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Is QS-9000 Dead?

The Impact of ISO/TS 16949:2009 and ISO 9001:2008 - By Chad Kymal, President Omnex and Joe Macko, President - AQSR

Over 100,000 automotive first tiers and their suppliers have adopted QS-9000 globally. At the base of QS-9000 is the ISO 9001:1994 standard; also incorporated throughout QS-9000 are Ford's Q-101, GM's Targets for Excellence, and Chrysler's SQA.

Reputation and Results

Worldwide, over 120 registrars are capable of registering companies to QS-9000. The inclusion of a large number of registrars and auditors - some with only limited experience - has called into question the quality of the audits. Several registrations have been referred to as "drive-by" in that registrars are registering companies in spite of major nonconformance. In one instance, a company received over fifty nonconformance with six majors in an Omnex audit. Nonetheless, this same company was able to find a registrar to register them within two months.

QS-9000 and VDA

The recent merger of Daimler-Benz with Chrysler and the large number of U.S. companies supplying auto parts to Volkswagen in Mexico and to BMW and Mercedes plants in the U.S. created a need to harmonize the QS-9000 and VDA 6.1 requirements. Suppliers who supplied both the American OEMs and German OEMS were being asked to follow dual requirements and audits. At their request, the QS-9000 task force started meeting with their European counterparts in Germany, France, and Italy in 1997 to create a harmonized US and European Standard.

Announcing ISO/TS 16949

ISO/TS 16949, the harmonized U.S. and European OEM requirements, was released initially during the fourth quarter of 1999. Recently, automakers released communiques asking their suppliers to adopt ISO/TS 16949. GM stated, "we strongly recommend that you use your next QS-9000 surveillance audit to upgrade to the ISO/TS 16949." Diamler Chrysler, Ford, and GM had ominous comments regarding TS-16949: "the technical specification may become the single automotive industry quality management standard of the future." The International Automotive Task Force (IATF) is currently working on an upgrade to ISO/TS 16949:2009 which will include the ISO 9001:2008 and the Asia-Pacific OEMS (Japan, Korea, and Malaysia) requirements to the ISO/TS 16949:2009 (Second Edition).

Only 32 registrars (ten in the U.S.) are authorized to register companies to ISO/TS 16949. Many process changes including audit team consistency, common registration and accreditation requirements are included. One office in the US and one office in Europe will oversee the process. It appears, for the moment, that accreditation bodies such as the RABQSA and the RVA are not included. More on this process can be seen on the web site www.iaob.org.

ISO 9001:2008

The Draft International Standard (DIS) ISO 9000:2000 just debuted the fourth quarter of 1999. With five new elements replacing the 20 elements of ISO 9001:1994, this standard truly revolutionizes the ISO 9001:1994 requirements starting with the definition of "quality" to the inclusion of eight management principles. In a nutshell, the old standard can be called a "plant standard," while the new standard can be thought of as an "enterprise" standard. It is expected that this draft will be released as an International Standard (IS) in the fourth quarter of 2000.

Implications of ISO 9001:2008 for QS-9000

Companies registered to ISO 9001/9002:1994 will have three years to upgrade. All companies, even those registered to QS-9000, will have to upgrade to ISO 9001:2008. Meanwhile, only ISO/TS 16949, which is much clearer in its expectations, is getting upgraded to ISO 9001:2008. The life of QS-9000 has been spelled out-leading edge companies are already upgrading their systems to ISO/TS 16949. Plainly speaking, QS-9000 was good, but ISO/TS 16949:2009 is better. For more information on ISO 9001:2008, see www.omnex.com or send e-mail to: info@omnex.com.

About Authors

Chad Kymal is President, consultant, and trainer for Omnex. He is on the Malcolm Baldrige Board of Examiners and has achieved BS fromand MS degrees in Industrial Operations Engineering and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Joe Macko is President of AQSR International, and former Vice President for Magna, Inc. He has more than 25 years experience in the automotive and manufacturing industries.

For more information about AQSR, visit www.aqsr.com


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