With such an ominous name as IATF 16949 Automotive Task Force, it leads many non-specialists to consider them warily. These are the ladies and gentlemen responsible for the development of the IATF 16949 standard. They are also in charge of continual improvement of the standard. The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) states that the latest iteration of their criteria was published in 2016, and supersedes the previous standards document. The IATF designed the guidelines to help companies be more proactive in their corrective and preventive actions, as is expected from an ISO certification, focused on the development of Quality Management Systems (QMSs). This particular standard is entirely in compliance with ISO 9001.
Who Is The IATF 16949 Automotive Task Force?
Several companies are stakeholders within the automobile industry that make up the IATF. According to the IATF itself, it’s an ad hoc group of manufacturers and trade associations that have come together to offer better quality products to users around the world. The members of the IATF include:
- Volkswagen AG
- General Motors
- Daimler AG
Understanding the IATF 16949 Standards
The basis of IATF 16949 focuses on seven distinct principles, which include:
- Focus on the consumer
- Strong upper management within the company
- Full engagement of the team
- An approach that centers on processes
- Continuous iterative improvement
- Using facts and figures to garner insight which can be used to make decisions
- Relationship management among stakeholders
Integrating the IATF Standards with a QMS
Companies that undertake the IATF certification will need to ensure that their QMS conforms to what the standards expect. The QMS is required to have a handful of characteristics, including:
- Realistic customer definition: Ideally, the QMS should try to relate its ideal customer with a consumer that fits into the business’s target demographic.
- Continual improvement: By using feedback systems, the company can get actionable information that may be used to improve the business’s operating efficiency.
- Defined Company Objectives: Without a goal to work towards, the QMS doesn’t have any aim or purpose. A goal is necessary to give the QMS impetus.
- Delivering Flawless Products and Services: The QMS should focus on ensuring that all products that leave the company should conform to the highest levels of quality.
- Reduction in waste: Finally, the WMS should concern itself with keeping the company environmentally responsible.
Helping To Create a Better Product
According to the IATF, the combination of its partners is focused on developing a better product for the end consumer. The standards that IATF 16949 encourages offer more than just a better-designed product, however. The quality of a business’s processes also improves. The iterative function means that the systems are always improving upon themselves. Since all companies follow the same standardized approach, all quality management systems can interact with each other. QMSs also have the benefit of reducing the number of defective products as well as lowering the amount of waste produced on average. Finally, IATF 16949 makes businesses be more risk-aware, making for better risk management from a business perspective.
Types of IATF 16949 Certification
A company can seek to become IATF 16949 certified. The certification system was designed primarily for businesses within the automotive industry. Implementing it increases the functionality of their QMS. However, in addition to having a QMS that is certified, companies can go one step further and have an individual on their staff become accredited as an IATF 16949 auditor.
Choosing the IATF 16949
Businesses that run QMS systems stand to benefit a lot from the IATF 16949 standards. They offer a way for a company to ensure that its QMS is functional and adaptable. The role of constant iteration and development ensures that the business can deal with any issue that may arise. If your company wants to experience the benefits that the IATF 16949 has for your QMS, we’d be glad to guide you on the path to certification. Contact us today!