Meaningful, Profitable (I)MS

How a Management System Helps Companies

In addition to a formal understanding of management systems, it is also important to deal with their deeper meaning and meaningfulness in order to understand and make them useful for oneself and one's own company.

There are different motivations to formally describe and live a management system:

  • Business-related – to increase performance and efficiency
  • Competitive – to achieve certification in order to be interesting for customers in the marketplace
  • Regulatory – as a verification requirement for certain industries

Even if a described management system is required, for example, by customers, standards or laws, its implementation in one's own company can only function well and profitably if all parties concerned understand what obligations are associated with the operation of a management system and what benefits it brings to themselves and the company.

The First Steps

First of all, it is necessary to identify all interested parties and to analyze their expectations of one's own company, since the establishment of an effective management system is significantly influenced and shaped by the expectations and requirements of the interested parties. On the input side, it is important to find out who wants something from me or the company and the management system (requirements management). On the output side, there are then the considerations of how to meet the demands of the respective party with one's own described and lived system (value proposition/effectiveness, simplification/efficiency, additional benefits/added value).

Formal and thus binding requirements must be implemented in a management system. But there is also a second side, which is very important for all interested parties.

Creating Added Value with a Lived Management System

In a customer relationship, for example, the mere existence of a described management system enables the business relationship to begin. If, however, I manage to create added value in my company through my lived management system, this also has a direct influence on the customer relationship and strengthens it by building trust.

A management system is also a very important tool for coping with complexity, which is increasing more and more in today's world. This results on the one hand from the external complexity, which is constantly increased by the general conditions of a company (context), the markets, the competition or customer requirements. On the other hand, however, it also results from the increase in internal complexity, which becomes clear in organizational processes, communication relationships or interfaces.

Today, everyone in the company is confronted with this complexity and required to deal with it. A management system can be used here as a structural tool to cope with this complexity. From the management point of view for the entire company, but also from the point of view of an individual employee, who, for example, can better master everyday life through transparent processes and interfaces.

Further Development Is Required

The path that a company takes is determined by its mission, vision, the goals derived from them and the strategy. These also form the basis for the management system, which in turn ensures that these goals can be achieved through described and actually existing structures, processes, procedures and control loops in the company. Continuous adaptation and improvement of the system is absolutely necessary and makes an important contribution to business success.

When talking about a company's management system, the singular of the word alone makes it clear that it is and also must be a system within the company. Everything that happens in the company – what supports it in its success, what helps it to grow – must happen in a common system that exists independently of people, roles, organizational divisions, departments, and so on. The company is viewed as a single entity, an organism. In linguistic usage and in the professional world, we talk about integrated management systems - but what we really mean is that everything is mapped and brought together in one system.

Advantages of an Integrated Management System

Compared to a separate approach to individual standards (from the areas of quality, environment, energy, occupational safety and many more), there are very many advantages that make it clear that there can only be one system in the company. Some of them are e.g. a higher acceptance and motivation of the employees, harmonization of contradictions and conflicting goals, time and cost savings, identification and optimization of interfaces, higher transparency, standardization of regulations, risk minimization and promotion of continuous improvement.

This approach also enables the consideration and integration of other important topics (requirements) beyond management system standards – such as sustainability, supply chain due diligence – into the management system. The management system supports the systematic consideration of these and other important topics and facilitates their implementation.

It is therefore worthwhile for a variety of reasons to deal intrinsically with the management system of one's own company, to actively shape it and to bring it to life together with employees, superiors (and in the extended circle also other interested parties).

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