Standard Operating Procedures Across Industries

June 28, 2020 in Standard Operating Procedures

Standard Operating Procedures Across Industries

The previous entries in this 4-part SOP blog series covered connecting your workforce with SOPs, and the benefits of optimizing SOPs. This third entry in the 4-part SOP blog series discusses how SOPs maximize connected workforces across industries.

Here are some of the industries MaintainX has helped streamline maintenance operations:

  • Manufacturing
  • Warehousing
  • Restaurants
  • Hospitality, including Hotels and Country Clubs
  • Education, including school districts and college/university campuses 
  • Fleet Management
  • Facility Management
  • Property Management
  • Government

Across industries, online written Standard Operating Procedures support connected workforces by coordinating work and streamlining compliance and reporting. In many cases, industries create SOPs to serve as procedural documents and as vital evidence that regulatory requirements are being met.

Connected Workforce

Digital SOPs reduce non-productive time by empowering frontline teams with process information and step-by-step instructions on the go. Automating existing processes support document management plans.

Frontline teams can connect with managers with real-time data to measure and improve productivity. 

With online dashboards and checklists, managers and team members can communicate, collaborate, and ensure input and corrective actions happen when needed.

Company-wide SOPS keeps everyone on the same page at all times to continuously improve operational efficiency. Business owners and management can define SOPs, making sure that workers perform tasks as outlined and identified in business processes.. 

Compliance and Reporting

A digital audit trail streamlines complex regulatory procedures and provides centralized transparency across warehouse floors, facilities, campuses, and fleets.

Standard Operating Procedures with checklists allow managers and owners to analyze data, standardize inspections, send reports, and identify failed areas. 

SOP digital audit trails give management crucial information necessary to ensure company-wide compliance and deploy updates globally within seconds. 

Once online, completed Standard Operating Procedures are time-stamped. Managers can trust the data and hold teams and workers accountable for quality assurance and meeting regulations.

INDUSTRY: Manufacturing

Manufacturers deal with many areas of compliance, including laws and regulations, product safety, and health and environmental regulations. 

Routine industrial inspection

Across a company, facility management, operations managers, maintenance teams, and management teams use SOPs to meet state and federal laws and regulations.

Manufacturers can manage maintenance and demonstrate compliance regulations through manufacturing SOPs that promote quality control and continuous improvement. 

Standard Operating Procedures enhance a company’s ability to produce and market final products at an extraordinary rate, especially with competition from international markets.

Quality management plans and Standard Operating Procedure documentation provide opportunities to locate inefficiency and downtime in the manufacturing process. SOP also provides evidence of regulatory compliance on the factory and warehouse floor. Online SOP templates can help build an organizational culture of excellence. 

INDUSTRY: Warehousing 

A warehouse management system (WMS) or plan provides inventory control and supply-chain management. An automated Warehouse Management System (WMS) combines supply chain processes with technology to increase efficiency and productivity. WMS delivers real-time information about warehouse operations. Warehouse managers can then create Standard Operating Procedures to automatically trigger cycle counts with detailed instructions. 

Worker performing task on tablet

An efficient warehouse management plan needs to be accurate and fast. Warehouse best practices produce lean warehouse operations, avoid downtime, achieve rapid growth, and satisfy customers. 

The best WMS creates more efficient warehouse processes by managing in real-time inventory and storage information throughout operations. Digital warehouse SOPs provide real-time information to avoid DOWNTIME.

Digital SOPs provide accurate, current information to managers, warehouse workers, and operations personnel for on-the-spot decision-making and supply chain management.

Dashboards and checklists produce real-time supply chain data, accurate inventory counts, increased processing volume, on-the-spot decision making.

More than anything, online standard operating procedures in the warehouse and on the factory floor eliminate paper-based workflows and alert failures to comply.

Warehouse best practices, such as receiving and cross-docking, work best with standard operating procedures. Warehouses that use online SOP are more likely to:

  • Manage supply chain demands easily
  • Build pinpoint accuracy
  • Grow more efficient 
  • Maintain flexibility
  • Transform operations

With digital checklists and dashboards, Standard Operating Procedures monitor warehouse quality assurance plans, warehouse safety rules, and industry compliance regulations

INDUSTRY: Restaurants

Restaurant owners, chefs, kitchen staff, and front-of-house waiters execute SOPs daily. Quality and up-to-date SOP keep restaurants running safely and efficiently. Online restaurant SOPs can provide easy-to-follow preventive maintenance plans, quality assurance guidelines, regulatory inspection checklists, equipment tracking, and food safety rules. 

Restaurant worker serving food from kitchen window

Streamline standard operating procedures for both the front-of-house and the back-of-the-house. Train new staff, communicate in seconds with all employees, keep guests happy, and coming back for more long term. 

The FDA’s Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Training and Monitoring includes food safety training, quality improvement, record keeping, and employee training. 

However, written SOPs are useless without great communication, training, documentation, and implementation. In many restaurants, SOPs aren’t well-documented. Instead, staff members are trained to do things a certain way, and it’s assumed that everybody knows “this is how we do things here.”

