The term "digital transformation" (DT or DX) refers to the practice of integrating cutting-edge technologies into every facet of a company, from routine tasks to top-level strategy.
It involves not just a transfer from analog to digital equipment but also a culture shift and rethinking of how a company should function.
In 2021, global expenditures on digital transformation hit 1.59 trillion U.S. dollars, an increase of almost 20 percent from the previous year. The increase in remote work and consequent adoption of cloud computing is seen as evidence that the pandemic has contributed to the push toward digital transformation.
Digital transformation influences organizations by boosting the efficiency of their operations and enabling large-scale automation. Consequently, there are fewer human mistakes which immediately translates to a drop in operating expenses.
What are digital standard operating procedures?
SOPs, or standard operating procedures, are detailed instructions for performing typical production tasks. Making the switch from paper to digital operations procedures may have a significant impact on workflow productivity, regulatory compliance, and the number of production mistakes.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing are two technologies that businesses are adopting to serve their customers better. It might also rethink its supply chain with machine learning in mind. Even more impressively, businesses are now able to forecast accurately what their customers will desire in a few months and then adjust production accordingly.
Yet, a shift in perspective is essential before starting on any digital transformation path. It's an opportunity to rethink how businesses function completely.
📌 Steal these 5 SOP examples to skyrocket your productivity.
Paper SOPs vs. Digital SOPs
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are developed in both paper and electronic versions inside organizations. As of now, paper SOPs are the most common, but they present more problems than they solve.
Paper checklists are inconvenient, wasteful and harmful to the environment. Due to the lengthy process of revising, printing, and distributing paper SOPs, it is not uncommon for managers to put off updating these documents. One more drawback to analog? Printed policies and procedures tend to balloon into enormous, cumbersome manuals that are easy to overlook by busy staff.
Poor content and a lack of clarity are two of the top reasons workers don't do their duties correctly, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Businesses are more likely to face failures due to human mistakes if they don't provide accessible and plain checklists.
📌 Recommended reading: How to Know if You Need SOPs or Work Instructions
Features of digital SOP software
Several different types of SOP software and SOP Chrome extensions exist, all of which may help management create a record of processes and translate them into easily digestible tasks. All useful programs should equip their users with the tools they need to excel in their jobs.
Here's a list of functions that every adequate SOP software must perform:
- Standard operating procedures (SOPs) should be housed in a central location so that all employees have easy access to the most recent version. This guarantees that workers can quickly and easily access any required resources.
- Quality assurance procedures must be followed throughout the SOP approval workflow to guarantee that delivered items are up to par with specifications. The correct software will record each approver's name and the date of their approval, creating a paper trail that can be used to verify which processes were authorized and when they were authorized. This is an effective strategy for reducing procedural uncertainty and a trustworthy means of record-keeping in the event of staff change.
- Choose a digital SOP program that allows for both sharing and permissions while also protecting sensitive data from prying eyes. A successful team effort from all concerned employees is guaranteed when standard operating procedures are easily available.
- Templates for standard operating procedures should be included in the program. Use them to get a sense of standard operating procedures (SOPs) without spending time creating them from scratch.
- Operating systems should be able to efficiently organize and standardize operations across the whole document generation process, from initial brainstorming to final auditing. This can greatly enhance the standard operating procedure (SOP) creation process for industrial facilities, leading to improved documentation overall.
- An integral part of every useful piece of software is a section outlining the required training and certification for staff members, including the specific training courses they must take to demonstrate competence with standard operating procedures. Management may learn more about who isn't following SOP compliance rules and how to fill knowledge gaps by keeping track of this data.
The benefits of digital transformation
There is more to digital transformation than just adopting cutting-edge tools. In the right hands, digital transformation can be a boon to any company.
The digital transformation process is already well underway at many businesses, with over three-quarters of worldwide organizations selecting the process as their primary IT priority in 2022, which is an increase from almost half in 2021.
1. Keep up with the competitive environment.
If you see that your competitors are embracing new technology, it may be difficult for your business to keep up with them if it continues to use its older, legacy systems. By embracing digital transformation, your organization will be better able to respond to shifts in the market and take advantage of emerging possibilities.
2. Favor creativity
Changing from an inefficient business model to a more effective one might open the door to further creativity within your company's ranks. As a result, there may be fresh avenues for commercial activity and perhaps some brand-new goods to consider.
Here's a case in point for our study. Netflix originally operated as a mail-order movie rental service. As this saved consumers a trip, it offered them an edge over competitors like Blockbuster and similar video rental businesses. Netflix, helped by technology and digital transformation, changed its business model and became one of the first successful streaming services, paving the path for other streaming platforms. To a large extent, this is what we can call a textbook case of how an enterprise successfully implemented a digital transformation plan to spur innovation in its sector.
3. Boost team agility
A team that values innovation and the use of state-of-the-art technology must be able to adapt swiftly to the ever-evolving technological landscape. Whenever you implement innovative digital tactics, your team will modify its approach accordingly. If your workforce is flexible, they will be able to adjust to new digital developments more easily.
4. Enhance the satisfaction of the consumer
Many of today's digital technologies owe their existence to the digital transformation that was an integral component of their development. Examples of technologies made possible by digital transformation include AI, IoT, ML, blockchain, cloud computing, automation, and more. The joy of living in the digital era is that all of these innovations enhance the customer service that businesses can provide.
