Quality Management in the Automotive Industry
From its inception, the automotive standard IATF 16949 has provided a framework to help with the negative impact of unexpected events in the industry. More than 35,000 companies in more than 80 countries have implemented a quality management system according to the IATF 16949 requirements seeking certification to verify their systems and provide evidence to their customers and other stakeholders.
DQS ranks among the leading certification bodies for the automotive industry, holding top market positions in the United States, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, many Asian countries, among others.
DQS is also providing information on the transition from TS 16949 to IATF 16949.
The automotive industry, as a whole, represents excellent process quality, continual improvement and the power of innovation. IATF 16949 is the Technical Specification for quality management systems developed by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) with the objective of improving the quality capability and the entire certification process throughout the supply chain. It applies to the design/development, production and, when relevant, installation and servicing of automotive-related products. The focus lies not on the discovery, but on the avoidance of errors.
Most Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) require evidence of a quality management system. Whether for small or medium enterprises (SMEs) or large corporations, a certificate to IATF 16949 is necessary in order to gain market entry. It is relevant to any organization working in the production, assembly or maintenance fields of the automotive industry, or who is listed as a potential supplier.
Benefits of a quality management system according to IATF 16949:2009
- Improved quality
- Improved on-time delivery
- Emphasis on supplier quality improvement
- Reduced variation
- Increased efficiency
- Reduced waste
IATF 16949 is based on the process-oriented ISO 9001, which facilitates the integration of other important major management systems including ISO 14001 for Environmental Management and BS OHSAS 18001 for Occupational Health and Safety Management. To customers, employees, investors and the general public, implementation and certification of an integrated management system demonstrates the continuous improvement of an organization’s performance in the areas of quality, environmental protection and workplace safety.
DQS provides independent, third-party assessments of strategies, processes and results. This will provide management with the assurance that the system conforms to the requirements of the standard.
Benefits of IATF 16949
- Initial Information
- Offer and Contract
- Stage 1 audit
- Stage 2 audit
- System Evaluation
- Surveillance audits
The process starts with the client’s needs and expectations. DQS wants to learn about the client’s organization, its management system, size and types of operation. Together both parties will define objectives for the assessment and/or certification, including applicable standards and specifications.
Offer and Contract
DQS will provide a detailed offer for assessment and certification services, tailored to individual client needs, based on the information provided initially. A written contract will specify all relevant deliverables as well as applicable assessment and certification criteria.
A pre-audit can serve as initial performance or gap analysis, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. For larger assessment and certification projects a project planning meeting provides a valuable opportunity for the client to meet the lead assessor and develop a customized assessment plan for all functions and locations involved. Both services are optional.
Stage 1 audit
The assessment procedure itself begins with review and evaluation of system documentation, goals, results of management review and internal audits. During this process, it will be determined whether the client’s management system is sufficiently developed and ready for certification. The assessor will explain findings and coordinate any required activities to prepare for the on-site system assessment.
Stage 2 audit
The assigned auditor team will audit the client’s management system at the place of production or service delivery. Applying defined management system standards and specifications, the assessment team will evaluate the effectiveness of all functional areas as well as all management system processes, based upon observations, inspections, interviews, review of pertinent records, and other assessment techniques. The audit result, including all findings will be presented to the client during the closing meeting. Required action plans will be agreed upon as necessary.
The independent certification function of DQS will evaluate the audit process and its results, and decide independently about issuance of the certificate. The client receives an audit report, documenting the audit results. When all applicable requirements are fulfilled the client also receives the certificate.
Either semi-annually or at least once per year, there will be an on-site audit of the critical components of the management system. Improvement potential will be identified, with a focus on continual improvement and sustained effectiveness.
A management system certificate is valid for a limited period of time, frequently for a maximum of three years. At the end of this cycle, a re-audit will be carried out to ensure the ongoing fulfillment of all applicable requirements. Subject to this fulfillment, a new certificate will be issued.
Truly Global Brand
Expert Auditors with High Emotional Intelligence
Local Capabilities & Delivery
Customized, Comprehensive & Actionable Insights
Pioneering Innovative Solutions
Passion for Quality & Excellence
Integrity & Trust