resource managers:
- Ask for access to resources for your project as soon as you know you need them. This gives resource managers enough lead time to plan and adjust schedules for other projects that require the same resources.
- Listen actively and show compassion about their workload and challenges to help foster goodwill and encourage collaboration
- Be clear and firm when communicating what you need for your project, but try to remain flexible and willing to compromise as needed
External Quality Management Stakeholders
7. Governing & Standards Bodies
If your industry is regulated in any way, you must follow specific laws, rules, and requirements to ensure your projects meet quality, safety, and compliance standards. Even if your business isn’t tightly regulated, there are likely industry best practices that help your company stay certified, relevant, and competitive in your market.
Here are high-level tips for managing the requirements of governing and standards bodies:
- Resist cutting corners, especially when it may affect the quality and safety of the product or services you deliver to external customers
- Take the time to properly document, update, and internally communicate any change to your processes. This ensures that everyone is on the same page, and it solidifies company goals and values. Additionally, if you’ve documented procedural changes,you’re more likely to be prepared (instead of scrambling) when any internal or external audit, inspection, or assessment occurs
8. Suppliers, Vendors & Contractors
When internal resources can’t cover your needs, you will need to hire outside help. Depending on your project, this could be anything from consulting with an industry expert to hiring a graphic designer. Keep in mind: No matter how well you communicate with external resources, the risks are higher when it comes to managing work quality, staying within budget, and meeting critical deadlines.
Here are tips for managing project suppliers, vendors, and contractors:
- Document every requirement and deliverable in the signed contract; never rely on spoken promises or goodwill
- Schedule frequent meetings to check on their progress
- Make it clear that you need to hear about any roadblocks or issues as soon as they arise, so you can help keep the project on track.
- Refer also to the tips for managing peers and internal resource managers above.
9. External Customers
Last, but certainly not least, are external customers. These are the people that will ultimately be consuming your company’s product or services. External customers are arguably the most important stakeholder for you and your business. Avoiding bad press, creating positive experiences through safe and quality products, increasing customer retention, and gaining new customers are all examples of success that drives revenue.
Here are a few tips for managing external customers:
- Always keep your customer in mind when managing a quality management project
- Remind other internal stakeholders about customer needs when planning and negotiating project details
- Remember that successfully managing your quality management projects and all internal stakeholders is what helps you keep brand promises to your customers
With careful consideration, you can create a plan that helps your quality management stakeholders stay appropriately involved and invested in your project, which helps you keep it running smoothly while increasing your chances of success.
Learn more about creating an effective stakeholder management strategy in this article: Every Quality Professional Needs a Stakeholder Management Strategy.
RizePoint offers quality management software that empowers quality leaders to collect, organize, and manage data around their quality assurance and supplier quality management programs, so they can deliver consistent, safe, and quality products and services. Click here to learn more today.
Your organization works with many suppliers and vendors. And if you’re manually managing supplier quality, chances are noncompliances are hiding in your data and leaving you open to risks.
You’re searching through long email chains, deep folder structures, and complex spreadsheets to gain insights, which means you have murky visibility at best. Plus manual systems involve too many administrative tasks, so you’re short on time to drive important quality initiatives that improve the quality and safety of your products and services.
If you find yourself lost in a sea of documents and spending too many hours a week with administrative tasks, it might be time to embrace supplier quality management software.
Here are 10 more signs that it’s time to ditch manual processes and start using software to manage supplier quality.
1. Your Team Spends Too Many Hours Collecting Docs
With supplier quality management (SQM) software, suppliers use clear task lists to answer questions and upload documents, which are then automatically associated with the right locations, products, or materials.
2. Supplier Communication is Increasingly Difficult & Frustrating
Sending and tracking supplier tasks and compliance document requests all in one place improves supplier relationships and adds transparency for you and your suppliers.
3. You Dread Requests for Reporting Updates
A single source of truth for compliance statuses and searchable data means you can find answers in minutes for both planned and ad-hoc reporting.
4. Better Visibility Sounds Like a Far Away Dream
Instead of searching error-prone spreadsheets, see all your supplier qualification and compliance statuses in a single view and drill down into noncompliances with just a few clicks.
5. Key Info Is Buried in Long Email Threads
The phrase “I know it’s in here somewhere” won’t be in your vocabulary when everything you need is stored and organized as a single source of truth.
6. “Losing” Data or Supplier Documents is the Norm
The looming enemy of deep folder structures will be a thing of the past when you use the right software to manage suppliers, helping you ditch manual document management and data management via spreadsheets.
7. It Feels Like Your Job is Mostly Administrative Work
You’ll no longer sort through submitted docs, search for expiration dates, be blindsided by yearly renewals, or send dozens of emails to suppliers a day (that, let’s face it, go unanswered.)
8. Optimizing Strategy is Often on the Back Burner
The time saved through automating administrative work can be used to focus on strategy for important quality, safety, and compliance initiatives.
9. Data is Only Available When it’s Too Late
Get quick and easy access to the most up-to-date data and stop acting on old data, which often leads to redoing work.
10. You Can Only Access Data When You’re at Your Desk
Using cloud-based software to manage suppliers means you can access your information wherever you have an internet connection on your phone, tablet, or laptop.
See how RizePoint can help you solve all these problems and more with an easy, affordable supplier quality management solution for supplier onboarding and ongoing supplier compliance. Request a demo today.