Why Integrate Your Management Systems

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Streamline operations and reduce risk with integrated management systems

While safety, engineering, and operations management systems are used in the same work spaces and involve the same employees, they have developed along different paths. Each of these management systems have, at a minimum, formal processes for assessment, strategy formulation, structuring, financing, technical practice, and evaluation. The systems share many of the same practices and elements, and often achieve quality by the same means.

Even with so many similarities, most organizations have separate teams and processes for each system, creating redundancies and waste.

Conflicting Safety, Quality, and Efficiency Goals

Despite the similarities, each system competes with one another in the workplace. For example, a line worker tasked with assembling product faces competing priorities from all three management systems: he must safely assemble a quality product in a timely fashion. While he knows that he is supposed to work safely, he is also expected to quickly complete the job and still produce a high-quality product. Which priority takes precedence?

The situation only gets more complicated when you mix in frontline supervisors. Without a jointly managed system that defines priorities in a clear way, the supervisor is forced to decide to prioritize one system over the others. This often leads to oversights and damages overall effectiveness.

Integrating Your Management Systems

The various management systems have clear similarities. There is an opportunity for synergy and increased efficiency when these systems are merged. Even systems as diverse as safety management and quality assurance share the same general policies and procedures. Integrating multiple management systems reduces duplication in paperwork and training, and may reduce the number of assessments, inspections, and audits.

From a business perspective, this approach makes sense. Why have separate assessments and documentation for the safety management system, the quality management system, and the operations management system when they share so many similarities?

From safety to quality to operations, integrating your management systems is the best way to reduce overhead, ensure compliance, reduce risk and save time. A shared approach to management systems will increase efficiency within your team, making it easier to implement a new system or align the organization behind new policies.

The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.

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