Creating a SOP is much easier when you have access to a good SOP template. With this SOP template, you can quickly and easily draft your own SOP and then share it with the employees who will be working with the SOP. In the EZ-GO app, you will find a commonly used SOP template for factory environments that can be personalized for SOPs from different departments. But before we start filling it out, let’s first answer the following questions: What is a SOP? And what can you do with it?
What can you do with a SOP?
A SOP allows you to easily standardize the actions that need to be taken within a procedure by a specific employee. SOP stands for Standard Operating Procedure. A SOP contains a complete step-by-step plan of work instructions that need to be followed sequentially and in a specific way. This allows employees within a factory to carry out their tasks routinely. Creating a SOP helps standardize processes, resulting in increased efficiency, higher quality, and greater uniformity. The SOP used in a production environment should represent the best routine for performing the process. This means that regular attention should be given to optimizing SOPs to ensure that the best routine is always used. Changes to SOPs can be implemented in the EZ-GO app within seconds at a single location, giving the entire factory immediate access to the new SOP for implementation. Creating and implementing a SOP within a production environment becomes a quick and straightforward activity, preventing miscommunication and the neglect of measures such as safety protocols.
Writing a Standard Operating Procedure
A SOP is the ideal Lean tool for proving compliance with established requirements during audits. For example, to obtain an ISO certification. Writing a SOP correctly is then a requirement. When writing a SOP, it is best to follow these steps:
- Determine the purpose of the SOP. This could, for example, involve ensuring that machines remain in good condition through preventive maintenance, thereby not disrupting the production process.
- Define what the SOP should look like. Past paper or digital checklists may serve as inspiration for the new SOP format. If not, easily create a new format using the EZ-GO app.
- It’s time to fill in the format! And who has better and more relevant input than your own employees? Gather input from the shop floor and verify that the SOP is practical for the executing employees.
- A SOP may pertain to a procedure from another department. Check this carefully and, if necessary, include the digital operational procedures of the other department in the new SOP.
- Shape the SOP in a way (and in a language) that every employee can understand. Ensure that the necessary background knowledge is present or reinforced to enable employees to work effectively with the SOP.
- Draft the SOP’s concept and add visual material to clarify the steps of the standardized procedure.
- Test the SOP, solicit feedback from users, and continue to update and optimize the SOP to organize the production process down to the last detail.