Miscommunications can happen in a fast-paced restaurant, especially when dealing with the high turnover in the restaurant industry right now. Well-documented SOPs built into online employee manuals and available for easy access provide managers with compliance checklists.

To stay in business, owners and managers need to write SOPs for both the front and back of the house that include restaurant rules and regulations

Write Standard Operating Procedures to put your restaurant on firm footing to pass inspections, receive rave restaurant reviews, and win restaurant awards for quality and service.

The fast pace of restaurant operations leaves no time to find SOPs thumbtacked on walls or in hardcopy staff manuals in back offices. SOPs need to be digitized and available for staff at their fingertips, wherever and whenever they need them.

Write Standard Operating Procedures for restaurants to include:

  • Staff and personal hygiene
  • Cleaning and disinfecting facility and equipment
  • Food flow
  • Menu production
  • Communications

Keep kitchens running smoothly and efficiently with clear communication between management, staff, and vendors. 


The quality and comfort of hotel guest rooms are a hotel’s highest priority. Maintenance managers should focus on the hotel areas where spot-on preventive maintenance builds customer satisfaction and positive guest experiences.

Immaculate hotel room

Hotels operate in regulated environments. Front desks and managers need to assess quality issues to proactively prevent problems and react to them quickly when they appear.

SOPs that include preventive maintenance and regulatory standards ensure quality and safety for both customers and employees. They increase customer satisfaction and re-bookings, and meet industry compliance.

Hotel maintenance operations include:

  • Heating and Cooling Systems
  • Plumbing and Water Supply
  • Electrical
  • Lighting
  • Guest Safety
  • Sanitation Services and Replenishment
  • Furniture
  • Facility Exterior
  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Meeting Spaces

Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has no specific rules governing the hospitality industry. However, hotels need to comply with OSHA’s General Duty Clause that enforces worker safety. 

Hotel standard operating procedures with regulatory compliance checklists should include:

  • Emergency Evacuations and Lock-Down Procedures
  • Housekeeping and Cleaning Operations
  • Laundry Operations and Facilities
  • Food and Beverage Services and Kitchen Operations
  • Guest Room and Floor Safety

These operations are regulated at federal, state, and/or local levels. Industry-specific organizations, such as those for electricians and plumbing, heating, and cooling contractors, also provide their own standards and required training and certifications. Fire safety is a major concern in the hotel industry. 

Employees who know and understand hospitality laws keep more accurate records online and on the spot.

INDUSTRY: Education

A well-designed education facility management system built with Standard Operating Procedures includes facility maintenance, reactive maintenance, routine maintenance, preventive maintenance, and predictive maintenance. 

School bus in winter weather

School facility maintenance plans need to focus on campus day-to-day operations and on long-range school management priorities.

Because there are always routine and unexpected maintenance and repair demands, education organizations should proactively develop and implement plans.

Once online, completed SOP can be used to create forms and checklists for locations, assets, inspections, and routine safety checks. Time-stamped facility maintenance Standard Operating Procedures create easy audit trails. 

Write SOP for Buildings, Grounds, and Equipment

Building maintenance includes not only the school buildings, but athletic facilities, tool sheds, garages, and other remote sites.

Grounds maintenance includes unpaved surfaces, like the athletic fields, and paved surfaces, like the parking lots. It also includes walkways, sidewalks, and driveways. Grounds also include landscape, water flow, energy use, and even personal safety. In the winter, campus SOP cover snow plowing for safety and access.

Equipment maintenance includes all vehicle fleets, from lawnmowers to school buses to golf carts.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) publishes the Planning Guide for Maintaining School Facilities. This guide helps school facility managers ensure smooth operations, avoid costly reactive maintenance fixes, and evaluate maintenance efforts with state of the art solutions.

School facility Standard Operating Procedures should include: 

  • Fleet management, including school buses
  • Building and grounds   
  • HVAC systems
  • Indoor air quality
  • Water systems, including safe drinking water
  • Foodservice
  • Safety and emergency preparedness
  • Fire safety
  • Recycling
  • Sanitation
  • Hazardous materials, including asbestos and lead paint

Facility maintenance teams need to adhere to rigorous education Standard Operating Procedures set by districts, county, and state authorities. 

Campus Standard Operating Procedures should: 

  • Document processes that are easily followed, accessible, and not “one size fits all” solutions
  • Promote best practices and quality assurance guidelines
  • Facilitate audits of daily, monthly, and preventive maintenance schedules
  • Provide safe environments for teaching and learning
  • Manage facility staff and contractors
  • Evaluate facility maintenance efforts, implementation, compliance, and completion

This is the third post in the 4-part blog series on SOP. Check out the previous posts at:

The fourth and final post in this SOP series will outline the digital transformation possible across industries by writing, implementing, and automating SOPs. Connected workforces optimize efficiency, decrease non-production, and increase the standard of care for compliance. 

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