ISO/TS 16949:2009 - The International Quality System Standard for Automotive Suppliers

History and Background of ISO/TS 16949

Quality systems have been deployed in the automotive industry for many years. The component suppliers were the first to adopt BS 5750, which became the foundation of the internationally recognized ISO 9000 series of Quality Management System standards. There was still however a general feeling that since ISO 9000 was non-automotive specific; it did not really meet all the requirements. This led to the development of automotive sector based variants. In the USA, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler developed QS-9000, which harmonized their supplier quality system requirements in a single document. At the same time, in France, Germany and Italy, similar quality system requirements were developed (EAQF, VDA6.1, AVSQ respectively). This meant that automotive suppliers and those servicing multiple vehicle manufacturers had to comply with differing Quality System Requirements, but all with the same intent. There grew a collective goal to harmonize automotive quality system requirements. As a start, the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) was established. The IATF had representatives from almost all major European and North American vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and automotive trade associations. In collaboration with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the group developed and published "ISO/TS 16949:1999 - Quality Systems - Automotive Suppliers - Particular requirements for the application of ISO 9001:1994". The specification was developed with input from the four established automotive standards: QS-9000, VDA6.1 (Germany), EAQF (France) and AVSQ (Italy).

ISO/TS 16949:2009 specified the quality system requirements for the design/development, production, and (where relevant) installation and servicing of automotive-related products. The ISO/TS 16949:2009 1st Edition released in 1999, was based on ISO 9001:1994. To emphasize continuous improvement in the supplier base, the International Automotive Task Force later revised the ISO/TS 16949:1999 requirements to align with the ISO 9001:2008 framework. The new ISO/TS 16949:2009 includes ISO 9001:2008, and successfully harmonizes the supplier quality system requirements of the automakers of US, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, Korea and Malaysia. It details the fundamental, sector-specific quality systems requirements, which sustain continuous improvement and emphasize defect prevention, while simultaneously reducing the magnitude of variation and waste in the supply chain and encouraging improvement in customer satisfaction.

Key requirements of ISO/TS 16949:2009

ISO/TS 16949:2009 focuses on an organization's ability to realize its stated goals as well as achieve customer satisfaction by delivering conforming parts on time to customer specification at acceptable cost. ISO/TS 16949:2009 concentrates on the effective linkages in the company's business plan, quality policy, quality objectives and measures. The standard specifies how objectives can be achieved and deployed throughout the organization.

What is New in ISO/TS 16949:2009?

Some of the key additional requirements include the need for:

  • Focus on involvement of top management and linking the business plan to clearly defined measurable quality objectives.
  • Focus on Human Resource management, including processes for defining competency requirements, providing training, and verifying the effectiveness of actions taken.
  • Processes to motivate employees to reach quality objectives, attain continual improvement, and create an environment to promote innovation.
  • A process to measure the extent to which personnel are aware of the relevance and importance of their activities and how they contribute to the achievement of quality objectives.
  • Focus on product and process design.
  • Development of suppliers using ISO/TS 16949:2009.
  • Ensuring effective control of internal and external laboratories.
  • A process for the measurement of customer satisfaction by conducting effective system, process and product audits.
  • Effective analysis of data to drive continual improvement.

Benefits associated with ISO/TS 16949:2009 include:

  • Improved product and process quality
  • Additional confidence for global sourcing
  • Reassignment of supplier resources to quality improvement
  • Ensures a global quality system approach in the supply chain for supplier/subcontractor development
  • Reduction in variation
  • Reduction in 2nd party system audits
  • Common language to improve understanding of quality requirements
  • Continuous improvement of business performance through ongoing certification audits
  • Boosted staff morale through increased management efficiencies
  • Bottom-line benefits through increased efficiency, reduced waste and better utilization of resources
  • Improved product and process quality
  • Single quality system registration to meet multiple customer quality requirements
  • Incorporates the best lessons learned from the global automotive segment
  • Formatted to allow easy conversion to ISO 9001:2008

Main Differences in the ISO/TS 16949:2009 Audit Process

  • Requires re-audit in 3 years
  • Demands addition of customer specific requirements to the ISO/TS 16949:2009 certification scope.
  • QS 9000 accredited auditors and registrars are not acceptable.
  • The audit report write-up will be more extensive.

Supplier Responsibility

It is crucial to adopt ISO/TS 16949-quality standard because:

  • Suppliers are global in nature
  • It is imperative that suppliers comprehend the importance & future implications of ISO/TS 16949
  • 51 registrars are sought in the current pilot program with IATF
  • The technical norm has been endorsed by the automotive industry, worldwide

Why should you choose Omnex?

  • We have pioneered the business process approach for quality systems implementation with more than 20,000 companies worldwide
  • Maximum value added implementations Achieve maximum cost savings
  • High return on investment
  • Customized quality improvement software solutions
  • Our methodology of implementing quality systems has been acclaimed worldwide for its superior quality, cost savings, process fine-tuning, business improvement, and an unmatched set o value added tools
  • We are represented at IATF, the committee that reviews and rewrites ISO/TS 16949
  • We were involved in the writing of QS 9000, QOS, and SAC 9000
  • Our principals have delivered seminars in ISO/TC 176 as well
  • Conducted the first QS 9000 worldwide witness audit for RAB

Omnex Recommends that you

  • Implement solid, continuous improvement systems based on ISO/TS 16949:2009 (Second Edition) requirements
  • Think and implement value-added business systems rather than compliance driven quality systems

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