5 Ways Digital SOPs Can Improve Manufacturing Efficiency

February 1, 2021 in Industry 4.0

5 Ways Digital SOPs Can Improve Manufacturing Efficiency
Table of Contents

Standard Operating Procedures and Efficiency

Managers are always looking to improve production efficiency with their teams. 

Using manufacturing Standard Operating Procedures, managers can standardize preventive maintenance processes and quality assurance plans across teams, facilities, and functions. From the way a new piece of equipment runs to how a manager audits performance, repeatable processes can always be made more efficient with an SOP.

With digital SOP, management can quantify and organize every process that workers use. It’s not only about the shop floor. Automate the SOP for how the front office receives production updates from the floor. Digitize the SOP to alert the warehouse maintenance team that products are ready to ship. 

Management teams should review all current processes and look for areas to improve, redefine, and reorganize. This can be an overwhelming task to manage without digital records to easily identify anomalies. 

An SOP can even standardize how a team communicates. Streamlining internal communications creates efficiencies across the company. 

Be sure to train and notify workers whenever Standard Operating Procedures are revised. After training, via the online dashboard, track SOP completion in real-time to ensure compliance.

To measure SOP efficiency, review, and evaluate the production line. First, measure throughput. This metric measures the average number of units produced in a given time period to highlight any issues with specific machines. If SOP and checklists are online, measuring throughput is simple.

Then measure the capacity of the total manufacturing output (TMO) in a given time period. TMO identifies the production lines operating at their highest possible output. It also identifies those operating below expected output levels.

Using an online dashboard makes it easy then to combine data on throughput and output to track the efficiency of production lines.

Standard Operating Procedures and Compliance

Going digital with Standard Operating Procedures streamlines and improves compliance. 

Manufacturers deal with many areas of compliance, including product safety and health and environmental regulations. Quality assurance (QA) plans can help ensure that manufactured products meet quality standards.

Quality Rubber Stamp

Running quality systems is an important part of a manufacturing company. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) developed ISO 9000 to define a “quality management system.” Companies need to aim to: 

a) consistently provide products and services that meet customer and legal and regulatory requirements, and
b) enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes to improve the system.

With the emergence of global standards, government regulations have increased. The FDA’s Quality Policy states that:

Management with executive responsibility shall establish its policy and objectives for, and commitment to, product quality. Management with executive responsibility shall ensure that the quality policy is understood, implemented, and maintained at all levels of the organization.

For example, OSHA’s General Duty Clause enforces worker health and safety. OSHA inspectors look for anything that can cause danger or bodily harm and impact an employee’s life on or off the job. 

Standard Operating Procedures and Tracking

Manufacturing compliance requires tracking decisions and explaining why changes were made. Tracking information and decisions is easier when the tracking is digital, especially when suppliers and new outsourcing are involved.

Operations managers that track communications see their manufacturing compliance rise. Compliance is nothing new in manufacturing. Collecting and analyzing data in real-time increases compliance in the manufacturing process.

Manufacturers can use digital Standard Operating Procedures to gather data and carry-out critical audits and inspections on the factory floor.


Digitizing manual Standard Operating Procedures simplifies manufacturer compliance. Companies achieve greater efficiency in meeting preventive maintenance, reactive maintenance, quality assurance, regulatory compliance, and SOP demands.

Document management is crucial to pass inspection and head off legal problems. Inspection stations can capture information on mobile forms, speeding up the transfer of information without sacrificing accuracy.

Online data collection reduces the time needed to perform audits. 

Standardizing SOP creates opportunities to see when and where inefficiencies happen in the manufacturing process. Look for standard operating procedure templates than can help build an organizational culture of excellence. 

Once standardized, data can now be easily shared with other people, improving work and communication between all levels of the team. This will also reduce your risk of non-compliance and improve supply chain efficiencies.

Standard Operating Procedures and CMMS Solutions

Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) solutions make tracking compliance easy–from OSHA requirements to quality assurance and product standards to planned maintenance and manufacturing regulations. With digital audits and checklists, management can easily track a teams’ production processes and work orders.

Work Orders
Work Order Tracking

Monitoring compliance is no longer a burden. Manufacturers can streamline and automate the process of collecting, reporting, and making critical data easily accessible to everyone.

Benefits of going online with manufacturing Standard Operating Procedures include:

  • Being prepared for audits at any time
  • Adhering to regulations and quality controls
  • Sharing data and documentation on the spot
  • Reviewing and editing Standard Operating Procedures in real-time

And with the time saved by automating SOP comes more time for innovation.

Manufacturers can manage maintenance and demonstrate compliance regulations through manufacturing SOP that promote quality assurance and continuous improvement. This will enhance your ability to produce and market products at an extraordinary rate, especially against competition across international markets.

With CMMS, companies can stay on top of planned and preventive maintenance schedules SOP. 

Standard Operating Procedures and MaintainX

Maintenance management and operations software, like MaintainX, provides in-depth analytics and reporting capabilities. Customizable dashboards, audit trails, and reports allow management to view completed preventive maintenance plans and regulatory SOP in real-time. 

Eliminate onboarding training hurdles by automating SOP to reinforce processes, compliance, and quality. By using a modern CMMS solution, processes can be at your team’s fingertips wherever they are, whenever they need them.

MaintainX can help build an accessible knowledge base for your employees to reference on the go and keep everyone on the same page.

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