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Technical Writers and Standard Operating Procedures for Global Emergencies

    a man holding a book, representing the importance of technical writers and standard operating procedures in preparing for and dealing with global emergencies

    As the COVID-19 virus continues to disrupt lives around the world, it has single-handedly demonstrated the importance of technical writers and standard operating procedures (SOPs) amid an emergency. In recent news, India’s rapid rise in COVID cases has dismantled their healthcare system to the point where they are asking for medical assistance due to the lack of antiviral drugs and oxygen. While many countries around the world have sent aid, it was reported that due to a lack of SOPs and distribution protocols, the emergency relief remained in a warehouse for seven days in which during that time more than 23,000 Indians died.

    In every industry there are SOPs. It’s how a company or an organization functions. Employees and departments within a company require SOPs so they know and understand how to perform daily tasks. But what happens when there is an emergency your organization has never faced? What is the point of reference? In the case of India where there were no SOPs, to begin with, how do you develop a new set of procedures? With the help and guidance of technical writers, organizations can minimize the delays that took place in India.

    International Technical Communication

    Technical writers can handle both SOPs for traditional business settings as well as documentation that meets the requirements on a global scale. Some of the logistical discrepancies in India were due to updating the different specifications of the foreign aid which slowed down the distribution process. By hiring technical writers, they will understand all the intricate details when creating documentation for an international audience. Such as knowing the appropriate units of measurement, geographical names variant spelling, racial and ethnic groups names, time, etc. With the assistance of technical communicators, developing effective standard operating for products and services can be easily translated for a specific language or culture, reducing the time on where the aid goes to and to whom. As soon as technical writers have all the proper intel on the status of an emergency, they can generate and customize several SOPs which inform how day-to-day management should be enforced, how facility operations should be run, what the procedures are for complying with different levels of government and other tasks.

    Distribution Management Plan and Standard Operating Procedures

    Once foreign aid is properly documented, there needs to be a course of action that effectively and efficiently distributes supplies from suppliers to health care facilities or a centralized location. Because the demand for medical supplies is high during an emergency, aid must be distributed to the right place at the right time. Therefore, technical writers and standard operating procedures can create and develop a distribution management plan that (a) details appropriate distribution methods, whether recipients will receive resources directly or at a specific location, (b) implement inventory systems that keep track and maintain the amount of emergency aid and equipment being used and (c) explain the transportation rules and regulations on how foreign aid be distributed such as by airways, roadways, waterways, or other forms of transportation modes. Since the severity of an emergency varies, technical writers can develop an extensive distribution management plan that minimizes any discrepancies that may prevent relief from reaching into the citizens who are in need.

    Conclusion

    Since standard operating procedures are a part of every business transaction, it is imperative to have the right people, like technical writers who can develop useful documentation in a time of crisis. Whether you are a business organization or a country providing foreign aid, it is impossible to plan for every emergency. However, the solution lies in how well you assess the current problem when it arises, so you can respond accordingly. Technical writers can plan and implement SOPs that are usable on an international level making it easier to get a handle on an emergency in any country. As the world continues to fight the threat of the COVID-19 virus, the logistical challenges in India should be a cautionary tale for all countries that are providing foreign aid for the next global health crisis.

    How can EDC help?

    No matter your business needs, at EDC there are trained technical writers experienced in creating standard operating procedures and distribution management plans for both traditional business operations and the government sector. In the workplace, we automate and streamline workflow and job production so employees can perform routine tasks without errors. Within the government, we can change the way international countries accept and handle foreign relief assistance by creating and communicating thorough distribution management plans that comply with all foreign government levels, effectively maintain, and transport critical emergency supplies and address all distribution requirements. At EDC we will establish functional strategies so citizens in need can receive foreign aid directly and immediately.

    Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, the quality of our work is guaranteed. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or sales@edc.us

    Written by Kimberly Jones

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