The automobile has captured the hearts and minds of many around the world, almost since its inception in 1885. Offering those who sit behind the wheel the chance at nearly endless possibilities on the open road, and perhaps the opportunity to go farther, faster than they ever thought possible. For the automotive industry that has grown up around these driving machines, quality and safety are imperative to keeping the love affair between a car and its driver alive and well. Without consumer confidence in these two crucial aspects, history has shown that companies who suffer setbacks in one, or both areas are likely to lose a large part of their customer base.
Here’s where the standard IATF 16949:2016
comes in. IATF 16949 was formed by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) in 1999 to provide a single, globally accepted quality standard for automotive suppliers (then titled ISO/TS 16949). Additionally, the most recent version of this standard was developed with proactive industry feedback and engagement by AIAG members (North America), and it’s also based on ISO 9001:2015
- designed to be used in conjunction with ISO 9001:2015
Joining standards from across the U.S. and Europe, IATF 16949
outlines how to achieve best practice when developing, manufacturing, installing or servicing automotive products. It’s recognized as the foundation for an automotive-related company to create a system to provide consistent improvement and customer satisfaction, and many automotive organizations require this QMS to become a supplier.
However, IATF 16949:2016 should not only be looked at as a necessary requirement to get into the automotive industry but instead should be recognized for the major benefits that it can bring to a company, as well. What are some of these benefits?
By achieving IATF 16949 certification an organization can realize:
– Going back to the importance of safety and quality in the automotive industry mentioned earlier, in order to secure big customers from the automotive world you have to show that you can produce high-quality products without defects. In other words, just to get in the door you need to prove you have a quality management system in place, and IATF 16949 does just that.
– When achieving IATF 16949 certification through a recognized certification body, your clients will see you as a company that has implemented a quality management system that is focused on meeting customer requirements and on continual improvement - having this standard in place will help garner immediate trust that you will deliver on what you have stated.
– Facilitate and support changing the culture of your company by focusing on consistently improving the processes that each individual, and teams, are responsible for.
- Customer Satisfaction
– Improved satisfaction equals repeat business. Another important aspect of the IATF 16949 QMS is the highlighting of continual improvement for customer satisfaction by identifying and meeting customer needs.
– The human touch. By giving your teams the ownership of not only managing but also improving the processes that they helped to create, more engagement in the outcome of the organization is sure to follow.
Intended to be utilized by any company looking to provide goods or services in the automotive industry, regardless of size or specialty, IATF 16949:2016 can not only be the entry point for an organization to compete in this field but can also be a major feather in its cap. From credibility and continual improvement to customer satisfaction and employee engagement, the benefits that the IATF 16949 QMS can bring are real, tangible, and can be felt by a group for years to come.