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Benefits of an Integrated Management System

An Integrated Management System (or “IMS”) can benefit your organization through increased efficiency and effectiveness, and cost reductions while minimizing the disruption caused by several external audits. It also shows your commitment to increased performance, employee and customer satisfaction, and continuous improvement. 

With an integrated management system, your management systems work together, with each function aligned behind a single goal: improving the performance of the entire organization. Instead of silos, you have a coordinated effort which is greater than the sum of its parts and is not only more efficient but more effective. An integrated system provides a clear, uniform image of your entire organization, how they impact each other, and the associated risks. Efficiency is gained from less duplication, and it becomes easier to adopt new systems in the future.  

10 Benefits of an IMS

1. Improving Performance

Integrated management systems will have a positive impact on specific management system components and outcomes such as improvements in quality, safety, risk, and productivity.

2. Eliminating Redundancies

One of the top benefits of implementing multiple management system standards is being able to align the standards to find common or single management system components. These may include policies, objectives, processes or resources. For example, you may be able to have a single procedure for training, document control, management reviews, internal audits or improvements. When you implement more than one standard at a time you are able to find these similarities which can save your organization a great amount of time, and in return money.

3. Accountability

When you integrate multiple management systems at a time and establish cohesive objectives, processes, and resources, with the alignment of the systems you will see improvement in accountability.

4. Establishing Consistency

When you use an integrated approach, your organization can create better consistency of the management systems. When you create consistency, the system will become less complex and therefore is easier understood. Consistency will create an improved focus on achieving a common set of objectives that are important to the organization.

5. Reducing Bureaucracy

Reducing bureaucracy stems from eliminating redundancy. Oftentimes when multiple management standards are implemented and not integrated, dilemmas can arise by the inability to streamline decisions because of the layers of hierarchy. When the management systems are integrated, your organization can take a systematic approach. The processes can better accommodate changes. When changes and decisions are easily made, this will reduce bureaucracy. For an effective approach, establishing process owners with a cross-functional team can be greatly beneficial. These teams take on responsibility and accountability in an effective approach to breaking down barriers to decision making and deployment.  You may also want to consider a SHEQ Manager who can be called upon to support and respond to all ISO based issues.

6. Cost Reduction

Integrated Management Systems allows your organization to conduct integrated audits and assessments, as well as optimize processes and resources. When you can integrate these systems it can help reduce the time it takes to do certain activities, eliminate the amount of time interrupted and therefore reduce costs.

7. Optimize Processes and Resources

When viewing standard requirements, do not consider them an added load or task to the organization, rather remember that they are a way to implement expectations from customers, interested parties and the organization, and create a smooth and effective process. Resources can be optimized because they become focused on process implementation and adding value rather than additional system maintenance.

8. Reducing Maintenance

Maintenance refers to the ongoing compliance checks and ensuring that you are upholding the management system standard requirements. When you have an integrated management system you can maintain the requirements concurrently, streamlining the process and allowing the organization to focus on improvements rather than maintaining multiple systems when that is unnecessary.

9. Integrated Audits

When you start with an integrated management system, you can then have integrated audits. There are many great benefits to having integrated audits if you are interested in learning more read: Integrated ISO Management System Audits

10. Facilitating Decision Making

Eliminating redundancy and creating consistency within the organization allows for a more complete view of the functional needs and performance. This integrated approach also allows the organization to analyze functional and department barriers and therefore improve communication and decision making.

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