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SOP Development

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) is a more organized approach when we know in advance the sequence of activities to be carried out towards completing a bigger task and achieving an output. SOPs or Standard Operating Procedures are an applicative reflection of this ideology. SOP as a tool is used by both business and non-business organizations alike with the same objective – to complete tasks in an organized, effective, and efficient manner. In both the business and non-business world, there are plenty of standard operating procedure examples.

Global organizations like WHO and UN extensively use SOPs in implementing their projects at the ground level. For instance, WHO’s regional office in Congo uses SOPs to describe the steps that their staff are required to follow in prevention, detection, and response to acute public health events. But since the methods and procedures for preventing and controlling infectious disease outbreaks develop and change over time, WHO also has to keep their SOPs updated and the same being made known to their staff and team members.

Renowned brands in Africa like Jumia, Pick n Pay, Shoprite, Tusker, Tiger, Anbessa and many others are professionally-managed enterprises and they too rely on SOP documents for their executing business operations. Now for example, for sellers associated with Jumia, the company has a defined set of processes, operating guidelines, and SOPs to be followed pertaining to product listing, valued-added services, packaging, returns, promotions, etc. A defined working framework makes the processes transparent and comprehensive to the vendors.

If you are thinking of starting or expanding your retail or eCommerce business to an African market, you must embrace and plan for the contemporary ways of managing your business operations of which SOP is going to be a crucial element. If you are new to the business world you should take assistance from SOP development services.

Running a business without SOP development:

Time-consuming

When processes are not defined and SOPs are not used, business operations are bound to wade through inefficient ways. A task that could have been done in 10 minutes might take longer without SOPs or work instructions because the task owners involved will not have an operational roadmap to follow that defines the operational standards to be maintained at every step along the workflow. Even a delay of 5 minutes happening in 10 stores means a loss of 50 minutes of business hours. The task could be processing a customer/vendor grievance or making payment to a supplier but without a defined set of operating procedures, employees will do what they feel is apt and not what is required to be done. Eventually, at the cost of more time, the task will get done with the intervention of superior authority or until the employees themselves figure it out.

Poor Experience

Internal operational planning strongly reflects the experience a business enterprise hands out to their customers and associates. If you promise to deliver pizza within 40 minutes and you do not have the operational planning to achieve that, be ready to face a backlash on social media. Your orders will go down affecting your suppliers. The incentives you pay to your employees will also go down despite no fault of theirs. So, eventually, you will leave a dissatisfying experience to everyone involved with your business.

Attrition

Employees’ productivity is affected by the operational system in place. If your managers/supervisors dictate new ways of working every week, your employees will never develop a steady learning curve for getting acquainted with your business and operational requirements. As mentioned earlier, without the requisite operational planning, the earnings of your employees will also be affected. Dissatisfied employees do not stick around for long. And once a handful of employees leave your company and reveal their experiences to your competitors, it might become problematic for you to control the attrition.

Increased operational costs

When the business processes and operations are defined and documented in the first place, streamlining and optimizing them becomes easier with better results. With optimized processes, the operational costs also come to the optimum levels. We talked about wastage of time earlier in the absence of SOPs. Now think from the perspective of financial repercussions. Let’s say that you aim to have your distribution centre handle 1000 orders a day but in the absence of SOPs it would be able to handle less than that. Why? Because you did not define the order processing workflow to be followed at your distribution centre. And now you will have to bear a higher cost per order.

How YRC can help in building a business development Standard Operating procedure:

Being in the field of business process improvement since 2012 has led us to earmark SOP design and development as one of our core competencies. As a retail and eCommerce consulting company with expertise in business process management, we offer SOP developing services for small, midsize and large retail businesses as well as for franchise businesses. We provide SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) development services by working on business process analysis, writing standard operating procedures manuals, and developing workflow management systems towards establishing routines, maintaining consistency of standards, developing better growth systems, and eliminating loss of productivity. The SOPs prepared by us is a precedural documentation which focuses on long term goals, departmental goals, workflows, quality control measures and regulatory requirements.

Is your business more tilted towards being people-dependent or process-driven? To know the answer, have periodical meetings with your employees and ask them where they are facing problems. If the reasons are more people-oriented, then you need to look at the process side. At the operational level, processes and procedures should define who does what and not the other way around. Our business process analysts see becoming process-driven as the ultimate goal of business process improvement. Being process-driven via SOPs is also a powerful tool for any management control system. Hence business development SOPs are essential for any business.

We work with the motto that if a business has to succeed, it must go on, and go on without any halt. Every minute is precious. External circumstances are an exception. But business activities coming to a halt for any shortcoming in operational planning is not excusable. Our objective in SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) development services is to make sure that the workflows and processes, in their entirety, are detailed in every operational respect and that nothing substantial that could be planned for is left out.

Understanding what your customers need is not enough. Your business’s operational planning must corroborate the promises made and expectations to be fulfilled. So, the design and development of the business processes and operations assume critical importance. A very small but indirect instance is whether you are paying your employees on time or not. If you have a good payroll process in place, you get a home run. But in case it is not, you must bear in mind that dissatisfied employees are unlikely to make your customers any happier than they are for a prolonged period. So, winning customer delight is a bigger, company-wide game. Not only that your frontline operations need to be in order to deliver consistent services, but your internal operations also need to be robust. We adopt a holistic and insightful approach in our SOP consulting and design and development services. We adopt a holistic and insightful approach in our business development SOPs to delight all your stakeholders.

You can easily replicate something if you are already doing it right somewhere else. The same is true for business expansion or scaling up if the environmental differences are not drastic. With SOPs, business processes and operations stand validated meaning they could be replicated in a new store or a new market. This is how the business development SOPs plays a major role in business expansion. There could be alterations but the core workflow design would be already with you. This also helps in change management by reducing the chances of human resistance in shifting to a new work location. Now, for example, Amazon warehouses in the United States are generally more automated than their counterparts in Africa or Asia but the core processes, more or less, remain the same.

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We are a boutique retail consulting firm. To know more about our services or if you are interested in availing SOP design and development services for your business, drop us a message and we shall get back to you.

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