There are many well-established brands around the world. Have you wondered what are the secrets of successful longevity?
Most of the successful brands are well aware of setting up one of the most effective management tools which produces a Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) to achieve efficiency, quality output and uniformity of performance in each organization.
SOPs are best suited for repetitive tasks as it provides step-by-step instructions that describe the necessary process which must be taken to properly perform a routine activity.
Does it refer to work habits?
Not exactly but it should be a set of standardized work procedures based on the proven best practices, and must be understood and carried out by all employees.
However, most small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or businesses do not take SOPs seriously which leads to inefficiencies and significant business losses. What happens when each organization does not have good SOPs?
1. Undeveloped or poorly written SOPs
A standard operating procedure is to provide explicit directions for completing a certain task and process.
The purpose and expectation of the task have to be clearly described as it serves as proper guidance for employees to perform tasks and to standardize the workflow.
2. Unable to fully utilize manpower
Staffing levels affect many aspects of a business, either overhead or understaffing which limits the business growth. This happens when you do not have proper SOPs to understand the business needs.
Good standard operating procedures highlight whose responsibility it is to complete and systemize certain tasks or processes. Employees could simply refer to the SOPs to ensure more consistent results.
However, even in well-run facilities, there will be new challenges or room for error. These could be resolved in compliance with the Company regulations if the SOPs are clear and well-written.
3. Poor Quality Control
Have you wondered why the employees’ performances and productivity do not meet expectations even though there are SOPs documented?
Having established guidelines in place and being used across an organization will streamline workflows and improve productivity with less error. When a key staff member is not available for whatever reason, work does not have to stand still because the SOPs help in delegating tasks and ensure business continuity within guidelines.
4. Workflow Traceability
The SOPs are crucial to an organization since it highlights how each step of the process is connected.
A well-written SOPs enable control of processes and in turn, allow opportunities for continuous improvement as it allows you to track and identify the pain points or obstacles in the process that are causing delays and failures. `
Human error is one of the most common causes of production and quality losses. Defining and developing a good set of SOPs is one of the essentials that each organization should do in streamlining quality results in lower costs and higher output.
What to do, when and how to do it, and why.
In short, document the best practices for your organization that enable everyone to perform their best at what they do before it’s too late!