How to Write a Standard Operations Procedure Manual for Your Warehouse

Every business should have standard operations procedure manuals, and warehouses are no exceptions. Standard operating procedures are detailed, step-by-step guides that cover every aspect of warehouse operations. These manuals are powerful training tools that can ensure your workers are set up for success in your warehouse. Keep reading for tips on how to write a standard operations procedure manual for your warehouse.

Starting with Your End Goal

Every warehouse operations manager has goals, and some are minor, while others are central to running the facility. It’s important to identify all of the primary goals of a warehouse and develop standard operations procedure manuals for each of them. Doing so helps promote uniformity and reliability across all operations.

When writing standard operations procedure manuals for a warehouse, it is helpful to begin with your end goal in mind. Every aspect of your standard operations manual should be geared toward a final goal. For example, a manual that sets out the process for shipping and receiving inventory should take the goal of carefully and efficiently shipping merchandise into account during every step.

Select the Right Format for Your Warehouse

Standard operations procedure manuals use a variety of formats. For some businesses, these manuals rely on flowchart formats which make it simple to map out a process and communicate each step to employees. Another approach is known as the “simple steps” format. This aptly named format includes a list of simple steps each worker should take when performing a task.

Seek Input from Your Workforce

Developing a standard operations procedure manual should not be a one-man job. Instead, it is advantageous for warehouse managers to seek input from a range of sources throughout the development of a manual.

Requesting feedback on warehouse procedures from your workers could provide invaluable insight on how a process is typically performed and how it could be improved upon with a standard operations manual. Additionally, providing your workforce with an opportunity to weigh in on standard operations procedure manuals could give your employees a sense of involvement and make them feel heard, thereby improving warehouse culture and company morale.

Constantly Update

These manuals are not intended for permanent use. They are living documents that should change as your business grows. To effectively account for changes in industry standards or to the warehouse itself, it is critical to update standard operations procedure manuals on a regular basis. How frequently these updates occur can vary from warehouse to warehouse, but a review should occur at least once per year.

Standard Operations Procedure Manuals and Flex Workers

Putting your standard operations procedures into writing could be especially valuable if your facility relies on flex workers. Training is crucial when making use of gig labor, and these manuals could get workers up to speed quickly with little managerial involvement.

The flex workers who use HapiGig are highly skilled and can effectively use standard operations procedure manuals to get the job done. Contact us to learn how we could help with your flex labor needs.