What is an IMS (Integrated Management System) & How It Can Help Your Business?
An Integrated Management System (IMS) is the result of seamless integration of all crucial management systems into one place. This one core system enables the organization to streamline its management operations, improve efficiency, and save adequate time. It helps them to address together all management areas from one system which reduces the chances of duplications. In short, the IMS takes away the hassle of operating multiple management systems. It helps a business to work with a unified approach and meet the requirements of different ISO standards easily. If your business is currently operating with separate management systems, read this blog to know what an IMS is and how it can be rewarding for your business.
What is an IMS and How It Can Get Your Business Compliant with ISO Standards?
“An IMS or Integrated Management System is a consolidated management system developed by integrating the crucial management processes of a business which works by complying with the standards of quality, information security, environmental management, and many more.”
Most businesses have different management systems implemented either explicitly or ambiguously to address the key areas such as quality management, environmental impact management, information security, workplace health and safety, asset maintenance, etc. However, they fail to realize that having standalone or separate management systems for each area is increasing the tasks for staff, raising confusions due to duplicate processes, and are resulting in mismanagement. All the management systems ultimately funnel down to make the organization efficient, meet customer needs and uphold the interests of the stakeholders. Therefore, there are many common aspects in them. So, if they are operated separately, it results in repetitive processes which are a waste of your time as well as resources.
When the separate systems are combined into one IMS, it allows the organization to implement a common set of procedures and best practices needed for meeting the ISO management standards like ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001, ISO 45001, and so on. Some of the common procedures are Plan-Do-Check-Act approach, internal audit, documentation, and management review. With an IMS, you need to execute these procedures once and then maintain compliance with different standards.
However, to meet compliance with several ISO management standards with one integrated system, your organization must consider several factors.
• The particular standards which your organization needs to meet the IMS must be clearly defined. There is no limit on which standards or number of standards that can be considered for the IMS. However, they should be clearly mentioned in the organization’s management policy and communicated to the employees.
• Any procedure undertaken must be in line with the key purposes of the IMS i.e., must help your business to achieve the organizational goals and suit the operations or size of your business.
• You should document the extensive procedures of the IMS carefully to ensure that they are in line with your organization’s existing processes, culture and documentation structure.
• The IMS should be implemented in a way that creates a considerable positive impact on your business management and brings efficiency to the operations.
How an IMS Can Benefit Your Organization?
With an integrated system, you are not only able to better manage your business but can also realize many assured benefits like resource efficiency, reduction in audit costs, and improved internal communications. Below are explained three imperative reasons that tell why you should be considering an IMS for your business.
An IMS streamlines the operations and procedures of your business which make it easy for the senior management team to keep track of them and find opportunities for improvement. Thus, it gives a continuous push to your business to improve the IMS resulting in better quality, strengthened information security, better environmental management, enhanced occupational health and safety, and so on. In short, it results in overall improvement of your business performance, efficiency and productivity.
Time and Cost-Effectiveness
An IMS helps you to address different management aspects with shared practices and tasks which save up your organization’s management time as well as costs. You are no longer required to implement standalone management systems for addressing quality, health and safety, environmental management, etc. respectively. Therefore, there is no need to audit the different systems separately which saves time for the senior staff, and they can spend their time on other resourceful tasks.
Integrating different management systems into one structured framework also takes away the complexities. With procedures and practices being the same for different management areas, it brings logical coherence to your organization. It ensures that your employees work together in a unified way towards a defined set of objectives. Therefore, there are lesser uncertainties or chances of errors in your business management which help your organization to achieve success faster and perform well.
If you are still not clear about what is an IMS, just think about it as a large single system that merges the organization’s other management systems. It is needed to increase efficiency in overall business management by removing the issues in each area of business management. Merging different systems together into one makes the management approach of your organization leaner and removes bureaucracy, optimizes resource use and provides transparency.
If you are aware of the crucial ISO standards but try to meet their requirements with separate management systems, it increases the work of your staff a lot. Unnecessary or duplicate work processes create complexities in the business and so your organization would not be able to realize the actual value of standards. Thus, the role of IMS comes in.
If you need to implement an IMS and achieve an ISO management standard or standards, we at Compliancehelp Consulting LLC can assist you. From assisting in the implementation steps to performing an internal audit of the integrated system against the chosen standards, we would do everything to ensure the IMS is effective for your business.