Automotive Restart – Customer Satisfaction

Part 2 of simpleQuE’s five-part series focuses on customer satisfaction and the IATF 16949 requirements during the automotive restart process.

One can envision the disruptions that may be present during this automotive restart activity.  In Part 1 Remaining Compliant to IATF 16949, we included some of those disruptions of the 4 M’s (Materials, Methods, Manpower and Measures).  Disruptions could also include the following:

  1. Supply chain disruptions and limited allocations (reference Automotive News article on April 20, 2020 “Restart Rules” remembering the supply chain is only as strong as the weakest link)
  2. Possible disruptions from employee safety and health requirements (reference State of Ohio responsible restart procedures ohio.gov/ResponsibleRestartOhio)
  3. Volume reductions from the customer base (reference Wall Street Journal article on April 17, 2020 “Volkswagen Reopens Europe Plants”)
  4. Changes to internal processes based upon all the above conditions

If any, or all, of these conditions occur, the customer impact may be significant.  As we are restarting, now may be a good time to contact your organization’s customers and discuss concerns and expectations.  Getting the customer’s agreement to any delivery or allocation decisions (and obtaining evidence of those agreements) could help with future audit discussions and customer explanations when reviewing customer scorecards and feedback information.

Consider the following IATF 16949 requirements when thinking about customer satisfaction and feedback:

  1. IATF 16949 Rules 5th edition section 5.8h (page 32)

What plans are in place to ensure that key customer performance objectives/targets are met and the client has corrective action plans where objectives are not being met. A major non conformity shall be issued if no action plan is in place to address the key customer objectives/targets that are not achieved, if the plan is not implemented in a timely manner, and/or the completed actions are found not to be effectively implemented.

  1. ISO 9001:2015 section 9.1.2 – Customer satisfaction

The organization shall monitor customers’ perceptions of the degree to which their needs and expectations have been fulfilled.  The organization shall determine the methods for obtaining, monitoring and reviewing this information.

  1. IATF 16949 section 9.1.2.1 goes further to say:

Customer satisfaction shall be monitored through continual evaluation of internal and external performance indicators to ensure compliance to the product and process specifications and other customer requirements.

  1. Any applicable customer CSR requirements

Part 3 of this series will include a look at change management and reviewing IATF 16949 requirements that need to be considered PRIOR to implementing changes.

SimpleQuE strives to be an informational source that provides value to our customers by examining some of the challenges identified by the automotive industries and provide insight into the IATF 16949 requirements to help your organization maintain compliance during this unusual and complex time. 

This series of articles was written by Robert (Bob) Dornhecker, a simpleQuE consultant who specializes in ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 quality system development, auditing and training. He also performs third party audits for Certification Bodies including Eagle Certification Group. With over 30 years of combined experience in auditing, manufacturing and certification, Bob has an extensive quality background.  Additionally, he has taught and facilitated many quality related training classes for clients and has provided support to companies securing their own ISO/Quality Management Systems certifications.

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