ISO/TS 16949 – The Cornerstone of Successful Automotive Supply Industries
The billion dollar automotive industry is rapidly evolving owing to the increasing demand and population. Of course like other industries, this industry also needs to conform to a quality management standard for it’s smooth operations. Automotive supply organizations that produce parts and sub-parts, process materials, sub-assemblies, etc., as well as service providers to OEM manufacturing locations need to comply with this management standard.
Created by the IATF (International Automotive Task Force) and technical committee of ISO, TS16949 is a quality management tool that focuses on continuous improvement by minimizing variations and waste in the supply chain.
TS 16949 principles are applicable throughout the supply chain management process within organizations of the automotive sector. It also applies to the functions like designing & development, production, installation, and service of automotive parts and related parts. Based on the ISO 9001 standard, TS 16949 aims to systematize country- specific regulations of QMS (Quality Management System). Since the OEM’s had asked many suppliers to build and certify their QMS in accordance with the rules and regulations specific to their country organizations like VDA of Germany, AIAG of North America, AVSQ of Italy, FIEV of France, and SMMT of UK, the urgency for harmonization was thereby accelerated.
How can these organizations benefit from TS 16949 registration?
1) Continuous improvement: The first and foremost advantage of being TS 16949 certified is undoubtedly the continuous improvement as well as communication via process approach.
2) Credibility: Your market value is enhanced as you’re perceived to be an organization that is aware of, understands, and is committed to practices that symbolize quality in every action and never settles for just average.
3) Enhanced product quality and reliability as well as improved on-time delivery.
4) Provides a competitive edge by placing your business in the elite category of businesses.
5) More emphasis on quality improvement efforts of suppliers.
6) When customer specific requirements are fulfilled, it prompts the audit process of TS 16949 to comply with the automotive mandates of IATF members globally.
7) Cuts down the need for a third party registration on a geographic basis.
8) During regular surveillance visits, the IATF approved registrar for TS 16949 enables organizations to automatically upgrade from QS-9000, VDA 6.1, etc.
9) Consistent audit performance: As the auditors of TS 16949 need to undergo an exhaustive training, testing and re-qualification measures to meet the stringent qualification criteria, your organization is rest assured to have undergone a consistent quality auditing process.
10) Cost savings: Nonconformities in products can be significantly reduced with a TS 16949 certification. After all, prevention always costs less than detection in terms of time and money.
Conclusion: More than 1/3rd of the existing automobile manufacturers globally have complied with the terms and regulations of TS 16949. The figures are slowly rising in proportion to the awareness of the many benefits attached to it.