On February 8, 2017, I delivered a presentation to 138 attendees on Integrated Management Systems (IMS) at the monthly ASQ Toronto section meeting. To learn more about IMS, read The Case for EHSQ Integrated Management Systems. The audience consisted of a broad range of experts including CQEs, CQAs, CQIAs, CSSGB, CSSBB, management consultants, auditors, among others.
As part of the introduction, I asked the audience how many people have either heard about or were already familiar with Integrated Management Systems and I’d say about 40% of the audience raised their hands – which is a good sign! I was actually only expecting about 10 to 20 people to raise their hands. This definitely demonstrates that Integrated Management Systems is of interest to quality management professionals. The concept of an IMS becomes even more important because of the harmonization of standards due to the recent changes in ISO 9001:2015, ISO … Read more...
Have you ever wondered if there is a better way to manage your organization’s management systems using an Integrated Management System? Silos and disparate systems should be a thing of the past. Between the Quality Management System (QMS), Safety Management System (SMS), and Environmental Management System (EMS), there is abundant opportunity to eliminate inefficiency and duplication of activities especially in more complex organizations with multiple business units.
We’ll conclude our discussion on Integrated Management Systems by looking at the supposed ‘Holy Grail’ of business management: a management system that goes many steps further than simply EHS and quality concerns, and is applied across all business lines, even those outside EHS and Quality realms. This would be a truly integrated management system that could cover areas such as corporate governance, sustainability…basically any business processes and activities.
For example, document control, Corporate Social Responsibility, auditing, and training could be governed along the same integrated management standards. According to Robert Pojasek’s 2006 article in Environment Quality Management, one synergistic or ‘umbrella’ system could enable an organization to ensure the quality of its products…and demonstrate that those products are consistent with the organization’s vision, mission, core values and objectives.”
This idea is based on the premise that, by some means or other, all business activities overlap with some other (if not all other) … Read more...
For a company over-anxious to reconcile EHS and Quality processes and data, some complications may emerge.
For example, some integrated management opponents argue that strict adherence to one specific set of standards can be sacrificed in the name of integration. That is, in defining a broad-base of widely applicable standards to enforce across all EHS and Quality domains, some details are institutionally enabled to slip through the cracks.
Really, it all depends on what specifically a company is attempting to integrate. For example, getting managers across all departments to employ the same audit checklists and reports can be like mixing apples and oranges. However, leveraging the same auditing software that allows the importing of individual EHS and quality checklists can reduce costs.
The standards governing quality can be far removed from those governing environment, health and safety. However, this notion can be a very particular function of a particular corporate … Read more...