What’s Inside a Sign Shop Operations Manual?

Different sign shops use various methods and procedures to improve their culture for employees. One effective way of doing this is by implementing an operations manual. Those who don’t already have an operations manual in place might be surprised to see how many sign shops actually have them. An operations manual provides employees with detailed information regarding their roles and can help things run more smoothly at your shop. This ensures that everyone knows what’s expected of them and makes it easy to onboard new employees. You want everyone to understand their roles in your company and provide them with materials that keep your whole shop organized. 

Of course, if you want to start using an operations manual in your sign shop, you’ll need to know what information needs to go in it. If you want to learn more about what’s inside a sign shop operations manual, let shopVOX help.

How Does an Operations Manual Differ from an Employee Handbook?

If you don’t currently have an operations manual for your shop, you might be wondering if it’s just the same as having an employee handbook. They might seem similar, but they aren’t the same, so it’s important to understand what sets them apart and why you need both. An employee handbook covers information regarding your shop’s policies that employees need to follow, such as the dress code, communications policies, and the benefits your shop offers. This is different from an operations manual, which breaks down the functions and duties of each employee's job. 

Identify All the Roles Within Your Shop

Before getting started with anything else, you need to write down every position you have at your sign shop. Your operations manual will include details for each employee, so you want to be sure you don’t leave anyone out. You might have employees in similar roles at your shop, but their jobs aren’t exactly the same. If you have roles like this, each individual role should be counted so that every employee has their own guide in the operations manual. 

Define Daily Routines

What exactly does each of your employees do every day? This is something you likely don’t know, and maybe other people aren’t aware of what each person needs to complete daily. There’s a lot to consider when writing down the details of everyone’s day. Of course, you’ll need to start with the time they're expected to start work each day. Include information like the software they’ll be using daily, who they need to communicate with, and how often they should be checking their job board. This ensures that nothing gets left out or forgotten. 

How Do Everyone’s Roles Work Together?

After defining what each employee’s daily routine should look like, it’s important to include each person’s role in your shop. What does each person do that helps contribute to your shop’s goals? You should also include how different roles are expected to work together. Employees should be able to review the operations manual to understand the impact their role has on the business and how their position can aid others. We all know that for a sign shop to be successful, everyone needs to work together. However, not everyone is aware of how their role needs to work together, especially if you haven’t established a set process. 

Illustrate Your Sign Shop’s Process

If writing down each person’s tasks and how different positions are involved with one another seems too confusing, there is a way to make it easier for everyone to understand. If you have a talented graphic designer, have them design an infographic where everyone can actually see how this process plays out. Seeing an infographic can make this much easier for employees to understand. Include visuals for different processes in your sign shop to show who is expected to handle which tasks and at what point others join them. For an operations manual to be effective, it needs to be accessible for everyone and easy to understand so that you know all of your employees are on the same page, and having visual aids can be a huge help. 

See How shopVOX Can Help Your Sign Shop

At shopVOX, we understand the ins and outs of print and sign shops. We know the challenges that many shops face and know solutions that can help. Our print shop software can help keep your shop organized and has different features that can make jobs easier and more efficient for your employees. 

Learn more about shopVOX and how we help sign shops.