One way in which companies can make significant savings in time, effort and cost is by integrating their management systems for quality, environment and, if required, health and safety into one. ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and to a certain extent OHSAS 18001 were drafted with this in mind. Guidance document PAS 99 identifies the controls which can be integrated and those which are special to each discipline.
The main internal benefits and associated cost savings come from having only one management system to manage. The amount of documentation associated with the individual systems is less, the staff involvement can be drastically reduced and the number of audits can be trimmed.
Risk assessments, which are a mandatory part of environmental and health and safety management, can, in some cases be combined.
In larger organisations, the separate departments and their infrastructure can be combined, in smaller companies, integration reduces the need to have separate managers for each discipline.
The external cost savings come from having only one audit visit which in general should be shorter than the individual visits with a reduction in the associated expenses and staff time involved.
Companies which have implemented IMS also report a more business-focussed approach with more “buy in” from staff.