Coles Supermarket

The Australian supermarket giant uses SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) to ensure they deliver quality products to their customers.

760 retail stores

100,000 employees

60 sheets of paper saved per audit

Before SafetyCulture platform, audits were cumbersome, paper-driven and took a long time to complete. A red clipboard labeled ‘Audit’ was the primary tool to conduct inspections after printing out a 40-60 page document. Audits were conducted by nine different auditors, involving an individual inspection at all 760 stores. Reports took hours to create and provided little insight into areas of improvement. This process was expensive and arduous and the retail giant realized they needed to make some changes to that process in order to stay competitive in their industry.

Simon McBurney, Senior Delivery Analyst,  knows this outdated system all too well thanks to his 20 years of experience with the company. After looking at their internal auditing process, Simon wanted to find out if there was a digital solution to this problem after recognizing the profound impact smartphones had on his personal life.

Digitizing their audits allowed Coles to make their processes more efficient. The Coles team can now assess each store in the nation with the same standardized processes. In Coles today, all store managers conduct audits on a monthly, weekly and daily basis, providing management with live visibility over the entire organization. Having team members engaged with the tools has resulted in managers becoming involved in the discussion and future advancement of the stores. It also gives Coles the opportunity to respond quickly to areas of non-compliance.

Simon and his team asked themselves – how can we get this paper audit online? How can we make it an actionable tool to make it an easy experience and coach the team into great operating standards? Coles’ slogan is ‘A Little Better Every Day’.  A crucial part of Coles’ dedication to their customer means they need to examine what they’ve done previously and determine how to improve. Ben Carroll, a Delivery Analyst with Coles, wanted something to make life easier for his 100,000 team members across Australia while breaking through barriers of age and technical ability. “People who are hesitant to use technology find SafetyCulture platform easy to use due to its simplicity.”


“Getting SafetyCulture platform out to 760+ shops, with so many employees was surprisingly easy. It’s not often you get that in a roll out of this magnitude. We rolled it out in a matter of weeks.”

Simon McBurney
Senior Delivery Analyst

SafetyCulture platform not only allows the store to operate efficiently, but also to adhere to food safety legislation and laws that are vital to creating a safe environment. Managing food safety ultimately lies in the hands of store employees, and Coles knew they had to implement a tool that empowered them. Simon says, “We had to deliver a solution that resonates beyond the store manager. We believe we’ve hit the mark with SafetyCulture platform, helping them manage the shop and ultimately giving customers a shop they can trust.”

The Coles team didn’t stop with food safety audits. Thanks to its usability, Simon and Ben are constantly surprised at how the store managers are coming up with new ways to use the app. The data and analytics from SafetyCulture platform allow for transparency across the entire corporation. Ben says that after introducing it into Coles they can easily identify trends and get a comprehensive look at their internal procedures and hold third party partners accountable as well.

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