Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Software

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are most effective when they can easily be located, updated, and tracked. Traditional paper SOPs lack this capability. By using standard operating procedure software, companies reduce the amount of time they have to spend creating and tracking down SOPs. The best SOP software systems give companies complete control over their SOPs and increase compliance.

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Finding an SOP Program

A good SOP management program will be an investment, so it’s important to do plenty of research beforehand. Some points to consider are whether an SOP program exists that is designed specifically for your industry. Also determine if the solution you’re considering is just an SOP program or if it can be used for other business processes. If you’re going to invest in a solution, it should solve more than just one problem.

Benefits of SOP Management Software

  • Staying up to date: One of the hassles of printed SOPs is trying to figure out if you’re dealing with the most recent version. This usually means looking through every different version you can find to make sure different employees aren’t using different versions.
  • Traceability: While an up-to-date SOP is important, it’s also important to see changes that an SOP has undergone, who authorized those changes, and why those changes were made. It’s rare to find a paper-based or hybrid system that offers this information.
  • Avoiding bottlenecks: Keeping track of revised or new SOPs and making sure that the correct people sign them is a fulltime job without a software solution. When this process is automated, documents are routed for approval and escalated if not approved in a timely manner.
  • Training employees: SOPs do not exist in a vacuum. Once they have been approved, they need to be disseminated to employees for training purposes. An ideal SOP management software solution should have functionality that initiates training and monitors whether it has been completed.

SOP Builder/SOP Creation Software

Some companies offer an SOP builder or some sort of SOP creation software. While these can be useful tools, not all of these are designed to be compliant in complex regulatory environments. Before using a tool of this kind, be sure to see how the tool has performed for other companies. It is also helpful to go with a tool from a company that has a history of helping businesses with regulatory compliance.

Features of SOP Software

  • Templates for writing a new SOP.
  • The ability to control who can edit the SOP.
  • Web-based, so the SOP program can be accessed anywhere.
  • Automatic routing to avoid bottlenecks.

MasterControl SOP Document Software

The SOP software from MasterControl features a central and secure document repository that allows users to easily search for, track, and retrieve documents. This SOP document software provides automatic routing and electronic distribution of all regulatory documents. MasterControl can be used to manage all documents, regardless of the software used to create them, in a secure, centralized web-based environment that meets all quality and regulatory requirements.

FDA and MasterControl SOPs

Organizations all over the world use MasterControl software solutions to ensure compliance – including organizations that enforce compliance. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) became a MasterControl customer in 2009. Since then, the FDA has expanded its use and now multiple divisions of the agency use MasterControl software solutions.