IATF 16949 introduces new requirements from OEMs and requires a change in mindset for automotive parts manufacturers. Previously narrow focuses on product quality and performance are replaced by broader concerns with process and overall service. Recurrent themes such as customer satisfaction and product lifecycle shape a new approach. This blog takes a look at the main changes, and their implication for manufacturers.
IATF 16949 brings a new emphasis on risk-based thinking. Based on the same high-level structure and continuous improvement approach as ISO 9001:2015, it demands manufacturers analyze all potential risks faced by the entire supply chain, and develop action plans to address them. This is partly a response to the global crisis of 2008-2010: by pushing automotive parts manufacturers to take a proactive approach to identifying risk, it helps them become more flexible in readiness for any future disruption in demand.
The standard targets meaningful improvements in quality and performance that go beyond simple adherence to OEMs’ product specifications and cover the full length of the product lifecycle. Where ISO/TS was largely focused on product, IATF 16949 emphasizes the role of process, based on rigorous risk analysis, in meeting customer requirements. This inevitably means thinking about how to maintain business continuity – for example in the event of a strike or power outage.
The emphasis on risk-based thinking ties in with a core theme of the new standard: customer satisfaction. And again, the definition has been broadened out from a narrow focus on quality of parts. Manufacturers also need to identify how they will guarantee service, and demonstrate manufacturing feasibility and the long-term performance of the components they supply. An important new development is that in the context of IATF 16949, the vehicle end-user is also considered a customer.
A major new requirement is product safety. The standard aims to reinforce safety, reliability and performance throughout the product’s life. For manufacturers, this often involves analyzing risk and implementing controls upstream the supply chain: it can also mean providing information or training to clients on how to handle products.
Finally, two changes aim to deal with challenges specific to the automotive industry.
1. Development of parts using embedded software must meet strict criteria. As we move into a digital era, vehicles increasingly rely on complex software rather than mechanical parts. Cybersecurity is becoming a major risk. IATF 16949 therefore demands that manufacturers follow and demonstrate robust development and testing processes.
2. Warranty management must be defined at the outset. Non-conformities reported by the end-user can be a contentious issue between OEMs and suppliers. IATF 16949 aims to manage that risk from the outset by defining decision-making processes and responsibilities.
Be ready by September 2018
With a tight deadline for compliance, Bureau Veritas has developed a range of e-learning and self-assessment tools to support auto parts manufacturers in complying with the new standard. These solutions are also available as part of comprehensive transition packs, to help you transition as smoothly as possible to the new standard!
Published: February, 2018
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