SPAR Netherlands assesses its shops with the Specto retail auditing app

The best shop for the neighbourhood. That’s the ambition of SPAR Netherlands and the 240 SPAR shops. Eighteen business consultants help the SPAR shops to align their operations with the high SPAR quality standard. SPAR Netherlands started looking for a practical software tool to support this shop audit and quality improvement process.


'The shop audits were really labour-intensive’, says Marcel van Gurp, Operational IT Manager at SPAR. ‘In the SPAR shops our business consultants would use Excel checklists on laptop or printed on paper. Back at the office the completed checklists, the remarks, the to-do lists and the photos were gathered to make reports. These were e-mailed one by one to the businesses and stored on a shared drive.’


Need for an action-oriented quality approach

‘We were unable to follow up the audit process and the results across all shops’, Van Gurp continues. ‘We did not have a total picture and we were lacking insights. Hardly any reporting was made. Remarks detected during a shop audit were not systematically converted in action points. There had to be another solution. All recommendation should be taken at heart and result in action, it should be clear who has to do what and when.'


‘Our search for a shop audit application did not give many results until AXI approached us with a totally new concept: Specto. The name Specto (Latin for ‘looking’) says it all, really. We were immediately charmed by the idea to conduct audits visually, with visual material being directly added to checklists and to-dos.'

Marcel van Gurp, Operational IT Manager at SPAR


SPAR as launching customer

‘The retail auditing app Specto originated during brainstorm sessions with large and medium-sized retailers’, says Björn Vergaelen, Division Manager Business Software at AXI.


Whether the AXI solution is unique? Vergaelen: ‘There are obviously players on the market with generic audit tools. We wanted to build a solution specifically aimed at the challenges of retailers. For SPAR Netherlands this was more than enough reason to work on the first version of the Specto app together with AXI.’


‘As launching customer SPAR has extensively tested the software’, continues Vergaelen from AXI. ‘Through joint sprint review meetings we were able to process the suggestions and remarks made by SPAR on time. The app can be downloaded via App Store, Google Play and Microsoft Store.’


Everything is aimed at gearing up quickly

Specto provides SPAR Netherlands with a digital productivity tool which accelerates and streamlines the audit process of shops and departments. ‘One platform ensures that the entire process becomes reliable, controllable, traceable and understandable’, Vergaelen explains.


The platform consists of an app and a backoffice application in the cloud. The app can be used on iOS, Android and Windows mobile tablets and works both online and offline. Auditors can visually go through checklists, link text and images to comments and to-dos, generate audit reports, send e-mails to the shop managers, and so much more.

The backoffice contains an overview of the reports, the to-dos, the master data management, the creation of checklist templates with the use of values scales and last but not least, extensive reporting options. As a cloud solution the Specto backoffice runs on IBM’s PaaS platform: Bluemix.


‘The Specto backoffice gives all people involved in the SPAR Netherlands organisation a direct overview of the performance of all shops and the evolution over time. Everything is aimed at making quick adjustments.’

Pim Dirckx, Operations Manager at SPAR

Get the app on

Specto is an AXI brand. As an experienced ICT provider AXI combines business sense with design and technical strength to create world-class mobile apps and web applications.

AXI bv

Privacy & Cookie Policy