The characteristics of successful integrated management systems

If you’re interested in streamlining business processes, you’ve probably looked into or have already implemented integrated management systems.

Design is the most important aspect in developing a system that your business and your team will find easy to use and manage.

An effective design that’s tailored to your specific requirements can take your integrated management system from good to great. When your design is well thought out and implemented, this ensures that all components are working as well as possible and supports seamless maintenance. With robust, low-burden integrated systems that are easy to review, adjust and document, you can also avoid being left scrambling to get organised when your next ISO audit rolls around.

The benefits of effectively implementing an integrated management system

Integrating management systems makes it possible for companies to seamlessly but effectively manage certification with numerous ISO standards simultaneously. For example, companies can establish a HSE management system by integrating ISO 45001 and ISO 14001.

When done well, streamlining processes into one robust, compliant system helps businesses operate more effectively, which results in positive outcomes across operations.

1. Establish consistency across all operations

If different ISO management systems are implemented independently, there is greater room for inconsistencies to emerge. But with integrated management systems, your ISO compliance is built into a single system that is designed to have all of the moving parts working together.

There is no duplication in documentation, so employees can be confident they are referring to the most up-to-date version. When updating documents employees don’t have to manually go through and make changes one by one, making the process faster, easier and more accurate. As your business grows in size and complexity, this streamlined approach keeps you agile and flexible.

2. Cost and time savings

When systems are integrated they operate seamlessly and effectively, especially if companies use automation.

Integrated management systems are designed to help you proactively identify areas that could perform more efficiently or where costs and waste could be reduced.

Acting on these opportunities can lead to improvements that save your company time and money in the long run.

3. Become a business people want to work with

Compliance with reputable ISO standards gives you greater credibility, which can make people more inclined to want to work with you.

For example, compliance with standards such as ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 45001 (health and safety management) shows you are not only meeting the minimum requirements in these areas but also making them a top priority.

In some cases, usually when applying for tenders, to be considered certification with particular ISO standards is mandatory. But even when it isn’t, companies will often prefer to work with certified companies because of the assurance that comes with knowing they satisfy internationally recognised best practices.

4. Integrated auditing

When ISO compliance is integrated an auditor can review two or more management systems at once.

The auditing process is sped up, because your auditor does have to assess each standard individually. It also reduces the cost of staying certified as you’re paying to audit one integrated system, leads to fewer audit interruptions and reduces the amount of documentation required.

What are the characteristics of successful integrated management systems?

Integrated management systems that are effectively implemented have a number of characteristics in common, these include that they:

  • Are simple to operate and maintain;
  • Are functional and easy to navigate;
  • Only include relevant and required information;
  • Keep confidential information under restricted access;
  • Only need information to be entered once into the unified system;
  • Don’t require excessive IT expertise to install, operate and support;
  • Are flexible and adaptable enough to meet standard/regulatory requirements (which can be reviewed and changed).

Cloud-based IMS for implementing integrated management systems

Demonstrating compliance is not a case of drawing a line from one point to another. It’s a multi-faceted process that requires the right tools in the right hands.

With cloud-based IMS you can seamlessly manage all of the different components of an integrated management system including workflows and documents, compliance, legal obligations, incidents and actions, meetings and agendas, asset maintenance and audits and inspects.

This information can be accessed when you need it most while it’s securely and safely stored in the cloud. Whether you’re in the office, on-site or working from home the documents and data you need are at your fingertips.

Compliance software makes it easier to not only set up integrated management systems but also monitor and maintain them over time.

Contact us about 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.

Alternatively, ask about our legislative updatesISO gap analysis and ISO internal auditing services.

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