IATF 16949 – AQMS
Automotive Quality Management System — Compliance & Certification Made Easy
The IATF 16949 is an internationally recognized standard that deals with establishing a quality management system for the automotive industry. It’s a standard that many will notice doesn’t carry the ISO name behind it. The International Standards Organization was instrumental in providing a baseline for the standard, but it was developed and implemented by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF). Despite the difference in name, the standard is just as well-respected as any other ISO standard and is treated the same. Automotive manufacturers stand to benefit from implementing the system, as it improves their process efficiency and focuses on reducing defects in the manufacture of components.
The IATF used the ISO 9001 standard as its baseline for developing the IATF 16949 standard. Just like other ISO standards, it deals with offering a methodology for continual improvement of processes. The IATF is a group of stakeholders for the automotive industry. Concerned with the industry’s lack of standards, these companies got together to develop a standard that would apply to the industry as a whole. The aim was to establish a system that dealt with ensuring the quality of products from manufacturers. This standard, in theory, would result in fewer safety problems due to defective parts and less loss of revenue through product recalls. The IATF 16949 addresses all of these shortfalls by providing a standard that automotive companies can use to maintain consistency in the quality of their products.
The Importance of IATF 16949 To The Industry
The IATF 16949 deals specifically with the automotive industry, and as a result, puts focus on specific principles to ensure a high-quality end product. It achieves this by mitigating potential risks to reduce the incidence of disasters and the introduction of flaws during the manufacturing process. To maintain technician productivity, it considers both human and machine elements and safety considerations for workers within the plant. By implementing this standard, a business can trace its production phases and identify areas of the process that may need to be improved to generate better results. Organizations that implement the IATF 16949 standard have a more efficient and traceable manufacturing process, allowing them insight into the process’s details and where it can be improved.
The Benefits IATF 16949 Offers to a Company
The IATF 16949 standard isn’t mandatory, but implementing the standard offers some significant benefits. Certification for IATF 16949 follows much of the same procedures as being certified for other ISO standards. Among the services that IATF 16949 provides for organizations that adopt it are:
- Customer satisfaction: Automotive manufacturers are in a competitive environment, and the standard allows the company to consistently deliver a quality product, improving customer satisfaction rates. There are fewer unhappy customers as a result and stronger brand loyalty.
- Reduced costs for operation: Operational efficiencies are improved through continual upgrading of the processes involved. This improvement results in lower costs and less resource wastage.
- Proven credentials: A business that is certified can use the certification as a badge of honor, opening the door to deals from domestic as well as international organizations that recognize the dedication to quality that the IATF 16949 represents. Some organizations specify the certification as a prerequisite to doing business with them.
- Global recognition: Automotive manufacturers worldwide recognize the IATF 16949 standard and understand what a company needs to do to attain it. This certification raises the status of a qualified business in their eyes and increases the business’s reputation among its peers.
- Smoother operations: Continual improvements mean that processes within a plant will improve over time to become more efficient. Establishing workflows that optimize processes increases the production rate of the plant.
Is IATF 16949 Certification Necessary?
The standard isn’t necessary for general operation, but a non-certified company’s opportunities will be limited. Most businesses that decide to get certified do it for the recognition it brings. However, even if the distinction is not a factor, the cost and time savings that improving the company’s internal processes offers shouldn’t be understated. To this end, an automotive manufacturer should seriously consider undertaking the IATF 16949 certification to be more competitive in the market. If you’re interested in getting started, Sync Resource has a detailed primer that can introduce you to the standard and its requirements. Contact us today to learn more!