Integrated Management Systems: Badge or Bonus?

Author: Bob Brown - Director of Sales and Marketing

REMET® UK runs a well-constructed Integrated Management System (IMS), into which it incorporates its certification under ISO9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS18001, and recently AEO. While talking to some colleagues in the past weeks it has become apparent, that many people see the approvals as a “badge” in the same way that Facebook gives you a badge for having 100 friends, or TripAdvisor gives you a badge for having reviewed 5 hotels.

Here at REMET we believe that this view is short-sighted, and that the benefits of a secure and well-managed supply partner with a well-documented and integrated management system adds considerable value, as is well illustrated in the light of recent events. The purpose of this article then is to highlight some of the advantages of conducting trade with a well organised and accredited business.

ISO9001: The backbone of the system

ISO 9001 aims to provide a practical and workable Quality Management System for improving and monitoring all areas of our business. REMET UK has observed the standard for nearly 30 years, originally as BS:5750, and over the years we have adopted systems that improve all areas of our organisation.

Implementing an effective and robust Integrated Management System (IMS) has helped us to focus on the important areas of our business and improve effectiveness and efficiency. The management processes that are established throughout REMET will provide a sound foundation, leading to increased productivity and profit. This in turn has improved customer acquisition and retention.

Some of the main benefits include:

•         Better internal management

•         Less wastage

•         Less risk

•         Increase in efficiency, productivity and profit

•         Improved customer retention and acquisition

•         Consistent outcomes, measured and monitored

•         Globally recognised standard

•         Compatible with other ISO standards

Importantly A valid ISO 9001 certificate is a prerequisite for most of our customers when they are considering suppliers. It gives our customers confidence that you are working to standards and procedures that will provide them with a high standard of customer service.

The ISO 9001 standard is recognised worldwide and our customers understand the benefits of working with companies that are accredited. In fact, most of our customers will only do business with certified companies because it gives them assurance that our management systems are constantly assessed and approved.

They know from experience that working with accredited companies provides many advantages:

•         Minimises mistakes

•         Improves reporting and communications

•         Better quality products and service

•         More reliable production scheduling and delivery

•         Standards maintained by annual assessments

Importantly the framework of ISO9001 is a basis for other standards that confer additional advantages. REMET UK has taken the opportunity to take advantage of this framework and developed its IMS from the common root. Importantly, each new standard bring unique new benefits both for REMET UK and its Customers.

I’ll start with the benefits of our most popular element to our IMS: ISO14001

Managing Environmental Impact: Demonstrating long term planning.

It has become more important to demonstrate that organisations are thinking about their environmental impact and putting in place systems that will not only benefit the environment but will also reduce costs, improve efficiency, and remove risk within the organisation.

The benefits of showing conformance to the ISO 14001 standard are numerous: Not least having a well-defined Energy Management System (EMS) framework has provided us with a systematic approach to compliance.

•       Cost savings in waste, recycling and consumption

•       Advantage over competitors when tendering for business

•       Management of environmental risks

•       Accredited Compliance with environmental regulations

•       Demonstrates your commitment to improving the environment

•       Demonstrates a responsible future focused organisation

•       Reduced insurance cover costs

•       Increased employee engagement in the knowledge that they are working in an environmentally friendly organisation.

Through the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), ISO 14001 is expected to become a prerequisite for doing business worldwide; with WTO Experts Stating that market forces will drive acceptance of the newer and more stringent global environmental standards.

On a more local scale, REMET’s Environmental projects have included reducing carbon output from fleet vehicles, replacement of lighting with low wattage LEDs and decreased internal waste.

Occupational Health and Safety: Providing the workplace that we all deserve.

OHSAS18001 has proved to be an effective health and safety management system which can provide benefits to your customers and also grants a competitive advantage by:

Minimizing the risks of production delays

Providing a safe environment to do business

Demonstrating your commitment to maintain an effective health and safety policy

Other benefits make REMET more efficient, able to meet its legal requirements and help to improve staff morale by making the workplace a safer environment to work in.

Benefits to the organization include:

Improving your reputation and increasing your opportunities to gain new business

Minimizing risks of downtime through accidents

Demonstrating your commitment to meet legal obligations

Cost savings from public liability insurance premiums

Accredited compliance to legal requirements

Providing a robust system to maintain and continually improve health and safety

Locally, this has meant that REMET has an intrinsically safe working environment, faulty equipment is replaced before it can become dangerous, and waste materials from processing are isolated and stored separately such that there is no risk of combustion.

AEO: Secure Supply Chains: No Unnecessary risks…a Necessity for the 21st Century

Sadly the world that we live in as not as secure as we would hope, and therefore there is a need to reduce risk from external tampering, provide secure evaluation of shipments and warranty the veracity of all transactions. In a conventional sense the AEO scheme provides a plan for avoiding or mitigating supply chain risks. REMET sees AEO accreditation as a vital part in securing its supply chains and reducing risk at the customer, and increasingly important factor in the post BREXIT world.

We believe AEO Accreditation offers our customers:

•       Exact application of all customs regulations

•       Verifiable ability to meet financial obligations

•       High standards of safety and security

•       A systematic approach to risk assessment and control

It also provides a basis for continuous development and improvement, customer focusses processes and a case for permanent dialogue. All of which are the underpins of ISO9001, where we started our journey.

To conclude, I think it is short-sighted to view ISO standards as a badge, the accreditations are hard won and indicative of a well-planned, well-managed business that takes it responsibilities to its customers, employees and the environment seriously.

The stakeholder economy is a broad church, and there is a justifiable need to be responsible to all members of that economy; the responsibility is codified by the enactment of an Integrated Management System that minimizes risk for all parties.

As the UK moves into a post Eurozone economy, never, has this been more important, and will therefore, be the source of opportunities for those organisations that are best prepared.

© REMET UK 2016

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