Procedures have a bad reputation. Long, verbal, inefficient, etc. It’s no surprise that in this study ‘It’s Worse than You Think: Poor Document Processes Lead to Significant Business Risk', the firm IDC found that nearly 40% say their processes are undocumented. The study also found that 75.9% of companies have suffered severe business consequences because of bad or non-existent documentation.
At JITbase, we have a different mindset. What if procedures were efficient and easy to use? For us, a procedure must be:
- created quickly,
- easy to keep up-to-date,
Why? Here are the 8 benefits of having good procedures.
1. Know what you have to do
This is the first use of a procedure: describe a job that needs to be done. To be the most efficient, keep it short, simple and visual.
2. Access information to quickly solve problems and reduce downtime
Procedures are useful when a quick response is needed for an uncommon situation. Downtimes on a production line can cost thousands of dollars each minute. It’s important to find the relevant information as fast as possible. Your DMS (Document Management System) has a key role. Cloud solutions are efficient and let you easily find document in seconds thanks to a search bar or tags.
3. Easily onboard new employees
Good procedures can be used as training content. Again, a short, simple and visual document will help a new employee to understand the work that has to be done.
4. Be in compliance with norms/certifications
Procedures are often mandatory. The ISO 9001 certification - the most common - is a good example. However, it becomes a hassle when your quality engineer has to work full-time updating documentation during the 2 months before the audit. Having quality procedures in a good management system takes away this pain.
5. Improve quality
Process standardization is the key to managing quality. Having clear procedures helps in this standardization. It also helps to track defects and to find the cause of a problem. While your process improves, the procedure must be updated as well and this is where a system like JITbase, which allows employees to suggest improvements, becomes powerful.
6. Make sure everyone is on the same page
Having a “snapshot” of the current situation helps everyone know where the company is on a certain process. It becomes easier for the company to set goals and makes every employee move in the same direction.
7. Reduce risk & improve security
Procedures are a great way to signal dangers. They are the perfect place to mention what’s mandatory or forbidden while doing the job. It leads to less downtime, and even more importantly, it leads to fewer accidents and injuries. Again, it must be visual, using icons and photos.
A procedure allows for evaluating the current way a task is done. A task written down and shared among team members is easier to analyze and improve upon. A procedure should be a dynamic document, where employees collaborate and continuously propose improvements.
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