The growing competitiveness on the global market is resulting in higher expectations and demands to the companies. Organisations, pursuing the target to be the first and only choice for their customers, are under increasing pressure to demonstrate their status as reliable partners with effective management system, assured quality of the goods and services they provide, robust safety culture and environmentally friendly production.
To meet these expectations, many businesses have adopted the use of internationally recognised management system standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and others.
Next to them, companies tend to apply a wide range of other solutions and management systems, such as Lean/Six Sigma, Operational Excellence and Total Productive Management, often paying limited, if not no, attention to their overlapping with other management systems already existing in the company.
As a result, in most cases, companies are confronted with an uncoordinated blend of management systems implemented and established as standalone programmes. Companies soon find that they have several management systems to maintain, each one with its well-defined management team. Moreover, all management systems need continuous auditing and improvement. This requires involvement of administrative and operational resources and more than bringing benefits it all results in additional losses in man-hour.
What could be the best solution to such a situation? For sure, it is to introduce an Integrated Management System, so the organisations that have more than one formal management system or the newly established organisations seeking for the rational management solution will benefit significantly by merging all benefits of the different management systems into one Integrated Management System. This is illustrated below in Figure 1:
In an Integrated Management System, the quality management (QMS), health, safety and environment, and any sector specific management systems are fully harmonised, and work seamlessly in conjunction with business planning, human resources, finance, procurement, administration, operations, audit, management review and other company functions.
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