Consider Spotify as an example. Spotify analyzes its customers' listening patterns with the use of data science and then recommends songs to them. This tactic contributes to the individualization of each Spotify user's experience, which in turn fosters a deeper connection between the brand and its users.
5. Boost efficiency & output
Your company's output and efficiency can both benefit from an infusion of modern technology into its operations. Several time-consuming human operations, such as advancing items through processes, may be completed more quickly with the help of automation (for example, document approvals or waiting for signatures).
By automating routine, monotonous processes, your team will have more time to concentrate on higher-level initiatives that will ultimately lead to better business results.
6. Ensure scalability by laying the groundwork
Start-ups are notorious for being early adopters of cutting-edge technologies. That's because modern IT can help lay a firm groundwork upon which to expand your business. Adopting new digital technology is significantly simpler when an organization already has a certain digital strategy in place.
5 Tips to automate your business with digital SOPs
There is mounting evidence that businesses must automate their procedures in order to compete. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) and automation are complementary tools. Why?
Accessing guidelines, policies and checklists is simplified with digital SOPs.
Also, with digitalization, management can monitor the status of SOP adoption, quality assurance, and upkeep initiatives. Here are five suggestions for implementing SOP-based business automation:
1. Automate standard operating procedures using a CMMS
Businesses might use a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to manage assets and streamline maintenance processes. Management information system (CMMS) helps monitor asset efficiency, quality, and compliance audits. Using its digital checklists, businesses can monitor workflows and work orders to figure out where they may cut corners.
2. Automate the boring, duplicate jobs
Feeling lost on how to get started? To get started, list the most routine activities in your company. Automating mundane, manual processes is a simple way to gain more flexibility and efficiency. These might include things like opening and closing routines, routine maintenance, and daily cleaning.
3. Include staff opinion in process outlining
Nearly all employee tasks may be broken down into more manageable chunks. Because of this, the SOP should be conceived of, developed, and written by the workers who conduct the processes daily. In the end, it is the "subject-matter experts" (SMEs) that know the processes best. The worker who creates the SOP should follow through to make any required adjustments. To improve readability and assure conformity, the writer may need to include visual aids and make certain grammatical corrections.
After the first draft of the SOP is ready, have junior workers and supervisors look it through. A missing or too complex phase that might be simplified may be obvious to those with experience with the technique. Organizational leaders will be able to check for quality assurance and make final adjustments after the manuscript has reached its final form.
4. Develop a mechanism for marking standard operating procedures
Unorganized data, regardless of the size of the company, is at risk of disappearing into "the software black hole." This issue can be remedied by instituting a standard method of SOP labeling. Finding what you need is much easier because everything is in one place.
5. Stick to the basics
SOPs shouldn't be difficult. The less complicated it is, the better it will work. Build digital SOPs using terminology that's easy to comprehend and implement.
Always use the same terminology and shorten any paragraphs that could otherwise be too long to serve as attachments for a lesson. There will inevitably be situations when SOPs need to be lengthy. When a procedure is very complicated, however, feel free to attach diagrams, flowcharts, and other visual aids to it.
In the same vein as before, a decent CMMS software platform will allow for creating hierarchical checklists, adding PDF attachments, and uploading photos to simplify the management of extensive SOPs. Ultimately, it's important to double-check that your SOP follows all applicable guidelines.
Building Digital SOPs with Scribe
Scribe is a standard operating procedure (SOP) generator that writes your process documentation for you.
As the modern way to build how-tos, Scribe is paving the way in how we automate and think about building digital SOPs.
Here's how it works.
An SME just needs to go through a procedure once for Scribe to transform it into a detailed guide with step-by-step instructions. Then anyone can easily edit, share, store or embed their Scribe where your team learns best.
Just finish your operating routine, press the "record" button in the Chrome extension or desktop software, and then wait for Scribe to transform your clicks and keystrokes into written instructions and images.
Scribes may be changed at any time by their owners, and the changes will be reflected in real-time for everyone with access to the standard operating procedure (SOP). Scribes can be shared with certain groups or individuals. Every knowledge base, wiki, or content management system is capable of having Scribes integrated or connected to it.
Use Scribe to:
- Build a centralized knowledge repository that may act as your digital team's authoritative go-to source of information.
- Incorporate the tools you already use and like, such as Notion, Jira, Miro, Microsoft Teams, and Confluence, amongst others.
- You may avoid the chaos of context switching and silos by managing and documenting your standard operating procedures (SOPs) in a single location.
- Remove confidential details from the document and only provide information to stakeholders based on their needs.
- Reduce the amount of time spent in meetings by working together in real-time or asynchronously.
- It is simple to make tweaks and adjustments to meet the requirements of your business better.
- Your staff will be able to access your SOP in various forms with just one click (URL link, PDF document, copy into a document with HTML or Markdown, etc.).
Use Scribe to transform your business with digital SOPs today
Digital standard operating procedures (SOPs) simplify life for businesses of all shapes and sizes. They make procedures more efficient, reduce operating expenses, and offer real-time updates on the status of completed tasks. In addition, those supported by CMMS software give comprehensive analytics that promotes continuous improvement.
Use Scribe to create your next digital SOPs and digital transformation SOPs. Scribe is a cutting-edge, code-free, and incredibly quick method for producing step-by-step tutorials, collaborating with your team, and sharing documents with anyone anytime!
Sign up for Scribe today! Best part? It’s completely free.