1. What is the difference between an QMS, EMS and a BMS?

QMS = Quality Management System. Often focused on efforts from the quality department personnel to maintain registration of the system. 

EMS= Environmental Management System. Often focused on efforts from the quality or environmental department personnel to maintain registration of the system. 

BMS= Business Management System. A customized system that defines the processes of the entire business. A BMS makes it clear how employees from all areas of the organization contribute to consistently achieve the company’s short and long term goals/results, while also taking into account the requirements of your industries applicable quality and/or environmental management system standards.

2. Is registration mandatory?

Only if your industry or customers require it. Regardless of whether or not it is mandated by them, the fundamental framework established by the ISO 9001 based standards are crucial for any business to have in place—regardless of whether you chose to get registered or not. Compliance is sufficient if registration is not required. 

3. Is it all about documentation?

It used to be, or at least it seemed that way. Back in the 1990s there was a heavy emphasis put on documentation. That turned a lot of people off because of the time commitment to establish and upkeep the documentation. Now the emphasis is on having only as much documentation as will benefit your business, no more, no less. Certain industry-specific standards mandate a few more, but they all attempt to incorporate appropriate levels of documentation.  For many companies, that means reducing current levels of documentation to improve the BMS.

4. Is a BMS just for big companies?

No. An effective BMS can be established for any size organization. Establishing the framework while you are small organization allows you to aggressively and confidently grow the business and sustain higher performance levels. 

5.How does a BMS help a company that is growing rapidly?

Our experience is that some companies that see rapid growth without a solid BMS find it hard to sustain. Certain areas of the business change at different paces and the system can become unstable. For employees in a business, it can seem like a wild ride. When the business expands, or contracts, the BMS should scale accordingly.

6. Does a BMS have a Return On Investment (ROI)?

It absolutely should. There is cost to implementing a successful BMS. That doesn’t mean that your ROI cannot be greater than the costs. In too many cases registered systems are put in place because “the customer says we have to.”  That may be the case, but don’t just undertake the minimum and aggressively pursue it, create the BMS that will help you methodically take performance of the entire organization to the next level. 

7. What is the most common reason a BMS fails?

Leadership runs the business separately from the BMS. A good BMS should capture, define and measure how you run your unique organization. If done properly you can manage the business 12 months out of the year using your BMS. Some companies spend the last month before an audit “fixing” their system to make it look like that is how the business was run all year long. 

8. How long does an implementation take?

Not as long as you might think. Since we get all areas of the business involved in implementing, the load gets spread out, engagement levels are higher, buy-in is improved, and long-term success is improved. My role is primarily to guide and advise. We can often move as fast as your business is comfortable with. 

9. What is the role of leadership?

Leadership must own and hold themselves accountable for the performance of the BMS. If it succeeds, everyone gets the credit. If it struggles, management takes responsibility and fixes it.

10. Why are metrics so important in a BMS? 

Metrics drive behavior. If you pick the wrong metrics, or pick conflicting metrics, the people of your system will change their behavior in a way that does not contribute to optimizing the performance of the system. If you choose the appropriate metrics, and constantly monitor the performance and behavior of the system, your entire workforce will all be rowing in the same direction.

11. What is the relationship between BMS’s and Lean, Six Sigma, and Corrective Action?

When designing your BMS, processes are defined, measured, and owned. If you attempt to improve processes before they are defined, measured, and owned, you are wasting the efforts of an expensive team of people and creating a challenging level of frustration in the business. What often happens next is people blame the tools and claim that Lean, Six Sigma, or Corrective actions do not work. 

12. Why use Quality Business Management Systems to assist?

Could you attempt implementing a quality business system on your own and succeed…potentially. But chances are the implementation will not be as successful as it could be.  When you work with and audit many different companies in different industries week after week, you tend to witness best practices. Why not streamline your implementation efforts and get the most out of your new or upgraded BMS as soon as possible?