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Benefits to ISO Management Systems

September 29, 2013

Barriers and Benefits to ISO Management Systems

Getting a management system certified to ISO standard by a UKAS accredited certification body can offer a number of advantages to an organisation.

There is a lot written about why you should introduce a management system into your business, and why you should put in all the hard work to get it certified to an ISO standard. So here is our take on the potential benefits, and some of the barriers you might face.

A well implemented management system can provide many benefits to your company.

These can include:
  • Providing confidence to a company's stakeholders that the management system meets the requirements of the standard.
  • Comprehensively demonstrating a commitment to continual improvement to key clients, regulators and the public.
  • The on-going certification process ensures that the management system maintains momentum. The external review helps keep the management system 'alive' and 'dynamic', driving the process for continual improvement.
  • External certification provides potential for recognition from third parties about the positive achievements of the company.
  • A well designed management system can provide real cost savings through energy efficiency initiatives, better quality control and better customer retention.
  • Reducing the chance of prosecution through ineffective legal compliance.
  • A management system can encourage valuable engagement between staff at different levels and from different departments, such as sharing ideas and best practice.
  • A management system is often a prerequisite for new business and can also provide that crucial competitive advantage.
  • More efficient processes can reduce cost, time and energy whilst reducing the chance of expensive mistakes.
  • A management system can be a great way to involve employees, making them responsible for their own process.

An ISO certificate can offer lots of benefits; they can also offer new challenges. A poor performing management system can come from a wide variety of reasons that may arise at all levels within the organisations and from external stakeholders. Each of these reasons can cause a barrier to change. Understanding these barriers therefore, is vital to the success of any management system.

These can include:
  • A document/paper heavy system that is poorly integrated with existing policies and procedures.
  • Over complicating the documentation of processes and not allowing those who manage them to be involved with their development.
  • Access to poor information and possible isolation from others undergoing similar processes.
  • Lacking the knowledge and understanding of what support it required and where to get it.
  • Poor communication channels, both internally and with external stakeholders.
  • Limited internal promotion of the potential benefits of a management system leading to poor buy in by employees.
  • Poor external marketing of the company's achievements and success.
  • Putting in place poor metrics to measure the value of the management system. A lack of meaningful data can lead to a negative opinion.
  • Lack of commitment by management, both in resource allocation but also belief in the potential value.

If you would like to ask any questions about your management system or your plans to put one in place please feel free to get in touch with no obligation.

If you would like to read more about topics relating to ISO Standards including ISO 14001, ISO 9001 and ISO 50001 please visit or Blog.

By Paul Stevens

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