The broader definition of what a system is says that it is a set of elements that work together and coordinate to achieve an objective. Some well-known examples are the braking system of a car and the digestive system, the first having the objective of stopping the vehicle, and the second of providing nutrients to the body.
Knowing what a system is, we can say that a management system is the set of interrelated elements within an organization that work together to establish and achieve compliance with policies and objectives.
Therefore, a standardized management system is a management system whose requirements are clearly defined and specified somewhere.
Generally, these requirements are defined in reference standards issued by standardization bodies in a wide range of products and services (International Organization for Standardization (ISO), British Standards Institution (BSI), the Ministry of Economy, etc.) or specialized in a specific sector (American Petroleum Institute (API), FSSC Foundation 22000, PEMEX, CFE, etc.).
But... why should I follow the requirements specified in the reference standards for management systems?
Very easy! The reference standards are a summary of the best practices accepted worldwide for management and best practices about the subject they are about. For example: International Standard ISO 22000 for food safety management systems, aimed at companies that handle food, defines what activities an organization must do to avoid that the food it handles harms the consumer.
Meeting the requirements specified in these standards allows you to increase the effectiveness of your internal processes so that they comply with the policies and objectives of the organization (in terms of quality, safety and health at work, environmental, information security, etc.).
Adopting the requirements established in a reference standard has an extraordinary positive impact with possible and current clients.
Having a properly implemented management system allows clients to know that your company is committed with the highest standard of a certain subject. Although, not always is it enough to say you have a formal standardize management system. Usually, an external certification is required.
It is very important to have a recognition from a third party that endorses that we comply with best practices. This is where the certification of the standardized management system by an accredited body plays a very important role.
When a company has an accredited certificate, it means that an external expert on the subject is attesting that the organization has implemented best practices.