Digital Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) – when they’re done right – have the potential to save your company loads of money while making your frontline workforce more efficient.
Like any company, manufacturers want to work smarter, not harder. Which is why they implement Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on site. An SOP is a set of instructions on how to perform a task – they are the most basic and effective tools to share knowledge and ensure repeatable, high-quality results. These standards increase safety and efficiency for employees on the factory floor.
Access to digital standard operating procedures on the factory floor means that frontline workers are able to do their jobs correctly, the first time. This means less time spent correcting errors. A more productive frontline means more output and more profit.
When frontline workers don’t have easy access to a standardised set of instructions, they tend to ‘do the best they can’ with what they have got. This causes increased human error and deviations from protocols which lead to unplanned downtime.
Reducing errors with SOPs means more than just a better end-product. It also means that results are predictably and consistently compliant with the strict compliance audits and quality controls in the manufacturing industry. Failure to ensure product quality can lead to extremely expensive product recalls.
Having quality SOPs available on the factory floor allows new recruits and contracted employees to continue to “learn by doing”. Instead of forgetting this knowledge they’re able to reinforce their new skills (with the right information) and reduce the amount of time until they’re at peak effectiveness. This time-to-effectiveness boost is a huge win for manufacturers looking to onboard more efficiently.
Manufacturing processes are continually being developed further using the latest technological innovations. It’s important for manufacturers to be flexible to handle these technological developments and changes. A fixed process is actually a great tool for change. SOPs establish a shared baseline which can then be tweaked and rolled out again. The updated SOP enables the front-line workers to implement the most up-to-date standards seamlessly into their daily workload.
Manufacturers use SOPs to increase efficiency, yes. But they also unleash a confident workforce ready for change – the most valuable asset of all.
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