Why is Standard Operating Procedure So Important?
The importance of Standard Operating Procedure can be actually felt with the full impact it has when something goes wrong. It becomes an expensive learning process due to internal failure.
When the ISO certification was thought about in mid-nineties in the liner company where I was employed, the first reaction was that of ridicule and disbelief from my colleagues: “Why is someone, an outsider trying to tell us as to how and when to do our jobs?”
When it dawned on them that they are the ones who are laying down the rules and the certification merely monitors their own actions, the disbelief turned into full cooperation from every member of the team. Everyone contributed to the preparation of manuals and work instructions. It was the beginning of a culture which continued till the business lasted. More importantly, I can feel the ingrained culture continuing in their lives even after the vertical has been closed down. As we need to follow certain laid down standards, you turn to ISO. You also get a certification for your meticulous planning, working and monitoring!!
About the Author
Master mariner with sailing experience of 19 years on multipurpose, reefer, container oriented container vessels – commercial shipping experience 21 years – thrust areas – stevedoring, liner shipping, feedering operations, container freight station, tramp agency.