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Establishing SOPs lays foundation for formal training program

By:
  • SIMA
- Posted: September 9, 2015

By Phill Sexton

A well-trained team is better equipped to successfully execute the level of service outlined in your clients’ contracts. According to the 2015
Snow Business State of the Industry survey, many snow contractors provide some sort of training, mostly related to safety and equipment operations, yet more than 50% say they have no formal training program in place.

For even the most veteran companies, the importance of training on processes should not be overlooked. For example, I was lulled into complacency on a site that we had serviced for several years. While our service plans hadn’t changed all that much, we had new operators on site when a 2-foot snowstorm swooped in. We had site engineering plans and detailed maps for that site, yet we failed to train the new team on our standard operating procedures (SOPs). As a result, we failed our client.

As a precursor to establishing a training program, it’s imperative that companies establish SOPs — step-by-step instructions to achieve a predictable, standardized, desired result often within the context of a longer overall process  — and then build their training program to reinforce them.

Benefits of SOPs:

  • Offer an objective way to critique your operation by removing emotion from the situation
  • Provide the ability to consistently train and inspect what’s expected.
  • Promote consistency and best practices

Standard operating procedures support the three key pillars of the business: sales and marketing, operations and production, and finance and administration. Using SOPs to strengthen those pillars, allows snow contractors to consistently measure outcomes and improve processes as needed. Without consistent processes and training to them, you can’t realistically expect everyone on the team to deliver consistent results.

To learn more about SOPs, including step-by-step instructions on how to build them, check out SIMA’s archived webinar on this topic in the SIMA Training Center here.

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