Society and consumers are increasingly moving towards zero risk tolerance. 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.
Excelling companies move beyond compliance as part of a competitive strategy. Risk management is becoming core to business and management processes as a way of staying ahead of the game.
A management system for continual improvement
Companies develop processes and performance standards to measure and meet the multitude of challenges they are facing. The best solution is to integrate business principles in management systems.
Companies that extract the full value from their management systems view the management system as means to manage change and improvement instead of just keep the status quo. A holistic approach to an effective management system adds value to the business by bringing quality, environment, health and safety issues together in a single system, contributing to doing things better, cheaper or faster as the system matures and develops.
Companies just starting their road to certification may of course select to start with one system at a time for later to integrate them.
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?
A ticket to trade is often a strong initial motivating factor for certification. Regulatory requirements and the demands of globalisation may be other reasons. Stakeholder insistence on more sophisticated processes and more precise accountability of business conduct is yet another. Such companies seek third-party assessment and certification as a means of documenting compliance.
The most compelling reason for certification, however, may simply be that top management see added value in getting a reputable third-party to independently audit their management systems, report their findings and document the result by issuing a certificate. Management needs to be ahead of the game and cannot afford incidents caused by lack of control to affect the value of their brand.
Today companies 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.
Communication on how you manage risk is key to building trust and confidence. The implementation and certification of a management system tells your stakeholders that you are on the road to 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.