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Customer Specific Requirements

Customer-specific requirements are a component of ISO/TS 16949:2009 that cannot be ignored. In fact, customer-specific requirements are more important in ISO/TS 16949:2009 than they were in QS-9000, which considered them as part of the standard. Furthermore, the customer-specific requirements of DaimlerChrysler, Ford, and GM were the only essential "requirements" in implementing and auditing QS-9000.

ISO/TS 16949:2009 changes this situation. The International Automotive Task Force (IATF), which consists of nine OEMs - six more than the original three that developed QS-9000 - used a different strategy to create ISO/TS 16949. When all of the IATF members could not agree on a certain clause or process, the objecting OEM put that particular clause into its own customer-specific requirements. Consequently, there are many more customer core requirements. The five Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) reference manuals, which were understood to be core requirements of QS-9000, are now customer-specific requirements of DaimlerChrysler, Ford, and GM.

As mentioned previously, implementation begins with training. Key supplier personnel must be trained in customer-specific requirements. Customer requirements typically come in two levels of specificity: identifying how a process should operate, or requiring an entirely new process or method.

Detailed customer specifics can be implemented into processes by following a documentation strategy. Mapping the customer-specific requirements to processes is the least risky, and so the best, documentation strategy. Adopt a common process for the entire organization and clearly indicate different ways tasks should be performed to satisfy different customers.

Omnex can demonstrate the connections and parallels between various requirements, helping you develop a corporate quality mandate that best suits your organization. It is this integrated approach that will best prepare you for the ideological and focus shifts of the future. This integrated approach also focuses attention on an overriding concept--quality is the goal, regardless of what method you use to get there.

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