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Spotlight on Standards: IATF 16949 (Quality Management System for the Automotive Industry)

Quality InsightsJuly 21, 2023

What is IATF 16949 and how can it drive your automotive quality management system? To note, the standard is undergoing updates and we will provide the full details in due course. This article provides a current overview.

The state of the automotive industry

Undoubtedly, the global automotive industry faces numerous challenges. Manufacturers and suppliers must respond to increased competition, disruptive markets and technological advances, while consumers want new technologies.

Global markets also mean that manufacturers must contend with increased complications due to longer supply chains. These include different regional requirements, sustainability demands and trade policies.

External factors impacting the industry:

  • Changing markets
  • Sustainable technology
  • Evolving customer needs
  • Competition

The industry’s DNA is changing

According to the International Automotive Task Force (IATF), the global automotive industry is changing thanks to new technologies, including electric and connected vehicles, and shared-ownership schemes.

The transformative journey

Conventional Transformative
Single fuel source
Diverse fuel sources
Single propulsion type
Diverse propulsion types
Personal ownership and use
Shared usage
Human operated
Very low utilization
High utilization
High barriers to entry
Low barriers to entry

Linking pain points to business impact

For a holistic understanding of potential industry risks, we developed a methodology that utilizes our compliance data to identify the main pain points and business impact events.

Analysis based on IATF 16949

IATF 16949 has 42,000 data points and our analysis was based on the standard’s data.

Key industry findings

Our analysis indicated that the riskiest events revolved around product quality and customer satisfaction, including:

  • Product recall and nonconformity
  • Customer complaints
  • Cost increases
  • Logistics delays

The industry pain points

Using our automotive industry analysis, we can find trends in your data points to detect threats and improvement areas.

Each standard clause and its data points are reviewed, allowing us to determine the top pain point areas an automotive manufacturer might face.

Our methodology identifies the top five industry pain points. Our technical and industry experts then map each point to the most likely event that can negatively affect operations. These events allow us to identify the risk level of the four main impact areas of an organization.

Why IATF 16949?

IATF 16949 was developed by the IATF, an ad hoc group of automotive manufacturers and their respective national automotive industry associations.

The standard better defines quality management system (QMS) requirements for automotive industry organizations, including those involved in production, service or accessory parts.

It aligns with and refers to ISO 9001. The IATF maintains strong cooperation with ISO by continuing liaison committee status, ensuring continued alignment with ISO 9001.

IATF 16949’s benefits include:

  • Simplified language and a common structure of terms
  • Emphasis on defect prevention
  • Support for continual improvement
  • Automotive industry-specific requirements and tools
  • Reduced supply chain variation and waste

Cutting to the core

IATF 16949 contains several core concepts that, if implemented correctly, can help to enhance your organization.

Some core concepts:

  • The context of your organization
  • Interested parties
  • Issues, risks and opportunities
  • Leaders and risk owners
  • Threats and opportunities
  • Communications
  • Documented information
  • Performance evaluation
  • Operational planning and control
  • Nonconformity and corrections

Implementing IATF 16949

It is essential that IATF 16949 is implemented correctly to reap all of the rewards.

Key areas:

  • Ensure organization-wide support and commitment, including leadership team, employees and supply chain
  • Regularly engage your leadership team and interested parties
  • Compare your existing systems with the new requirements
  • Obtain supply chain and interested parties’ feedback on current systems
  • Create an implementation team
  • Define roles, responsibilities and schedules
  • Start with the basic principles
  • Use training and incentives to encourage employee involvement
  • Support your supply chain to certify in IATF 16949
  • Regularly review the system to ensure continual improvement

Why our IATF 16949 services?

With expertise in all major industries, we understand each sector’s pain points and have the technical skills and logistical capabilities to ensure realistic outcomes.

An audit against IATF 16949 from SGS will help your organization to stand out from the crowd by supporting you to improve product quality, reduce waste and prevent defects.

Additional IATF 16949 services

We offer a range of complementary services:

  • AIAG and VDA FMEA Handbook training course
  • APQP 2nd Edition executive overview training course
  • APQP 2nd Edition training course
  • IATF 16949 Automotive QMS introduction eLearning training course
  • IATF 16949 Automotive QMS lead auditor training course – module 1 introduction
  • IATF 16949 Automotive QMS lead auditor training course – module 2 internal auditing
  • IATF 16949 Automotive QMS lead auditor training course – module 3 core tools

For more information, visit our Assessment, Auditing and Certification or Training services, or speak with your local SGS representative.

For further information, please contact:

Jason Hulbert
Associate Marketing Manager
t: +44 7912426878

About SGS

We are SGS – the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification company. We are recognized as the global benchmark for sustainability, quality and integrity. Our 97,000 employees operate a network of 2,650 offices and laboratories, working together to enable a better, safer and more interconnected world.

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