Why management system certification
Companies today, regardless of size, face ever increasing demands for profitability, quality, and technology that contributes to sustainable development. As a manager looking to turn these pressures into a competitive advantage, you need to develop an efficient management system tailored to your business processes and use it systematically to maintain and constantly improve your company’s overall performance.
Stakeholder scrutiny has never been more widespread and intense than today. While the business to business market accepts controlled risk, society and consumers are increasingly moving towards zero risk tolerance.
In turn, regulators and institutions are responding to this with stricter, more comprehensive regulations and detailed reporting requirements. As a result, companies are forced to adapt to the new reality, where legal and regulatory compliance has become the minimum standard.
Companies that excel react to the new conditions by moving beyond compliance as part of a competitive strategy. In this scenario, risk management is becoming core to business and management processes as a way of staying ahead of the game.
Why implement a management system?
How do companies manage the multitude of challenges they are facing? They develop processes and performance standards to measure and meet these challenges; they integrate business principles in management systems.
Some companies take a holistic approach, bringing quality, environment, health and safety issues together in a single system. However, many companies do not extract the full value from their management systems because they are generally perceived as a tool to maintain status quo rather than a means to manage change and improvement. Yet an effective management system must add value to the business, essentially by doing things better, cheaper or faster as the system matures and develops.
The main management system standards emphasise continual improvement. Implementing a management system gives you the opportunity to focus on optimising the areas that matter most to you and your stakeholders.
Why have your management system certified?
There are a number of reasons for a company to have its management system certified by a third party certification body. A ticket to trade is often a strong initial motivating factor. Regulatory requirements may be another reason and the demands of globalisation, with its insistence on more sophisticated processes and more precise accountability of business conduct to a multitude of stakeholders, is yet another. In these cases, companies seek independent assessment and certification of their management systems as a means of documenting compliance.
However, the most compelling reason may simply be that top management see added value in getting a reputable third party to audit their management systems independently, report their findings and document the result by issuing a certificate. Management needs to be ahead of the game and can ill afford incidents caused by lack of control to affect the value of their brand. All companies today are subject to a much higher level of scrutiny from all stakeholders.
The demand for transparency with respect to what footprint you leave on the environment, how safely you manage your operations, and how you continually improve quality are some of the demands businesses face across the world.
So communication on how you manage risk is key to building trust and confidence. The implementation and certification of a management system tell your stakeholders that you have embarked on the journey of continuous performance improvement with regards to quality, environment or safety related issues. External validation helps companies continually improve its strategies, operations and levels of service. Choosing the right certification body guarantees you an objective third party validation and benchmarking of your management system.
It will take you beyond the mere compliance certification onto a path where the approach is risk based. By turning the focus to the risks posing the greatest challenges, you will reap rewards from having embarked on a journey of continual improvement.