Every business needs a standard operating procedure (SOP) manual. Many businesses spend a lot of time and money writing their SOP and then printing it out. This creates a static document when a dynamic document is really needed. An SOP is a living and breathing document that changes as the company changes.
What’s more, today with the advent of online storage solutions like Dropbox, Google Drive and CloudSafe, it’s easier and less expensive to store all documents online. Your online documents are secure, easy to access, and available at all times from anyplace with many different devices. Nothing could be easier than using an online cloud-based storage system for your SOP.
The main benefits to housing your SOP online are:
* Cost – Online storage is very inexpensive compared to offline storage. You have to factor in the cost of paper as well as the cost of the space to store all that paperwork. Housing documents like your standard operating procedure online will save your company money by making the document easy to access and easy to use and change when needed.
* Security – Online storage solutions offer security that can’t be matched in house. Usually data is stored and transmitted with encryption that prevents document theft and issues. If you were to try this in house you’d have to hire several new people, plus buy expensive equipment to offer the same security.
* Easy to edit – Documents stored online can be edited easily because you don’t have to worry about the expense of reprinting. The online documents can be changed as often as needed with no worry about cost.
* Accessibility – Online documents can be accessed from any location with multiple devices. This makes it great for companies who hire outsourcers from different locations, or who have teams who travel and need access to the SOP.
* Sharing – Online storage makes it easy to share any document with anyone with an easy link that gives them access only to the documents that you choose. This is a lot easier than mailing a document via the post office, and again, less expensive.
* Collaboration – The entire company can collaborate on the SOP from any location. Accounting can work on their section of the SOP and Marketing can work on theirs at the same time without worrying about anything else.
* Recovery – If there is a system breakdown, the information can be recovered easier. The provider you use has backups, and you should have a backup too. Even if your business burns to the ground, your data is safe in the cloud.
Most SOPs are dynamic documents that need to be updated and changed often to fit in with the current company culture. As your business grows and changes, you’ll need to add to and subtract information from your SOP. By housing it online safely, you can easily make those changes without having to ensure that everyone gets a copy. They already have access to a copy online; all you have to do is send a broadcast message with the information about the changes and a link to the new SOP.