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Understanding the Benefits, Implementation, and Creation of SOPs

You are currently viewing Understanding the Benefits, Implementation, and Creation of SOPs

In eCommerce fulfillment, a standard operating procedure (SOP) is a written protocol or a set of step-by-step guidelines for standardizing a task, ensuring consistently good quality and maximizing efficiency. Making use of SOPs ensures your workflows don’t comprise of any redundant tasks and that no resources are wasted.

What are the basic components of SOPs?

Standard Operating Procedures typically contain the following essential components:

  • Defined objective The SOP must clearly define and outline its purpose and objectives, so those directly affected by it understand why they must follow it.
  • Defined Roles and Responsibilities Well-curated SOPs tend to optimize accountability by clearly defining the roles and responsibilities for various designations. Not only that, but it also designates the responsibility for the one in charge for its implementation and reviews, as well the one who should be contacted in case of arising issues.
  • Structured Procedures Apart from outlining tasks and defining roles and responsibilities. An SOP also provides guidelines of the necessary procedures for completion of those tasks.
  • Scope The SOP must also state the issues it intends to fix and its mode of implementation and usage.

Why are SOPs so important?

SOPs are important for optimizing workflows for eCommerce fulfillment irrespective of the size of your operations and revenue. Even if your business is at a small scale, you can prepare for that to change by opting for the implementation of clearly defined SOPs. Standardized operations can benefit businesses of all sizes by providing consistence and good quality every single time. Even inexperienced employees can soon learn and pitch in the greater growth of the business by using the SOP guidelines. Some key features of SOPs that make them so important are:

  • Ensures workers’ safety and streamlined workflows
  • Reduces miscommunication among employees and leads to greater efficiency
  • Removes redundant and/or unproductive processes that increase production cycles
  • Helps track the proficiency of operations and enhances accountability

How do you write a SOP for your eCommerce business?

Writing SOPs for your business is a methodical process, in which each step requires your utmost attention. Following this step-by-step process to successfully create a Standard Operating Procedure for your firm.

Start with Collecting Data

Start off with choosing the relevant person for collecting required data. Pick an employee directly involved in the procedure that you’re planning on standardizing or go for an expert in that procedure. Have them thoroughly define and explain that procedure and provide all the necessary data. In addition to compiling the relevant information, also define the goal of devising this SOP.

Pick a Format Choice

If this is your first time curating the S2OP for your business you may first pick your choice of format, i.e., do you want to go with a step-by-step SOP, an SOP checklist, a hierarchical SOP, or a flowchart SOP? However, if you are only reviewing and updating your pre-existing SOP then you can make use of the templates used before.

Receive Input from Your Employees

Since your employees are the ones directly affected by the protocols and they are the ones performing the tasks, taking their input prior to writing the SOP is important. This way you can also ensure employee satisfaction and be certain that you’ve covered all the necessary aspects.

Clearly Define the Scope and Usage of your SOP

Clearly define which operations and procedures will be standardized with this SOP.

Identify your SOP Audience

While writing the SOP, identify who the target audience is and make sure to write keeping them in mind, meaning the language should be clear and familiar to them. Your SOP must meet the knowledge level of your audience and be easily understandable, because if they have trouble understanding the instructions, the correct implementation is totally out of question.

Write Your SOP

Keeping the section “basic components of SOPs” of this blog and the above instructions in mind, start writing the SOP for the process you plan on standardizing.

Test your SOP and make amendments if and where needed

While you may think that writing the SOP should have been the last step, you are still not even close to done. You cannot implement it for good until it has been reviewed by your colleagues and tested by your employees to verify if it results in the outcome you are aiming for. Following that, make any required amendments and proceed to printing the final document once it has been approved by all your team members and proved to be a success in the tests conducted.

Implement your designed SOP

Train your employees adequately for the successful implementation of the SOP. The management must enforce accountability and ensure compliance of operations with SOPs. Periodically review the performance and results to make necessary amendments.

Partner with ShipBots for efficient implementation of SOPs

While the whole workforce in any organization is responsible for maintaining the efficiency of operations and quality of products and services, businesses with the aim to go big don’t merely rely on luck and faith in everybody simply trying their best.

Standardizing operations, enforcing protocols, and ensuring compliance with them is what brings consistence and good quality that takes a business from having the repute of being a mere provider to becoming a name that is synonymous with unprecedented excellence.

An efficient yet effective way of SOP implementation is to collaborate with an 3PL for eCommerce solutions expert such as ShipBots, who can optimize workflow, digitize and automate monitoring and tracking, and ensure accuracy in order fulfillment services by religiously complying with the SOP. Contact us today to discuss how we can fulfill your orders according to your SOPs.