How ERP Makes SOP Implementation Easier and More Effective

John WaldronArticle, Blog

How ERP Makes SOP Implementation Easier and More Effective

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As successful leaders know, in order to build a business that scales, well-documented systems and processes are a must. From training and hiring to work policies and procedures, standard operating procedures (SOPs) help organisations stay organised, streamline business processes, and ensure that employees understand how to accomplish assigned tasks to the expected standard in the most efficient manner possible.

In a manufacturing environment, for example, SOPs are imperative to ensure uniform results, quality control, traceability, and employee safety. In other industries where regulatory compliance is a requirement — pharmaceuticals, medical devices, chemical plants, etc. — SOPs are nothing short of essential.

As such, the appropriate and effective management of SOPs is imperative for ensuring that all members of your organisation are operating from a formalised and coordinated set of processes that not only increase productivity, but reduce the risk of errors, establish a chain of command, and see to it that all regulatory requirements are met.

This means that SOPs need to be documented — and those documents stored and made easily accessible to all team members. In addition, SOPs themselves must be regularly revisited, reviewed and updated to ensure they are keeping up with any new working procedures, developments, or regulatory requirements that are put in place. Again, this requires the implementation of appropriate SOP management tools that easily enable regular SOP update and review. Using an advanced ERP system like metasfresh is one of the best ways to do this, for indeed, ERP software is purpose-built to record, store, and disseminate required information across the organisation and facilitate operational best practices, collaboration, and decision-making.

The Benefits of ERP-SOP Integration

Of course, SOPs can be implemented without an ERP, but the process of deriving what information is required, when and by whom to successfully complete an organisational activity becomes easier and far more effective when it is integrated directly with a centralised, overarching, comprehensive information system.

Traditional methods for implementing SOPs typically involve things like providing SOP handbooks or manuals, or through training and educational programmes. This is fine in theory, but, particularly for scaling organisations and organisations with multiple interdepartmental dependencies, moving parts, and process improvement requirements, these traditional methods lack the flexibility, versatility, and accessibility required to ensure that SOPs are always up to date and accurately disseminated throughout the organisation to optimise the functioning of processes.

A far more advanced and impactful way of implementing SOPs is by having a powerful and robust ERP such as metasfresh in place, and integrating the SOPs directly with the system. The ultimate purpose of an ERP is to combine all aspects of an organisation into a single database, application, and user interface. Organisations utilise ERP software to manage their various and wide-spread business functions — from finance and accounting to supply chain management, procurement, sales, marketing, human resources, and business intelligence — from within a centralised, integrated system. SOPs, meanwhile, clearly establish roles, responsibilities, process owners, chains of command, workflows, and approvals processes within these functions, providing immense clarity and standardising all procedures. In other words, ERP is the technology used to drive business processes, while SOPs give those processes clear direction and purpose.

Integrating SOPs directly with an ERP like metasfresh means that the ERP system itself can be designed and customised from the ground up in direct accordance with your predefined best practice operational procedures, and ensure that the information needs involved with each of your business processes are met. Indeed, ERP-SOP integration ensures that your operational best practice approaches are mapped right into your core information and business process management system. What’s more, the ERP system’s information sharing capabilities provides ready access to all SOP documents, facilitating consistency, accuracy and promptness to the operational activities being carried out by employees engaged in various business processes.

Integrate Your SOPs with metasfresh Open Source ERP

Fundamentally, SOPs are all about improving your business. They clearly communicate the correct way of carrying out an activity within an organisation, and should be crafted to ensure the achievement of optimised standards of performance and output at the operational level. With effective ERP-SOP integration, these standards can be mapped against each activity right inside the ERP information system, providing a robust platform for improving consistency, minimising errors, streamlining operations and facilitating greater collaboration between departments.

In short, the integration of ERP and your SOPs enable you to attain the very best of both worlds. While your SOPs provide the standards and the roadmap that will guide your organisation towards optimised operational activities, an ERP system provides the platform and functional tools to ensure the implementation and execution of your SOPs in practice.

Talk to us here at metasfresh. Since 2006 we have been developing our metasfresh ERP software non-stop with open source components and under the open source licenses GPLv2 and GPLv3. Our solution allows for the easy management of standard operating procedures and can be built to integrate your SOPs directly into your solution. Our core aim is to enable each and every company to access a powerful ERP system with the aim of fuelling corporate growth. Get in touch today for more information and insights.

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