Integrated Management Systems (IMS)
Updated: Mar 7, 2019
There are mixed opinions regarding the integration of different systems in an organization. I have worked for organizations who managed disciplines separately with a direct line professional, driving the process and I have worked with organization who integrated systems and managed the process with a team. Both options have benefits and problems areas. However, as a professional in compliance and working with big, medium and small organizations, I have concluded that the best way forward in the current economy would be integration.
How did I come to this conclusion?
What can be integrated into one system?
I believe all management systems can be integrated into one Integrated Management System (IMS). This said I have found the financial systems should not be completely integrated as it can pose a risk to the business. We specialize in the following integrations:
ISO standards (e.g. ISO9001, ISO14001, ISO45001 or OSHAS 18001)
Internal Corporate systems
Risk Management systems
Operational management systems
HR management systems (not specific to payments which would be part of financial systems)
Legal compliance requiring management systems (e.g. OHSA, Environmental regulations, SANS codes)
Once an organization has made the decision to implement an IMS it is critical to ensure the following:
1. Who is the team?
Ensure experts are part of the team.
Ensure the team has authority to implement changes.
Ensure the team is positive and can influence all levels within the organization.
Ensure all disciplines which would be integrated is represented by a team member.
2. Who will lead the team?
Choose a leader that can motivate and lead people.
Leader must have authority.
Leader must be strong in the discipline that the organization mostly desires to implement for example: if the focus is safety employ a safety specialist as leader or if the focus is environmental employ an environmental specialist or if the focus is customer service / product quality employee a quality specialist.
3. Decide if the IMS will be automated or manual. I highly recommend the IMS is automated for the following reasons:
Reduce risk of failure of the IMS
Reduce hours following up and driving the system by a person
4. Select the best suitable and cost-effective software.
5. Ensure employees are trained.
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