The standards and audits team at Tesco felt a technology-based solution was the answer and would provide a cost-effective yet user-friendly approach to utilizing its time and resources. Given the large number of remote support options available on the market today, they were unsure which one would best address their requirements. These requirements included the ability to ensure consistency across all audits, regardless of geographic location and who is performing them, effective use of time and resources when conducting audits and visiting suppliers, and the implementation of a continuous evaluation approach to Tesco’s audit processes.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it accelerated the need for a fitting solution. Suddenly, Tesco’s audit providers could not visit suppliers and distribution centers in Asia and other parts of the world, presenting further challenges to the team. What was originally a continuous improvement project quickly became essential to the effective operation of the audit function.
To ensure business continuity, Tesco turned to Librestream’s Onsight augmented worker platform. With our platform, Tesco auditors can conduct immersive, time-saving virtual audits in remote locations using nothing more than an internet connection and their smartphones, computers, or wearable devices. Using the Onsight app on one of those devices, a plant or floor worker helps the auditor observe and assess the site and its activities. The auditor can do a thorough product or process audit by marking up video and images for clarity and taking control over the camera to adjust lighting and zoom. The data captured from this audit is automatically saved to a centralized knowledge base where it shared with relevant team members.
Tesco’s new remote auditing technology has made it easier to collaborate with remote employees and suppliers, and has helped ensure the audit team was fully deployed throughout the pandemic.
Overall efficiency has improved as well. For example, a Tesco colleague completed virtual site visits in three different countries in a single day, conducting a first product launch audit in Asia, a packaging approval in Ireland, and a hygiene inspection in Spain. Without Onsight, these audits would have taken the better part of two weeks, given the travel required. The augmented reality approach to auditing ensured a more effective use of valuable resources, as well as a reduction in the company’s carbon footprint.
With global teams, vendors, and customers, members of Tesco’s standards and audits team look forward to integrating Librestream’s natural language processing (NLP) translation capabilities to bridge language barriers. NLP simply and securely translates calls in real-time between colleagues speaking different languages with on-screen captions and live spoken translations. Currently, Tesco performs over a quarter of its audits remotely and expects the amount to rise over the coming months as the company expands its use of the Onsight platform. As we enter a new era of food safety and digitization, Tesco has cemented its position as an innovator and leader in the food industry by adopting AR technologies to improve its supply chain.