SOP System: Transitioning from Manual to Automated

Transitioning from a Manual to Automated SOP System

Written by ComplianceBridge Policies & Procedures Team on July 13, 2017

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are processes and practices that set your organization apart from your competitors. SOPs consists of documentation from every facet of your business including human resources, information technology (IT), customer service, sales, and management. Yet, SOPs can easily be mismanaged under manual paper-based or decentralized systems. Even something as simple as ensuring that your organization is using the same version of every critical document can prove challenging with this antiquated strategy.

The best automated SOP systems solve the shortcomings of prior approaches by integrating compliance best practices such as full document lifecycle management; automated notifications with reminders; online knowledge access with testing, questionnaires, and acceptance confirmation; and real-time compliance management and measurement.

The Benefits of an Automated SOP System

Some organizations make the mistake of associating electronic storage with automation. Just because a file is stored on a hard drive instead of a three-ring binder doesn’t mean it will be easier to handle. In fact, simply scanning documents and storing them in a traditional folder-based file system replicates the inefficiencies inherent in the paper-based approach. You will still run into issues related to file duplication, version control, the inability to quickly find information, and not being able to confirm that recipients have read and understand the information sent to them.

With TotalCompliance by ComplianceBridge, your documents are located in one central, cloud-based repository. This means that all of your employees will be able to see the documents they need, whether they’re in San Francisco or Santiago. Even better, with TotalCompliance you can assign documents to certain groups so that your employees only need to see the documents pertinent to them, rather than wading through your entire SOP system.

A cloud-based SOP system also allows your users to search through the entire archive to find the documents and policies that are relevant to their situation. The easy access to documents for policies and procedures cannot be underestimated in value to your company, ensuring that employees always have the ability to find the right information necessary. As well, with TotalCompliance you can link other relevant documents or videos within a single policy to quickly send your employees to the appropriate pages.

Use Automation to Adapt

As organizations grow so do their complexity and need for more SOP for areas such as IT. To rapidly implement new SOPs, the inclusion of important policies are often overlooked. For instance, organizations that fail to create the appropriate IT SOPs can become victim to costly delays as the very systems that the new IT structure are supposed to oversee fail to gain user adoption.

An automated SOP system can solve these problems by providing a dynamic framework that will allow you to develop recommended IT SOPs as well as provide a means to ensure user compliance. Authoring the best IT SOPs requires input and approval from multiple stakeholders, a process that is made easier with TotalCompliance’s automated approval system – before any document goes live, you can have every stakeholder look through and comment on the file. You can ensure that the best, most agreed-upon version of your new SOP goes live. As well, when it comes time to update your SOP or any other policy document ComplianceBridge will send out reminders to view to all necessary personnel. It’s not necessary to remember when to review an old document or when a total rewrite is needed, because TotalCompliance will remind you.

With new SOPs it is very important that all employees are up-to-date and have thoroughly read the new procedures. To this end, TotalCompliance offers you the ability to create quizzes to test understanding of the content. After employees have tested and passed, you can be sure they know their stuff. And, if you have some employees who are lagging behind, you’ll be able to view quickly and easily those who haven’t tested or even viewed the documents, and send reminders that escalate until action is taken.

TotalCompliance, a Powerful Cloud-based Automated SOP system

TotalCompliance helps you from policy creation to final distribution, offering features such as built-in review and expiration dates to keep your content up-to-date. When it comes to following your SOPs and other policies and procedures, don’t assume that everyone knows what they’re doing – make sure that they do with the proof of due diligence provided by TotalCompliance, those records of who has read, tested on and signed off on each policy. These records are also, thanks to the cloud-based technology, the most current information possible. Not only will your employees be on time reviewing SOPs and policies with reminders and deadlines, but you’ll also be kept abreast of the most recent status of all of your policies and the employees’ knowledge of them.

Curious about how you would transition the SOP system at your organization into a cloud-based, automated version? Request a free demo of TotalCompliance to receive a complete walkthrough of how the system can make a difference at your organization.

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