As we move toward the tail-end of 2020, I think it’s worth asking the question of how do ISO management systems improve the profitability of an organisation. A new year should mean a fresh start for all companies, but without a proven set of guidelines and internationally-recognised framework, organisational improvement can be difficult to attain. It’s primarily, for this reason, I thought it would be worthwhile to break down what a management system is, and how they can help improve the overall profitability of an organisation that becomes certified to an ISO management standard.
What is an ISO Management System?
An ISO management system is a set of systematic frameworks governed by the International Organization for Standardization, that asks you to make changes in your operations that are in-line with the best practices of operating. Depending on the standard in question, they are designed to improve the organisation’s overall performance when it comes to Quality Management (ISO 9001), Environmental Management (ISO 14001), OH&S Management (ISO 45001), and Information Security (ISO 27001).
In essence, an ISO management system is a back-to-basics approach to improving your organisation that asks you to get your hands dirty in the process of tailoring the system to your operations. It’s a far cry from a copy-and-paste exercise, and requires you to invest some time into fitting the system precisely to how your organisation runs. In the process of this, you’ll potentially find new areas of improvement to capitalise on, reduce the rate of wasted resources, mitigate the threats of risks in your supply chain and ensure that whatever direction your organisation moves in, your customers remain a top priority.
What Will an ISO Management System Look Like in Your Organisation?
Exactly what an ISO system will look like in your organisation depends on a few things. Of course, the context of the certification you’re attaining – be it quality, information security, environmental or safety – will have a huge impact on how it will transform your organisation, but the basics of all ISO systems remain the same. Your organisation will begin to think of, and actively address risks in your operations, as well as identify areas of improvement that can deliver a more efficient means of operating.
You can think of it as an opportunity to map out what the ideal version of its operations look like, while actively working on a roadmap or plan that will move the organisation in that direction. If it’s a quality management system, you’ll be more focussed than ever before on the task of ensuring a superb level of quality service for your customers, as well as streamlining internal operations to deliver exceptional results even faster. If we’re talking about the context of environmental management, your organisation will be pushed to identify areas to reduce its environmental impacts, or invest in new products or services that show customers your commitment to reducing environmental degradation is matched up by actions on behalf of your organisation, for example.
What are the Benefits of an ISO Management System?
One of the most vital requisites for business expansion is that you’re delivering a quality product or service, and that you’re exceeding the expectations of your customers. What an ISO management system does is ask everyone in your organisation what you can do to improve the standing of your product or service in the marketplace, and how you can implement new systems to either improve quality, reduce wasted resources, meet regulatory requirements, address risks, and impart a cycle of continual improvement across the board in your organisation.
Being certified to an ISO management system means that your organisation is able to display proof of compliance to a respective standard, and show to your stakeholders and customers that you’re committed to changing your operations in-line with the best practices of market leaders, at speed with the latest business operating systems. It’s an invaluable signal to the market that you’ve made an active pledge – and backed it up with time and resources on your behalf – to improve the standing and profitability of your operations, reduce wastage and stop needless operations that don’t deliver any noticeable benefits.
How Do ISO Management Systems Improve Profitability?
There are a number of ways that an ISO management system can improve the profitability of your organisation, most notably, a new-found emphasis on streamlining your operations and, identifying potential risks, and consolidating on the excellent results that you’re delivering to your customers. As we mentioned earlier, the correlation to profitability depends on the standard to which you’re being certified, but overall, ISO management systems aim to improve organisational performance, minimise wastage and aim to provide organisations with a roadmap that continually delivers on customer expectations.
These areas of improvement include:
- Cost savings through optimised systems and operations
- Improved vision, motivation, and organisational direction in the context of the standard; Quality, Environmental, Information Security or OH&S improvements
- Reduced wastage of time and resources through consistently identifying areas of improvement
- Increasing organisational reputation and trust in the marketplace
- It makes your organisation eligible for large-scale and government tenders that were previously reserved for solely-certified companies
- Accessing new market opportunities
- Building trust with stakeholders through independent audits
- Ensuring customer satisfaction, and potential referrals for new business contracts
- Identify potential new customers with changes to your core business offering
Before we wrap up, I think it’s worth reiterating that if I, or any of my staff can answer any of your questions related to a management system, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
For now, thanks for your time, and I’ll see you in the next piece.
Kobi Simmat – Director & CEO of the Best Practice Group.