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Have you included these nine items in your equipment control SOP?

by , 23 September 2013
A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) gives a detailed description of the process you must perform on a regular basis. It ensures you perform the task consistently with a standard method and policy. To ensure your SOP for equipment control is useful, make sure it contains these nine important items.

A SOP for equipment control is essential! It helps you manage and control your equipment to reduce your financial risk, says the Health & Safety Advisor.

BUT, without these nine elements, your SOP won't be that useful.

Don't take that risk!

Here are the nine specific areas to include in your SOP for equipment control

Item #1: Include definitions and acronyms that are specific to equipment control. This ensures the user understands the process properly. For example, POD: Proof of Delivery

Item #2: Security and safeguarding of equipment in your company, warehouse or manufacturing process. For example, don't keep your expensive work equipment near an open window or allow access to unauthorised personnel.

Item #3: Receiving an internal order and delivering it to your employees: Ensure you have the correct documents available, for example, internal order, delivery note and original order for the equipment.

The supervisor must also check there's sequential numbering. This ensures all orders are delivered and that proper follow up can occur in case orders go missing.

Item #4: Equipment received back from employees: The biggest risk with returned equipment is that you'll receive damaged equipment back from employees when the fault wasn't yours.

Returned equipment shouldn't be processed without proper notification if it's been received back.

Item #5: Tracking of in-transit goods (this only applies if you have branches in other areas).

  • Goods in transit are very important as this could have a significant effect on stock levels if equipment isn't received in time.
  • Goods mustn't get damaged in transit or go missing.

Item #6: Receipt, safe-keeping and delivery of packaging items from suppliers:

This is when your supplier prints its labels separately from the manufacturer.

It's just as important to ensure equipment received from suppliers is of good quality and meets the requirements to ensure your company in turn delivers a high quality product, says the Health & Safety Advisor.

Item #7: Record keeping and administration items with regards to equipment control:

  • Registers, order books, delivery books, the number of duplicates per document and review/supervision must be agreed on.
  • Proper segregation of duties must also be discussed
  • Remember to include who'll stand-in for the person responsible to ensure the process flows as it should.

Item #8: Destroy obsolete or expired equipment:

Proper records must also be maintained and reconciled to the equipment records to ensure any unexplained differences aren't just categorised as obsolete equipment.

Item #9: Document management. This is called the quality management plan to ensure the process is always followed.

This is especially important if your business is broken up into separate divisions, for instance, your warehouse is located on different premises.

Now that you know about these important items, make sure you include them in your SOP for equipment control.

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