Often, organizations focus on management systems in an individual way. It is true, depending on their specificity, that some companies are more concerned with quality, others are more concerned with health and safety, others with environmental issues, and so on. What you need to know is that coordinating these certifications together can provide a number of important benefits to the organization.
What does IMS mean?
An Integrated Management System (IMS) integrates all of an organization’s systems and processes into one complete framework, enabling an organization to work as a single unit with unified objectives. Using a combined or integrated approach across all audit criteria will help you gain efficiencies that you may not be able to achieve by auditing individual management systems. So, why don’t you use a single system? This can save time and improve overall effectiveness, especially when multiple certifications are required.
How is it beneficial to have?
In today’s competitive business environment, streamlining operations is essential to keep overhead costs low. The key principles of lean management include eliminating redundancies and consolidating systems. Implementing an integrated management system provides a framework for doing just this. When you integrate your management systems, you reduce duplication and improve efficiency.
Sometimes, small companies require multiple certifications to meet customer contractual requirements or to meet the needs of different industry sectors. Also, big organizations need to demonstrate their strength and their performance in the market. Ideally, an Integrated Management System addresses all your objectives at once, and is relevant to any organization, regardless of its market. Integrating several management systems into a unified system (and therefore sharing documentation, policies, procedures and processes) makes sense.
The management systems are developed, implemented, and maintained through a single system with processes that cover each standard’s requirements. Where an IMS has been effectively implemented in an organization’s business strategy and direction, top management is enabled to ensure effective leadership and commitment to an organization, while reducing the number of activities that are duplicated, and therefore require time for reviewing. This allows cost savings through the efficient use of resources at all levels and functions throughout the organization.
Benefits to the organization:
- Less duplication of effort and costs
- Understands business context and stakeholder obligations and requirements
- Reduces conflicting objectives
- Eliminates overlapping responsibilities
- Identifies potential improvements across all of its parameters by providing a holistic view of the entire business
- Aligns goals
- Improves communication
- Leverages best practices across the organization
- Reduces the duration of an external audit when compared to separate audits being conducted for each registration.
Implementing an IMS is a positive move for organizations when compared with operating co-joined management systems. Not only does it align with new ISO standards, but it also highlights an organization’s continual improvement and maturity. From managing employees’ needs to monitoring risks and hazards, reducing inefficiencies and maximizing resources, an integrated approach can help you achieve your objectives.The purpose of ISO standards is to help you run a better organization.
The common structure of an IMS is the integration of management systems in three key areas: quality, environmental management and occupational health and safety. Integrated management systems can be implemented by organizations in any sector and of any size.
Qice-provides consulting support for integrated management systems and experience with efficiently combining standards into an IMS.