IATF 16949: Lessons Learned and Clarifications
Among automotive suppliers, the last few years have been characterized by the need to transition to IATF 16949. Now that this is behind us, our US office has taken a look back to see what lessons have been learned, and what clarifications were received from IAOB and VDA. We would like to share this with our international readers in order to help everyone to continue to move forward and prepare for ongoing compliance.
Translators: It is required that if there are employees that do not speak the language of the audit or if the auditor does not speak the language of the audit there must be a translator. Twenty percent (20%) must be added to each area using a translator. Supervisors and managers in the company are not acceptable translators. For this reason, in the immediate future we must use one of the following:
- a translation device provided by the auditor or the organization,
- an external 3rd party hired by the certification body (CB/DQS), or
- an external 3rd party hired by the organization that will be under total control of the auditor.
Please let the auditors know in the planning phase if translators are needed and in which processes they will be required.
Consultants: Consultants are acceptable to use in developing and maintaining your QMS. However, during an audit by your CB, consultants cannot be on site. This is per the rules 5th edition.
Remote location support: This has been difficult for many organizations especially those that have multiple sites and remotes that interface. Please consider this as one interaction matrix controlled by a single source. Everyone should be aware of this matrix and have access to it. Corporate schemes are required to have this interaction matrix. One of the biggest gaps are the understanding of support activities between locations. We are matching the support activities identified on the certificate to the support location CB audit reports. If they are not in alignment, non-conformances are issued by the auditor.
Remote location audits by the CB: If the remote is being audited in conjunction with a site and the remote only supports that site being audited then the remote can be included in the sites report. If the remote supports even one additional site, there has to be planning and reporting separate from the site. In other words, the remote must have its own planning activities by the CB and a separate report identifying clearly the supporting functions it provides for each site it supports.
Corrective action responses to the CB: In order to achieve the necessary significant improvements in this area. I presented at AIAG Quality Summit September 18, 2018 on this subject. Please go to www.aiag.org (log in, go to events, past events, AIAG Quality Summit 2018) and download the presentation. I believe this will help everyone understand what is required.
Process identification: People are still struggling with identification of processes. I recommend putting the standard and CSRs in a cabinet and locking them away until you have identified your processes. Processes should be identified by the team. Processes should be in the naming convention that people use to refer to them on a daily basis. Before you worry about mapping in the standard and customer specific requirements (CSRs), identify your processes. This should clearly describe your business and their interactions. Too many people are still trying to align everything to the standard first. This is not the intent. Define who you are and then figure out where the standard and CSRs fit.
We hope this helps for everyone to move forward to smoother and focused activities in achieving and maintaining certification to IATF 16949.
The author Cindy Soltis is DQS Lead Auditor for IATF and ISO 9001 at DQS Inc., as well as competency verifier and qualifier, with over 30 years of professional experience in automotive manufacturing and quality management systems. Find out more at www.dqsus.com.
Dieter Stadler and the Corporate Marketing Team