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Standardize Operating Procedures.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are crucial for efficient processes since they provide a clear path to get from A to B. This clear path makes it easier for frontline staff to perform their jobs efficiently and confidently. Standardization is the foundation of lean, and lean can’t work effectively without stable and standard processes.

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Why are SOPs so important for
smooth and efficient processes?

  • Drive productivity and confidence of team members as they know exactly what to do, and how to do it. 
  • Prevent errors, downtime, and delays.
  • Document key safety measures to avoid accidents.
  • Facilitate knowledge transfer between team members.
  • Make training new team members more efficient. 
  • Drive consistency and clarity.
  • Prevent machine failures.
  • Uphold quality control requirements.

Teams that collaborate around standardization are essential for every lean and CI initiative.
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CI & Lean Director

PepsiCo

20%

time-saving in executing tasks.

 

What does a good SOP look like? 

A clear structure is necessary when creating effective SOPs for the shop floor. Knowledge should be immediately usable and scannable and should help your users navigate through the content effortlessly. 

 

Simple.

Keep things simple - explain actions in steps and avoid information overload.

SOP 1

Visual.

Make use of clear visuals that illustrate the desired action in detail.

SOP 2

Understandable.

Avoid jargon and stick to terms that everyone understands.

SOP 3

Action-oriented.

Use active voice and action-oriented language.

SOP 4

Consistent.

Keep your instructions consistent and don’t leave critical info for later.

SOP 5

Standardization of processes doesn’t mean removing all responsibility and joy in an operator’s job. If there isn’t a standard procedure in place, frontline teams are more stressed and misaligned and have to focus all their attention on the details of performing the task. With good standards in place, the attention of team members can be focused on coming up with improvement ideas on how to make the process increasingly better in the long term.

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International Journal of Production Research

Deflorin, P., & Scherrer-Rathje, M. (2012). "Challenges in the transformation to lean production from different manufacturing-process choices"
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What happens after successfully implementing your SOPs?

Looking at the long-term strategy of your organization, high-quality SOPs will help you:

  • Align teams around the world to meet the operational excellence targets.
  • Make your processes safer with fewer errors and less downtime. 
  • Pass your audits and avoid the risk of being non-compliant.
SwipeGuide is designed to create powerful digital standard operating procedures for frontline teams. 

Using standard operating procedures that are easy to use both for the operators and for the editors is really helping us save valuable production time.
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Manufacturing Project Manager

Orkla Foods Norway