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Megan Crabtree

Here’s How to Use Standard Operating Procedures to Improve Hiring, Training and More

It involves creating checklists for each task within the process.




STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES (SOPs) are used in businesses across all industries as a way to set a workflow for how certain things should be done. I wrote a bit about SOPs in last month’s column on how to best align sales and marketing to increase jewelry sales, and SOPs were an important component of that.

However, SOPs aren’t only used in sales and marketing — they can be used in every department of a business and, in some cases, can be used cross-functionally. In this article, I’m going to touch on some specific use cases where SOPs can be implemented for jewelry businesses and what type of information the document should include.

SOP Use Case #1: Hiring

Create a checklist to complete all of the hiring-related tasks such as:

  • Application filled out and submitted
  • Resume received and filed
  • New employee email address created
  • Business cards ordered
  • New user added to POS
  • New employee clock-in code created
  • Accounting team notified
  • Scheduled new employee for headshots
  • Announced new employee on social media

SOP Use Case #2: Training

Now that you have successfully onboarded your new hire, you’ll want to reach out and notify all of your brands to ensure on their next visit they train the new hire. Specific tasks related to training can look like this:

  • Product overview
  • Using the POS system
  • Diamonds 101
  • Competition & competitive advantages
  • Best practices for an amazing in-store experience
  • Procedures for how to weigh-in and weigh-out diamonds
  • Company policies
  • Review portal logins for vendors in order to get pricing as well as report items sold to receive an incentive.

SOP Use Case #3: Bringing in a New Brand

When you bring on a new brand, there are several things that need to happen to ensure a successful partnership. Some of the tasks related to bringing on a new brand will look something like this:

  • Set up training with the sales team
  • Discuss with inventory what attributes and data need to be input (ex. serial numbers or collection name)
  • Determine the location the brand will showcase in the store
  • Decide on an incentive program to discuss with the team
  • Add products to the website and schedule product images to post on social media
  • Determine how to get pricing for special orders (whether there is a price sheet or a portal you need to set up a login for)
  • Determine if they will do a trunk show and on what dates
  • Determine a re-order process with the brand sales rep (will they follow up and ask for on-hand or do you need to give them access to your POS system through companies like BIG (buyers intelligence group) or The Edge so they have access to see what has sold?)
  • Set minimum and maximum levels in the system to notify the retail buyer, etc.

SOP Use Case #4: Inventory

You can have these specific tasks implemented for all roles in the inventory team based on their job. For example:

  • Mapping out manuals for how they run reports and what to look for in the reports
  • How to run on-hand, sales reports, aged reports, etc
  • How often do they run these reports?
  • Who do they give these reports to?
  • What do they want the turn of products to be and who do they notify if they are down?
  • If they see products aren’t selling well, do they go to management to ask advice from the sales team?
  • Does the inventory team need to run specific reports to prepare the buyers for upcoming trade shows, etc.?

I hope these use cases provided helpful insight into how to better run your teams and handle certain operational tasks. There are a ton of other SOPs you can develop to help your business run smoother. Is there one I haven’t mentioned that you would include? Tell me about it in the comments.

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