What is it?
Management Systems are mechanisms or tools through which an organization, a company, an enterprise, public or private, can ensure unfailing fulfillment of its objectives, adapting to continuously changing business environments within which it operates. This is accomplished by functionally connecting the organization’s strategy with its actions and outcomes (results).
There are several international standards, in various fields of application, for certifying Management Systems; for example, ISO 14001 and EMAS for Environmental Management Systems, ISO 9001 for Quality Management Systems and OHSAS 18001 for Health and Safety.
Why is it important?
The scarcity of raw materials, the cost increases, the consumers sensitization and, finally, stricter laws and regulations, force companies to change attitude: To see these developments not as survivability threats, but as challenges and opportunities for distinction. Uncoordinated actions and non-concerted reactions to these evolving courses are, simply, no longer sufficient. Today, continuous adaptation to changing environments and organizational improvement is the key to sustainable performance and long term company survivability. Thus, resorting to Management Systems like ISO 14001 and EMAS for the environment, ISO 9001 for Quality Management Systems and OHSAS 18001 for Health and Safety is internationally acknowledged as a sound entrepreneurial decision.
How does one start? The installation of an Environmental Management System (EMS) is usually a first step for Sustainability Management. Apart from assuring compliance with regulations, EMS ensures economic benefits as a result of more productive use of energy, water, raw materials and other scarce and valuable resources.
The correct and diligent operation of such systems constitutes a most crucial step towards a durable and integrated sustainability performance; installation alone is useless.
Close the Loop undertakes the planning, the development, the installation and the operational support of Management Systems that will be adjusted and tailored to the specific needs of the organization. Our systems approach philosophy ensures the correct application of the system, so that a substantial and measurable impact on the organization’s survivability is attained, while the certification requirements are met. To this effect, supplementary scientific tools are employed, such as the Viable System Model, Life Cycle Assessment, and Carbon and Water Footprint.
Rationalization of the organization’s internal administration
Prompt response to customers’ claims
Timely satisfaction of customers’ needs
Rational use of resources
Discovering of cost reduction opportunities
Improvement of efficiency, eco-efficiency and effectiveness
Continuous attunement to external stimuli; steady improvement.
The international standards for Management Systems are based on the simple logic of Deming’s Cycle (after E. Deming, the systems scientist-manager who proposed it), also referred to as the PDCA Cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act):
The organization’s general policy and long term objectives are established and specific strategies and actions are planned for the materialization of the objectives. Focus on the expected output.
The planned strategies and actions are implemented, on the basis of specific time schedules, resources availabilities, allocation of responsibilities, etc.
The results of those strategies and actions are checked and measured through specially formed Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
The results are evaluated through comparison against the expected results to ascertain any differences. Should there be any, their cause is sought (will be in either one or more of the P-D-C-A steps) and, if necessary, corrective actions are taken, not excluding revision of strategies and policies.
The logic of Deming’ Cycle stems from the science of systems and cybernetics; this implies that the PDCA process is appropriate (and strongly suggested) for all established Management Systems, in all fields of application (environment, quality, health, safety) and for companies and organizationsofany size and form.
Close the Loop’s methodology draws from its extensive competence (academic and practical) with systems analysis and cybernetics – the basis of Deming’s Cycle. This competence ensures not only a correct and effective implementation of management systems, but also the capability to develop a company-specific and effective integrated management systems that can deal with all aspects of sustainable management (economic, environmental, social) and, most importantly, the organization’s survivability. If a pass through the PDCA steps does not signal a need to improve, the scope of the analysis is refined or widened until there is a plan that involves improvement.
Our strong technical and scientific competence in Environmental matters, in connection with related services such as Life Cycle Assessment, Carbon Footprint and Water Footprint, renders us an ideal associate and consultant for developing and implementing an Environmental Management System.
In all its endeavors, in all its projects, Close the Loop adopts the internationally acknowledged approach of the International Project Management Association (IPMA); it is a management approach that ensures life-cycle impact and costing consideration, fulfillment of the objectives within preset time and cost restraints, respect of environmental and social obligations and, mainly, stakeholders’ satisfaction.