What is a management system? Learn their uses and benefits

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 6 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Managing standards, processes and rules effectively is an important aspect of running a company to professional standards. Management systems enable companies to meet those standards and are generally tailored to specific aspects such as safety or energy use. Their effective implementation often involves everyone in a company and enables them all to benefit together from their success. In this article, we analyse management systems' implications and methods of implementation to help you decide on how you can use them at work.

Related: The systems theory of management (with pros and cons)

What is a management system?

A management system is the set of policies that a company implements to help it meet certain quality standards in different areas of its management. These systems cover several areas of a company's processes, including finances, customer relations, employee satisfaction and compliance with quality standards and safety regulations. There are many different types of management systems, including physical and software systems.

For software, these can be either one piece of software or a group of programs that helps an organisation to manage its systems effectively, essentially simplifying the process of maintaining its standards. Different pieces of software are available to automate the process of running various systems in a company.

Related: What is a management model? With practical examples

Types of management system

There are several types of management systems, each addressing a specific area of business management:

1. Quality management systems

A quality management system is a set of rules guiding an organisation's processes to deliver products and services that ensure customer satisfaction and meet or even exceed client expectations and regulatory demands. ISO 9001:2015 is the internationally accepted standard for measuring the quality of a company's products and services.

While some quality requirements are specific to each organisation, others, including the objectives and the manual for quality checks, are the same for all organisations. There are also requirements for records of procedures, instructions and past operations. The system also measures customer satisfaction and identifies opportunities to improve performance. When implementing this system, remember the following steps:

  • Design the system around the company's specific needs, products and services.

  • Ensure that the basic driving force behind the organisation's work is the delivery of satisfaction.

  • Ensure that you involve all staff in upholding the company's quality standards.

  • Audit the company's procedures and results and review the findings to enable it to improve its performance.

Related: System Design Interview Questions (With Tips)

2. Environmental management systems

An environmental management system aims to help reduce waste in a company's production cycle, thereby helping to keep the environment safe. It helps an organisation to comply with the legal regulations surrounding the pollution of the environment and avoid the penalties for breaking them. To help reduce wastage, you review the design and production procedures to ensure that you minimise pollution and reduce the project's impact on the environment. The most widely accepted standard for environmental performance is ISO 14001.

The process of implementing the system requires continuous improvement. The first step is to set the company's environmental impact goals, basing them on legal policies. When production is complete, you carry out an assessment to see whether or not the teams involved are meeting the goals of your scheme. The results of this evaluation determine whether you review or correct the process to meet higher environmental standards.

3. Service management systems

A service management system governs the provision of services to customers and helps to develop a service-oriented company to meet their needs. Service management can apply to either the whole company or just certain divisions of it. In many organisations, one section that often uses service management systems is the IT department.

The system defines an organisation's responsibilities to its customers, taking into consideration their characteristics and locations and the technologies in place to serve them effectively. While the customers, in this case, are often people outside the company, they could instead be the staff of the business that the HR, finance or healthcare departments are working with.

4. Occupational health and safety management systems

This includes the processes that you implement to ensure a safe working environment for the company's staff. It also encompasses the structures that help to ensure that there's less potential for workplace accidents and that the company complies with the workplace safety legislation that's in force. This system offers benefits to organisations such as better staff safety and improved morale.

The scope of the system varies according to the kind of work you carry out in the workplace and the dangers that the staff experience. It's important that the organisation's managers take the implementation of workplace safety standards seriously. Implementation typically involves documented guidelines for safety while working, including how to react when emergencies arise and training for all staff to ensure that they can react appropriately when there's an emergency.

5. Energy management systems

An energy management system involves the implementation of processes that help you to reduce the overall energy footprint and inefficiency of an organisation's systems. It helps you to optimise energy usage and eventually reduce costs. It involves you setting goals for the reduction of the company's energy usage and taking measures to ensure that the teams and individuals involved meet these goals. These measures often include the adoption of more energy-efficient methods and technologies to reduce or even eliminate energy wastage in production.

6. Asset management systems

Assets are the inventory and equipment that you use for the day-to-day running of a business. Asset management systems are the processes that you use to maintain and manage those assets effectively and economically. Businesses use them because it's important that they know what the situation is, whether assets are available for use, already in use or not fit for use.

Without these systems in place, businesses may find it difficult to keep track of what and where their assets are and how people use them. The systems are also very important in the management of the risks that the usage and ownership of assets can bring. Asset management is more than just taking inventory of your assets. You also assess their lifetime maintenance costs and capacity and implement a plan for managing the assets effectively over a long time period.

Related: Project management skills and how to improve them

7. Information security management systems

An information security management system (ISMS) is a set of procedures to ensure company and customer information is safe from external and internal threats. An ISMS often includes a security risk assessment and proper management of security initiatives.

Related: What are project management tools (with 15 examples)

Benefits of management system software

There are several benefits of using software to help you with business management:

  • Improved productivity: Because the software helps you to simplify your standardisation processes, it leaves you with more time to focus on other important things. You also have access to all the important information and can respond swiftly to challenging situations.

  • Effective assignment of tasks: The smooth operation of your business depends on the ability of all its arms to communicate and function together seamlessly. Using management software allows you to quickly identify issues and assign the right team to resolve them.

  • Seamless collaboration: Management software allows you to easily assign tasks to different departments, enabling more effective collaboration between them. Since all staff know what to work on, they can keep their work coordinated and either assist each other or stay out of the way as required.

  • Error reduction: Managing systems traditionally can be quite cumbersome as there are several factors for the business to consider. This can result in oversights that cause errors, which you can avoid with the use of management software.

  • Management of finances: Using management software allows you to improve how you track your project finances. As you're able to monitor your assets, inventory and expenditure from anywhere, you can have greater control over the money you make and how it's spent.

  • Progress monitoring: Management software gives you better insight into the progress of your projects as it tracks all the activities that the company carries out. This allows you to better monitor both external and internal processes.

  • Easy project planning and monitoring: Management software makes planning a project easy as it lets you put in all the measures to ensure that you work as efficiently as possible. You can also easily analyse your current projects to help you set up more efficient methods for your upcoming projects.

Related:

  • What Is Management and How Can Managers Excel at Work?

  • What is a computerised maintenance management system?


Explore more articles