At the beginning of the year many of us like to set ambitious goals for ourselves whether it’s exercising more often, taking up a new hobby or saving up for a big purchase.
As business owners, we’ll also think about what we want to achieve in the months ahead for our company. Increasing profit margins, reducing costs and promoting growth are all common examples.
But often as the months start to roll on resolutions can get lost, sometimes for reasons as simple as being swamped with other urgent tasks.
So, how can you avoid losing sight of your objectives and achieve your business goals?
Creating a concrete, realistic and specific plan when setting your goals is a great place to start. For many businesses, an essential aspect of this is looking at how they will build and maintain lean, low-burden systems to underpin all processes and support the achievement of their goals in the months and years ahead.
Streamlining processes into one robust and ISO compliant system, known as an integrated management system, helps businesses improve their performance, productivity and efficiency, which gives them the upper hand when working towards objectives and advancing their company.
Integrated management systems and reaching your goals
This is one of the main reasons why businesses decide to invest in getting ISO certified. However, compliance is also increasingly becoming a requirement for certain industries, such as those where applying for tenders is commonplace.
ISO standards like ISO 45001 (health and safety), ISO 27001 (information security) and ISO 14001 (environmental management) follow the same core framework and up to 50% of the standard requirements overlap.
Because ISO standards follow this similar framework companies can start by getting compliant with a standard such as ISO 9001 and add to their existing systems over time, integrating any additional ISO certifications into what they have already built.
For instance, a company with ISO 9001 certification may decide they also want to get compliant with ISO 45001. Rather than introducing ISO 45001 as a separate management system, which would lead to systems becoming siloed and clunky, the business can instead integrate it with their already established ISO 9001 compliant processes to build one streamlined and robust system.
In another instance, a company could integrate their compliance to ISO 45001 and ISO 14001, establishing a streamlined HSE management system.
Integrated management systems are lean and low-burden, which not only makes maintaining compliance easier but also frees up more time for employees to focus on high-value work and strategic company goals.
How integrating management systems makes it possible to achieve business goals
Companies can seamlessly manage compliance with numerous ISO standards simultaneously when management systems are integrated and streamlined. They can also get one step closer to reaching business goals.
Here are several ways that integrating management systems can support the achievement of your company’s objectives.
1. Avoid duplication
ISO standards are all structured using the Annex SL framework, which is a high-level structure consisting of ten distinct clauses. This means there are sections where there will be some overlap in the requirements.
If different ISO management systems are implemented independently there will be unnecessary duplication of information, data and documentation. Integrating your systems avoids this and ensures all processes are streamlined and efficient.
As updates need to be made over time, employees can change documentation to reflect this quickly, easily and accurately. There’s no need to manually go through and update each impacted document one by one, which would not only be time-consuming but would also leave more room for human error. For instance, a document might be accidentally missed or one of the updates could be written down incorrectly, which may cause confusion or mishaps down the road.
Instead of getting bogged down in busy work and repetitive tasks, management and employees can shift their attention to advancing the company and achieving key objectives.
2. Establish consistency across all operations
Integrating your ISO management systems supports your processes and people in working together by ensuring consistency across your organisation and when this happens, reaching your goals becomes far more achievable.
As your business grows in size and complexity integrated management systems keep you agile and flexible. Changes can be swiftly but effectively implemented and you can be confident that you are looking at the most up-to-date version of documentation, which helps avoid confusion and setbacks.
3. Become a business people want to work with
If your business goals are along the lines of growing your company, integrated compliance with trusted and reputable ISO standards can give you greater credibility and help you become a company people want to work with.
For instance, when applying for tenders compliance with ISO standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 45001 provides hiring businesses with the assurance that you are dedicated to maintaining a high level of quality and health and safety compliance. ISO certification demonstrates that these areas are a top priority for your company.
Even when ISO compliance isn’t a mandatory requirement for a given business opportunity, certification can give you a winning edge as companies will often prefer to work with a business that has shown they satisfy internationally recognised best practices.
4. Easier auditing and continual improvement
When ISO compliance is built into an integrated system rather than having to audit for each standard one by one your auditor can review two or more management systems concurrently.
Integrated auditing reduces the cost of maintaining ISO certification, helps you get certified faster, leads to fewer audit interruptions, further streamlines processes, reduces documentation and helps establish consistent business-wide objectives.
Regularly auditing your systems also supports continual improvement because it ensures you are periodically assessing your compliance, looking for opportunities to improve and proactively taking steps in the right direction to reach your goals.
Compliance software for achieving goals with integrated management systems
For companies wanting to integrate their ISO management systems cloud-based systems are an effective way to both reach and maintain their compliance goals.
Compliance software builds business processes into one convenient paperless system, which makes it possible to:
- Automate workflows so that employees aren’t bogged down in repetitive and cumbersome tasks.
- Simplify systems by streamlining processes into one fuss-free system that’s easy to navigate and manage.
- Increase project profitability due to fewer technical issues that require troubleshooting from employees or IT staff.
- Improve security and risk management capabilities. Risks can be identified, assessed, controlled and managed with greater ease.
- Remain flexible and scale systems as your business needs change over time. There are no clunky processes holding you back or holding up your progress towards compliance and wider company objectives.
As experts in ISO compliance, we’ve worked closely with regulatory authorities and peak industry bodies to develop our unique industry-specific compliance package. Digital IMS+ is cloud-based and fully customisable to your needs.
Our compliance software is simple to use and adapt over time, making it easier to get and stay compliant and supporting your work towards business goals. To find out more about Digital IMS+ get in touch with our team.
Common business goals and how integrated management systems help achieve success
Goal 1: Increase profit margins and promote business growth
Reducing costs, operating more efficiently and expanding their customer base are all ways that companies can achieve their goals of increasing profit margins and promoting business growth.
Integrating management systems can help you achieve these outcomes. When maintaining ISO compliance you will constantly be working to improve processes and productivity and minimise risks and waste by streamlining systems.
In addition, your commitment to compliance with internationally recognised ISO standards can help you become the preferred choice for hiring businesses and customers. For example, people may want to work with or support a business they know has stringent quality processes, health and safety systems and that prioritises environmental management as well.
Goal 2: Qualify for government tenders
ISO certification is often a prerequisite for applying for tenders. At times some providers won’t even look at you if you’re not at least working towards getting certified. This is becoming particularly prominent in local government work.
Integrated management systems also help you organise your documentation and operational systems in a way that makes applications faster and easier, as well as helping you tick boxes that while not mandatory may be preferred during the selection process.
Goal 3: Reduce staff turnover and improve employee morale
There are currently staff shortages across Australia and for many employers attracting and retaining the best and brightest employees is an ongoing challenge.
By integrating their management systems employers can improve job satisfaction, boost worker motivation and promote better interactions between management and employees with improved communication channels.
Happier employees makes for lower turnover rates and enhanced productivity, which in turn directly impacts profits. For instance, lower recruiting and training costs are one reason for this.
Contact us about reaching your goals with integrated management systems
If you’re ready to start working towards integrating numerous ISO standards, get in touch with our team of consultants today. We provide expert guidance every step of the way and take the difficulty out of achieving your certification objectives.