SOP In ISO Context | Keyn Certification
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SOP In ISO Context

The essence of a set of actions for a consistent and predictable outcome.
With the super apps and pandemic impact, business margins have been thinning.

Running a business might be a far more difficult challenge than the days before as the business shifts towards digitalization to minimize human contact and interaction.

However, one still holds true.

With all the digitalization, comes more importance on structured and standardized operating procedures.

A SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), now a more familiar term around our ears is proven the best way to keep us in order.

A SOP is a compulsory instruction. If deviations from this instruction are allowed, the conditions for these should be documented including who can give permission for this and what exactly the complete procedure will be. The original should rest at a secure place while working copies should be authenticated with stamps and/or signatures of authorized persons. -

Having an SOP is important and beneficial.
It increases compliance

By allowing for the implementation of the best practices in respective sectors with compliance to international unified standards such as ISO. Thus, effectively fast-forwarding your business’ with a tested working set of processes and procedures.
Standardize processes

SOP improves the consistency of procedures and actions taken to perform a task. The same manner of dealing with customers or production, manufacturing the same way as others allows for easier understanding yet opens opportunities to maximise efficiency.
Knowledge preservation

Business loses great assets when employees leave and requires time to train and prep the next employee. With SOP, the excellence from preparing the SOP is recorded and only requires some adjustments before being released as an onboarding training for new joiners. A well made SOP document can also be done creatively via visuals, to serve as a quick reminder for existing employees as well.

One would think, that just writing out a list of To-do’s and Not to-do’s will simply suffice.

But SOP is more than that, your business has to indicate specifically what actions you do, practice and implement to deliver confidence to your customers when making purchases.

Here are a few ways to prepare your business with a functional Standard Operating Procedure.
Plan: Choose the procedures you wish to prepare SOP

List out all possible tasks which are mandatory for an SOP, the day-to-day task of operations especially manufacturing and client servicing.

In your plan, also list out the structure and guidelines the business wishes to follow.

The purpose of the SOP is not for formality, but to be easily understood and followed.

With ISO 9001’s fundamental to preparing a compliant and functional SOP, your SOP should identify the following:

Process: What needs to be done and why
Procedure: How the process needs to be done
Work Instruction: How to carry out the procedure

ISO also mandates leadership involvement into making decisions such as SOP writing, therefore, an acknowledgement should be received to proceed further.
Do: Write the SOP

SOP can be prepared in various formats, commonly in 3 ways,

  1. Quality policies
  2. Quality procedures
  3. Work Instructions

The full SOP will be arranged hierarchical list or chronological order, with a process map or flow chart as the visual aid in guiding the reader to understand the SOP.

The SOP are to also include more details such as responsibilities, authorities, tools, methods and unit of measurement.
Check: Relevancy and redundancy

Perform a thorough review of your SOP written.

  1. No work instructions are left out
  2. No undefined authorities
  3. Unclear or general instructions
  4. The relevancy of the instructions to the staff responsible
  5. Any redundancy of instructions
  6. Readability and understandability
  7. If all general possibilities are included

Should the SOPs are reviewed, the business owner or the board should be acknowledged with a new SOP and determine a date to initiate it.
Act: Implement and optimize SOP

Change will take place, and also a buffer is to be given for the staff to transition to the new SOP.

After that, a good practice to perform is to collect input and feedback from the employee.

This is to understand which instruction has not been clearly identified, explained or missing.

Bear in mind that SOP will never be the same forever.

Your SOP should be updated regularly to tackle different business environments or prepare your business before a major threat.

Our experts recommend reviewing business SOPs in conjunction with the market environment and risk analysis at least once per year to prepare businesses for either seizing opportunities or counter threats.

SOPs is the core structure that makes business and management systems work.

Despite having to allocate time and effort to SOP, it is not to forget that the goal of SOP is to provide a simplified and standardized manner of performing tasks to maintain a consistent delivery of goods and services to customers.

Hence, learn about ISO and how ISO 9001 structurize a continuous improvement loop for your business.