Everybody talks about working smarter, not harder, but when you’re the owner-operator of a small business that’s easier said than done! Most SME owners find they have to wear many hats and work extremely long hours just to get everything done.
If that’s the position in which you find yourself, and you’re wondering how you might improve the situation in 2019, I have three words: integrated management services.
Yes, it’s a mouthful and it sounds a bit like jargon, but it is a viable solution that is helping thousands of business owners take back control and attain that sought-after work-life balance.
Integrated Management Services
Integrated management services are quite literally a way of integrating the different sections of your business. Instead of having a raft of management systems, procedures and policies, you combine them into one manageable system. This not only reduces duplication, and therefore time spent ON the business, but it creates a consistency that can only benefit your business in the long-term.
This solution makes such perfect sense that there is even an integrated management system ISO these days. That basically means that you can combine several ISO management systems into one ISO integrated system.
The most commonly integrated ISOs relate to quality assurance, environmental management and workplace health and safety. There are many crossovers between these systems and each supports the other.
Integrated Management System ISO
The best way of describing an ISO management system is by saying it puts what really matters right at the heart of your organisation. So, issues such as quality assurance are no longer an add-on or after-thought, but an integral part of how you do business.
Most businesses have policies and procedures – and all should have a long-term vision and plan. So, rather than applying those separately to each section of your organisation, you apply them to the whole and build an all-encompassing vision.
As with any ISO management system, an integrated management system ISO follows the PDCA cycle – Plan, Do, Check, Act. Sometimes known as Plan, Do, Check, Adjust, this repetitive procedure is designed to improve the quality and effectiveness of your policies and processes. It addresses every aspect of a business, including production, HR management, marketing, packaging, customer service and more.
Reduce Risks and Costs
By applying these procedures from the top down, it reduces risk and errors which, in turn, saves time and money and boosts your reputation. Whether it’s the risk of producing poor quality products, or the risk of an employee being injured in the workplace, integrated management services address all aspects.
The whole process takes place in defined stages, incorporating the creation and rolling out of a tailor-made integrated management system ISO, training, auditing, refining and finally, certification. Whilst accreditation proves you have reached your goal, the system itself is constantly evolving and improving to prevent complacency.
Integrated management systems incorporating the new ISO 45001:2018 safety management is a hot topic right now, as Australia clamps down on poor workplace practices. By placing this issue at the core of your business, along with quality assurance, you will find it much easier to comply with legislation.
In short, integrated management services will reduce risks and improve quality, eliminate conflicts, formalise systems, encourage training and improve communication. To me, that definitely represents working smarter, not harder!