Time is running out for the auto supply chain to transition to new quality management standard, warns Industry Forum
9th July 2018

Common issues are holding back some automotive supply chain companies looking to gain the new IATF 16949 quality management before the deadline of September 2018.

Birmingham – Industry Forum – the organisation set up by the UK government, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and vehicle manufacturers to improve the competitiveness of the UK’s automotive supply chain – has revealed that many holders of the ISO/TS 16949 quality management certificate looking to transition to the new IATF 16949 standard are struggling to achieve compliance. There is a worry that many will fail to meet the transition deadline of September this year and face commercially damaging consequences where achieving the certificate is a customer requirement. Some are still yet to apply for the new standard.

The new IATF 16949 standard is an internationally-recognised method of defining how an organisation can meet the requirements of its customers and other stakeholders. It promotes continual improvement, places an emphasis on defect prevention and aims to reduce variation and waste in the supply chain. By providing guidance and tools to ensure that products consistently meet customer requirements, the IATF 16949 certification process can help businesses identify potential efficiency gains and cost savings.

Industry Forum is the UK’s only IATF (International Automotive Task Force) accredited organisation. Dr Chris Owen, chief executive of Industry Forum, said, “The deadline is fast approaching for the automotive supply chain to transition from the ISO/TS 16949 quality management certificate to the new IATF 16949 standard. Although transitions must be completed by September 2018, many holders of the old standard have yet to apply for the new one and many businesses currently applying for IATF 16949 certification are encountering difficulties.

“We are seeing common issues among the companies we are brought in to support around the world. IATF 16949 audits are uncovering less rigorous risk management processes in departments supporting manufacturing, such as purchasing and HR. IATF 16949 also requires new ways of working in internal auditing and the documentation of corrective actions where non-compliance is uncovered. Interpreting the regulations is proving something of a challenge and that’s certainly something on which we at Industry Forum can provide clear guidance,” adds Owen.

Global IATF 16949 audit result data reveals several hundred companies have faced major non-compliances in the areas of non-conformity and corrective action alone, with problem-solving, control planning and contingency planning also catching manufacturers out.

To help businesses and organisations proactively anticipate these and other issues, Industry Forum runs a one-day Masterclass on the most common non-conformities, provides IATF Certified training to help with transition to IATF 16949, and offers expert consultancy, mentoring and advice for transition. More details can be found by visiting the Industry Forum website: https://www.industryforum.co.uk/training/#automotive

Image – Dr, Chris Owen, SMMT Industry Forum CEO

Image – Grainger & Worrall’s automotive castings operation in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, was one of the first UK automotive supply chain companies to be accredited for IATF16949

About SMMT Industry Forum

Established in 1996 by the UK government, the SMMT and vehicle manufacturers to improve the competitiveness of the UK’s automotive supply chain. It has more than 150 cross sector industry specialists and is active in 30 countries. It has delivered over 400 competitiveness and productivity programmes and trained over 25,000 people over the past 20 years. Over the last four years, the Automotive Council has run its Long-Term Automotive Supply Chain Competitiveness (LTASC) programme through SMMT Industry Forum where it has worked with over 70 automotive supply chain companies, large and small, to upskill hundreds of employees, boost productivity, deliver new products to market, leverage more than £75m of private investment in CAPEX, skills and R&D, and is set to create and safeguard more than 3,800 jobs. SMMT Industry Forum has also been the largest provider of knowledge and expertise to deliver the aerospace industry’s Sharing in Growth (SiG) programme.


About IATF 16949

IATF 16949 was developed through a collaborative effort by members of the International Automotive Task Force, which comprises nine vehicle manufacturers plus five vehicle manufacturers’ trade associations: the SMMT in the UK, plus the USA’s AIAG, Italy’s ANFIA, France’s FIEV, and Germany’s VDA-QMC. This collaboration has enabled IATF 16949 to be designed from a truly international perspective for manufacturing companies and organisations (large and small) in the automotive supply chain throughout the world.

The foundation for IATF 16949 is the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS). This means that IATF 16949 is not a standalone QMS but is designed to be used in conjunction with ISO 9001:2015, with supplemental requirements specific for the automotive industry. An IATF 16949 audit covers both ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 requirements.