So why should you have a suite of documented Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's)?
A SOP, or Standard Operating Procedure, is a living document that outlines a policy, procedure or specific operation, describing the activities required, in a step by step manner, to complete the task to your own required standard.
It is a document that should be revisited and reviewed on a regular basis to ensure it is relevant, accurate and displaying the most efficient and effective way in which a task should be performed.
SOP's are an integral part of your business documentation. By documenting our processes and procedures in this way, we can be sure that we are working in the most efficient way, and our business productivity can be increased.
SOP's can benefit our business in many ways.
Benefits of a SOP
· Smoother Process.
By documenting a process or procedure, we are forced to look at and review how we are completing a specific task, and by doing so we will identify any steps that are convoluted. The simple act of documenting will allow us to rethink how we are approaching a task and will help us to remove unnecessary steps to make the process more efficient.
· No Guessing Games.
Having a documented process removes any ambiguity for staff. A written procedure is a tool for staff, an instruction sheet to be followed, with step by step procedure, so that the task is done correctly and consistently every time.
A consistent and established method for production will present your business in a more professional light.
· Fewer Mistakes.
Step by step procedure means the margin for error is reduced – every staff member knows what needs to be done and in what order and, of course, less error equal more profit.
· Resolution Road map.
When errors do occur, they are easier to identify when the procedure is mapped out in this manner. Mistakes can be identified quickly, and can be recovered from quickly also, meaning less impact on your profit margins again. They are a road map to resolution.
· Ready-Made Training.
The document procedure is a ready-made training tool for new starters and for staff who require refresher training.
· Healthy Working Environment.
Staff are happier when they are confident in their role. Documented procedure gives that confidence even to new starting staff. You can be happier knowing that your staff are working in a healthy, non-conflicted environment.
Having procedure documented means that, in times of growth, your processes are easy to replicate. New location? Documented process can be replicated very easily, even by those who aren’t familiar with your procedures.
· Productivity Tracker.
Having procedure documented can allow you to track productivity easier.
Your business will be running smoother and more efficiently.
should you ever think about selling, having established procedures in place will add value.
SOP's can allow piece of mind and can increase the productivity, and therefore profitability, of your business. They reduce stress, as they remove any ambiguity – staff no longer must either ask for instruction or, worse, guess. Training is ready-made for you, your company and your documentation is organised, your filing structure is efficient, and a suite of SOP's add value to your business.
I would recommend having a documented SOP for every major process and policy in your company. They should be reviewed and re-visited regularly and can be edited as your business grows and evolves.
Documenting your processes is just one of the core services I offer. Give me a call today to discuss how we can improve your business efficiency, organisation, productivity and profitability while reducing your stress and the time you spend unnecessarily managing routine jobs within your business.