Janardan Ghimire

Integrated Management Driving Excellence
President, Network for Quality, Productivity and Competitiveness, Nepal

Many methodologies and approaches for excellence have been frequently introduced. However, due to non-integration of those different approaches, to some extent, they have raised difficulties in achieving tangible outputs and failed to add value to the organizations. Those methodologies and approaches have been left to operate in isolation.

They remain only at the introductory level with no priority given on their execution and implementation. Thus they fail to contribute in realizing benefits that could have been. It is observed that majority of such methodologies have limited scope, focus and application on planning, commitment, teamwork, employee involvement and information technology in production and service industry.

Management Systems and Standards have become a key aspect for sustainable development of organizations and a prerequisite for their existence. In the recent times, management systems for Quality (ISO 9001), Environment (ISO 14001), Occupational Health and Safety (BS OHSAS 18001) form the core pillars of the organization. Integrated Management System (IMS) for Quality, Environment and Health Safety has significant benefits including simplified procedures, cost saving and reduction in use of valuable organizational resources. Major focus of IMS is to enhance competitiveness, maintain and derive directions for organization enabling it to achieve excellence. IMS reduces overall cost associated with conducting audits, inspections, and surveillance audits in the long run.

Analysis of organizational capacities and efficiencies reveals that organizations lack understanding and realization of the context and environment in which they operate. Furthermore, organizations fail to identify the need to integrate into their organizations Risk and Opportunities, Resources, Information and Knowledge and Auditing which are globally recognized core functions for continual improvement through change management. Organizations that adopt these major components into their system have huge potential to achieve success through continual improvement of processes and procedures within the organization and achieve excellence.

Identification of the key factors for IMS implementation and benefits of integration is a focus of interest for researchers, practitioners, industries and regulatory agencies; paradoxically the literature on IMS is scarce. This paper explores the literature and reviews for a better understanding of the content, context and components of IMS, discusses about the key strategies in IMS design and implementation and briefs on the critical success factors in IMS implementation. The paper also focuses on organizational drivers/motives for adopting IMS and the difficulties and challenges in its integration.

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