Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
- Are you sure that your firm’s business processes are aligned with industry standards?
- Do you have appropriate procedures documented and periodically reviewed to support your claim?
- Are you confident that appropriate internal controls and compliance reviews are imbibed in your business processes?
If you answered ‘No’ or ‘Not Sure’ to any of the above questions, you would certainly benefit from an evaluation and development of your Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).
An SOP is a written document or set of instructions that outline all the steps involved in a specific procedure or process. The complexities of business operations, managing various channels, and integrations of processes, all interwoven, require strong SOPs. Every single entity, from a small business to a multi-channel or multi-national organization, needs the support of detailed SOPs that cover all aspects of their policies, procedures, and standards. Developing SOPs are all about systemizing business processes and documenting them clearly and concisely. A well-documented SOP defines the boundaries and the steps to every business process, identifying the controls to be exercised and gives you peace of mind in terms of responsibility and accountability for each business process.
Here are some benefits that a well-developed SOP can bring to your firm:
- Increase productivity through consistency.
- Entail answers to common issues or hiccups faced during a particular process.
- Reduce variation, which will subsequently optimize the quality control process.
- Identify training and cross-training opportunities among employees.
- Aid performance evaluations if used as a baseline for measurement.
- Improve the efficiency of onboarding new employees and reduce their learning curve.
- Provide legal protection if all regulatory requirements are covered.
- Retain expert knowledge that has evolved within your company over the years.
- Encourage continuous improvement if employees are given the flexibility to propose enhancements based on experience or technological advancements.
In today’s business environment, SOPs must not only enhance performance but also make bottom-line economic sense to get the required buy-in from the relevant stakeholders.
At Affility, we offer SOP Development services through our team of experienced in-house consultants who have decades of experience developing SOPs for various industries. The SOPs defined by our team consist of various depictions to make them easily understandable by their users. For instance, we use checklists, hierarchical steps, annotated diagrams, linear flowcharts, or branching flowcharts, as demanded by the situation for which the SOP is being defined.
- Hands-on support in developing procedures in the structure, language, style, and format best suited to your organization.
- Support in the development of new SOPs as well as revision of existing ones.
- Assurance that your business processes comply with industry best practices.
- Custom training programs to ensure SOPs are communicated to all stakeholders.
- Periodic compliance reviews to ensure effective SOP implementation.
Our SOP development process includes:
- Detailed review of the current of ‘As-Is’ process.
- Populating a list of ‘gaps’ identified in the current process in comparison to the industry best practices.
- Joint review and confirmation of the procedures, with the process owners and management.
- Preparation of the SOP document covering:
- Detailed process steps.
- Clear demarcations of roles and responsibilities.
- Reporting structures and delegation of authority.
- Key protocols or forms that need to be filled and fulfilled as a part of the SOPs.
- Establishing continuous monitoring and review mechanisms.
In addition to the above, we can also engage in the communication of SOPs to the relevant stakeholders to ensure that procedures are corresponded and absorbed accurately. This is an integral step of the SOP development process that many organizations overlook, which could result in misinterpretations of the SOP and consequent mistakes by its users. We can also enable you to get your stakeholders on board to approve the SOPs, by presenting them with the backing of proven statistics and potential benefits to your company.
We engage in interviews and discussions with your process-owners, so that our industry experts can collaborate with them and produce a final result that is the best of both worlds – industry best practices and the customized requirements of your specific organization.
We also focus on the accessibility factor when it comes to maintaining, sharing, and updating your SOPs. Oftentimes, companies have SOPs in place for their most important processes, but their employees do not know where to find them or do not even know of their existence. This leads to unnecessary wastage of time in trying to solve problems and answer questions that have already been addressed. To avoid such issues, the version control mechanism of your SOPs must also be defined clearly, and the location of these documents should be published to your employees periodically.
At Affility, we leave no stone unturned!