Nowadays, it’s rare to find an organization that hasn’t implemented any software solution to provide some sort of support. And the most common software solutions in many organizations are Quality Management Systems (QMS) and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) systems.
Because these two systems have very similar processes and can be merged into one single source of truth; this combination will have a powerful effect on the organization, it will provide a level of visibility that combines two critical areas into a single system.
In the following, we will reveal the importance of combining these two systems and the benefits of their integration for the organization.
Both quality and EHS are evolving to keep up with a rapid product lifecycle. Merging these two systems into one solution is an effective way to get more visibility and functionality across an entire platform. A QEHS integrates elements of both systems in a way that will maximize return on investment.
The ISO standards that govern the various initiatives have numerous common elements. The best of these solutions recognizes this intersection in functions and is able to create a single system that not only provides depth in the specialized functions but also is equipped with cross-functional purposes that serve the needs of both Quality and EHS.
From these cross-functional integrated processes:
- Audit and surveys:
It is known that audits and surveys increase efficiency within the organization. By automating these processes in both systems additional features become available, such as a question library and ready-to-use checklists for ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards. Which will allow faster change distribution.
- Corrective and Preventive Action:
Corrective actions are useful in tracking conflicts effectively. For EHS systems it is useful in particular because it includes incidents and audits. For QMS, it includes nonconforming materials and calibration and maintenance. The EHSQ will effectively track the cost and cause of both systems and their common deviations while providing change through risk control.
- Risk Assessment:
Risk management is always a priority for any organization of any kind. The EHSQ risk assessment calculates risks and classifies risks mitigation and event history. The EHSQ combined with corrective action, filters critical events from non-critical, to ensure an effective and fast resolution of threats.
- Document Control:
Document control manages documents’ lifecycles. It is a centralized storage of all data and its list of files that have been distributed electronically. When this function is integrated with QMS functions like material safety data sheet (MSDT) and emergency preparedness, document control ensures that all documents are recorded within each process.
- Employee Training:
Training employees is very important for the smooth running of the organization. It is the groundwork of an organization. Employee training solutions provide a simple way to schedule and record training for both EHS and QMS centric organizations. Training will automatically distribute testing, manage the scores and store them in each employee’s proper folders.
Management review meetings are crucial for companies that aim to meet various quality FDA and EHS standard requirements. In those meetings, systems are being evaluated and investigated, and maintained in order to properly manage processes and gain insights on how issues are being held with various standards through the EHSQ.
- Change Management:
Change management in QEHS provides a summary that describes any needed change. One key component of change management in EHSQ is its ability to integrate with the QMS’s supplier rating and inspection functions. So it ensures that proper suppliers are providing visibility into supplier qualification. Also, risk assessment provides visibility into the impact of change, by analyzing the risk in EHS processes like Job Safety Analysis (JSA), Aspects, Objectives, and Targets.
Organizations that are constantly improving, know that recording incident is very important to prevent events from happening again and make unexpected changes. The EHSQ incident function is used mainly to record incidents and collect any useful information to conduct investigations including a risk analysis. In addition, all collected data about incidents are automatically inherited into corrective actions in order to prevent any recurrence of incidents.
- Enterprise Reporting:
Data analysis within any type of business helps to measure results and manage change. Quality and EHS are the same without a core business intelligence and reporting function. By understanding various data trends and data points regarding an event within these systems you can prevent change. Also, the integration of quality and EHS into the EHSQ system can uncover a new way of data analysis that takes into consideration not only the quality or process of a product but also the environmental, health, and safety impacts that come with it.
In conclusion, integrating a Quality and EHS system provides a total Compliance Management system, that efficiently manages the variety of Quality, Environmental, and Health and Safety processes present in most organizations. The core value of integrating the elements of each system into one solution, provides cost-savings, reduced overhead, and fosters efficiency and better decision-making.
Now that you have learned about the reason why quality and EHS integration are important, learn about how QMS and EHS improve organizational sustainability.