veterinarian; PhD student
Analyzing and optimizing the organization of work processes on dairy farms
Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are company specific protocols that define work processes in a detailed and step-by-step way. They provide the employee with clear instructions on how to perform a particular task. Consistency of work performance is increased as these written instructions manage variation that arises when individuals perform tasks in a detailed way.
Quality assurance programs are designed to help companies improve and maintain process and product quality. Key elements of such programs are standard operating procedures (SOPs). These protocols are company specific and define work processes in a detailed and step-by-step way, providing the employee with clear instructions on how to perform a particular task.
Critical issues such as animal welfare and agricultural sustainability, animal health and the use of critically perceived drugs are increasingly being discussed within the general public. Therefore, control, consistency and transparency of production processes are important to assure trust by the consumers and satisfy their needs and expectations. On the other side managers, herdsmen, and workers of a dairy farm can benefit from SOPs as they provide direction, improve communication and work consistency all leading to predictable results and increased workers’ confidence. SOPs can ensure a high quality of work performance and the final product.
The conducted study allows an insight into the organization of work processes and to analyze the current use of standard operating procedures on German dairy farms considering the development and utilization of SOP and related challenges on commercial dairy farms (Hesse et al., 2017).