A consideration of the relative advantages and disadvantages of an IMS is a sound starting point to evaluate whether the time has come to integrate management platforms, or whether integration would generate no immediate or long-term payoff.
- Cost efficiency: The aforementioned standards share several common requirements, including document control, auditing and training. An obvious cost-reduction arises when a business addresses each of these areas with shared software and processes. Also, registrars tend to provide discounts when they are able to audit two or more management systems together, as opposed to one at a time.
- Time efficiency: While the logistics of implementing an IMS may be complicated at the onset, the relative simplicity of managing EHSQ systems together on an ongoing basis will ultimately save time and frustration.
- Corporate Brand: Most Businesses understand that a negative EHSQ ‘event’ (for example, a spill, a product recall or an employee injury) can have a significant impact on corporate brand—and share price. Applying the same standards to each area by way of an IMS significantly curbs the risk of any such event.
- Collaboration: An IMS reduces the silos of information that typically haunt most organizations. Key data can be selectively shared across an organization thereby reducing risk (e.g., associated with the use of hazardous materials), while better capitalizing on opportunities.
While the likely benefits of EHS and quality management integration are substantial, an IMS is not for every business. In Monday’s post, we’ll look at some of the complications that can arise from IMS implementation, as well as the business benefits that arise from implementing the right IMS.