Increasingly, businesses are implementing a quality management system (QMS) that meets the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard, since potential customers often require certification in ISO 9001. If your business has a QMS, it’s worth considering a shift in focus from maintaining a QMS to developing a business management system (BMS). Doing so doesn’t require you to change your business practices; rather, a BMS can enhance your current practices by providing for accountability and continual improvement.

The BMS concept entails focusing on your current business processes while conforming to standards like ISO 9001. For example, your business processes may include:

· managing contracts
· purchasing
· employee training
· product inspection

Instead of using the ISO 9001 standards as the starting point , the BMS approach starts with your business processes and then modifies them so that they conform to the ISO 9001 standard.

The BMS approach has the additional benefit of enabling your business to incorporate other standards into your businesses processes, so that you can conform to multiple standards in a unified matter. For example, a business may have management systems that deal with aspects of the business’s operations and that are governed by other standards, such as an environmental management system (EMS) that complies with ISO 14001. Processes in an EMS include:

· identifying interactions between a business’s operations and the environment
· monitoring and measuring environmental impacts
· training to mitigate or eliminate environmental risks, e.g., spill cleanup
· compliance with applicable regulations

A BMS approach integrates these management systems, and any others, that the business has implemented. This allows for greater accountability and consistency across all aspects of a business’s operations, which in turn enables the business to identify opportunities for improving its products, services, customer relations and other key areas.

Freer Consulting has extensive experience assisting businesses with creating and implementing a BMS and achieving ISO certification. If you would like to know more about how Freer can help you, contact us at (206) 285-9044 or [email protected].