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Manufacturing Resources

Understanding Work Instruction Software Terminology

Author Richard Mason 2 min read
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When it comes to documenting a process, there are multiple different names used for defining software used to do so. Though they may sound similar in name, it is important that the capabilities of the software used aligns with your long term goals as a manufacturer.

SOP Software or Work Instruction Software

When discussing SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) Software or Work Instruction Software, it refers to specialized systems designed specifically for documenting and managing procedural instructions, unlike generic platforms such as Word or Excel. While these systems facilitate the creation and organization of digital instructions, they do not guarantee a completely paperless environment. Manual printing and physical distribution of instructions on the factory floor may still be necessary. Although these systems enable exporting instructions to PDF and viewing them on computers, this approach remains limited and lacks a forward-looking perspective.

Digital Work Instructions

Digital Work Instructions represent the next step in the evolution of SOP Software, offering an intelligent interface for operators that can facilitate a truly paperless environment. Operators can access documentation directly on a screen, and the platform's integration and data collection capabilities mean that the effort invested in documenting workflows can unlock additional automation opportunities, such as reduced manual entry and automated quality checks, as well as improved compliance. While Digital Work Instructions include the functionalities of Work Instruction/SOP Software, the reverse is not necessarily true.

Visual Work Instructions

Though visual work instructions can be used to describe work instruction software, the term more represents a detailed guideline for performing specific tasks or processes, presented primarily through visual elements such as images, diagrams, videos, and other graphical content. These instructions are designed to be easily understood at a glance, helping to reduce errors, enhance efficiency, and improve training, especially in environments where language barriers or literacy levels may pose challenges.

Where to Start?

At Scout Systems we know that making the decision of which platform is best for your factory can be a difficult one. We made it easy by creating a Free Work Instruction Software option so you can begin today at no cost. This system will allow you to create your workflow with ease, and when you are ready to upgrade to the full enterprise system to unlock all integration capabilities it is as simple as flipping a switch.

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Richard Mason

By day I help people solve problems, by night I'm enjoying IPAs! For fun I work in my garage building gadgets that cost way more than they are worth.

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