Congratulations on Successful Certification!

AeroDyne WorldWide – AS9120B
Allied Motion – ISO 14001:2015
American Micro Industries, Inc. – IATF 16949:2016 and AS9100D
Arrowhead Industries Corp. – IATF 16949:2016
Asahi Forge of America Corp. – ISO 9001:2015
Batesville Products, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
BHC (Brulin Holding Company) – ISO 9001:2015
FireCraft Safety Products– ISO 9001:2015
Harvard Steel Sales/Harvard Coil Processing – ISO 9001:2015
Hilton Software – AS9100D
Hocker Tool and Die, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
Jasper Rubber Products, Inc. – IATF 16949:2016
Knight Ergonomics and Assembly Systems, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
KSM Metal Fabrication – AS9100D
Materion Corp. (6 sites)   –  AS9100D
Meteor Sealing Systems, LLC – IATF 16949:2016
Robin Industries Development Center (RDC) – IATF 16949:2016
Shamrock Technologies, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
Silfex, Inc. – ISO 9001:2015
Superior Battery Manufacturing Co. – IATF 16949:2016
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IATF 16949 Transition Strategy and Requirements Update


The International Automotive Task Force just released Revision 5 of the IATF 16949 Transition Strategy and Requirements. This revision of the Transition Strategy document incorporates a new FAQ no. 20 that clarifies questions for those situations where a previously certified IATF 16949 organization has to start over with an initial certification audit to IATF 16949.

Download the IATF 16949 Transition Strategy and Requirements document

When Should You Hire a Quality Management System Consultant?

business, architecture, construction, teamwork and people concept - happy group of architects with tablet pc computer discussing blueprint at office

Whether your company is in the manufacturing or service industry, if you were considering implementing a new accounting or software system, which was completely outside of your staff’s expertise, wouldn’t you consider contracting with someone considered an expert in that particular area?

The same principle applies when it comes to ISO, AS or IATF certification. Hiring a consultant to prepare your company for certification can be well worth the investment, whether you’re going through certification for the first time or transitioning to a new quality standard (for instance, changing from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015).

Often, business owners, and sometimes even quality managers, don’t have the time or adequate knowledge of the standard to do a gap analysis and prepare an action plan themselves. An experienced consultant has gone through the implementation process in a variety of industries, and will be able to quickly understand your company’s processes and how to most effectively recognize gaps in the requirements. Going with an experienced consultant who has a significant track record in planning, developing and implementing systems greatly increases the likelihood of a successful certification.

It’s certainly possible for a company to implement a system on its own. However, doing so can prove to be detrimental to other areas of the business as resources are often stretched too thin. The employees responsible for implementing the system could fall behind on other obligations, and these setbacks can quickly outweigh any money saved by not hiring a consultant from the start.

An often overlooked benefit to hiring a consultant is objectivity. An outside consultant can bring a fresh and unbiased perspective to your company and systems. You’ll often find that a consultant provides simple and sustainable solutions that may have been overlooked by your own team.

Additionally, by hiring a consultant you’ll ensure you’re putting the right person in charge of the project. Implementing ISO, AS or IATF standards requires a strong leader who can oversee a coordinated effort. Most consultants are natural leaders able to energize all parties involved and keep the project moving forward at a good pace. Depending on the complexity of your processes, a consultant can help you focus on only what is required for certification, often finishing the project in less time than it would take using your company’s own resources.

In seeking a consultant you’ll want to make sure they have the skills relevant to your organization and industry.  SimpleQuE  consultants have educational backgrounds and work experience that make them experts in their fields.  In addition, many are current or former 3rd party auditors and ready to serve in an advisory role or for implementation, project management, training or internal auditing. SimpleQuE can assist in first-time systems development for certification; upgrading certification to a new standard; simplifying a cumbersome quality system and documentation; defining processes and process mapping; documentation and systems implementation; internal audits and gap analysis for improving your quality or environmental management system.

No matter the size of your company or the industry, having ISO or other certification will distinguish you from the competition. Hiring a consultant can help you achieve certification with ease, after all, it’s what simpleQuE is known for – Simple Quality Excellence.

SimpleQuE has consultants throughout the Eastern U.S. that can guide you through the certification process in ISO 9001, ISO 14001, IATF 16949, and the AS9100 series of standards.

Not ready for IATF Certification? MAQMSR May Be an Option

worker with protective mask welding metal. in Industrial automotive part. in car production factory.

For automotive suppliers who are having a difficult time meeting the requirements of the new IATF 16949 quality standard, Minimum Automotive Quality Management System Requirements for Sub-Tier Suppliers (MAQMSR) may be an option you want to consider in conjunction with ISO 9001 certification.  With initial audit results coming in from certification bodies, it is evident that companies are failing to comply and in some cases IATF certification can’t be achieved.

IAOB released the top IATF 16949 findings based on 3,172 audits conducted as of August 2017 – the top 5 non-conformances overall were written against:

  • 5.1.5 Total productive maintenance
  • 5.1.1 Control plan
  • 1.2.3 Contingency plans
  • 5.1 Control of production and service provision
  • 2.3 Internal auditor competency

As an option for suppliers, the Minimum Automotive Quality Management System Requirements for Sub-Tier Suppliers (MAQMSR) was released in September 2017 as a possible intermediate step for a supplier’s Quality Management System (QMS) under the authorization of IATF 16949, Section 8.4.2.3.c and Sanctioned Interpretation, SI #8.

Conformance to MAQMSR helps a lower tiered supplier transition to IATF 16949 by allowing many of the key Automotive Requirements to be met while developing the remainder of the QMS. The ultimate goal of the supplier development process is to achieve 3rd party registration to IATF 16949.  It is important to note that the customer determines the path and steps, so approval must first be obtained before proceeding.  The suggested steps of supplier development referencing 8.4.2.3 are as follows:

  1. Certification to ISO 9001 through 3rd party audits
  2. Certification to ISO 9001 + compliance to MAQMSR through 2nd party audits* (suppliers who did not achieve upgrade transition may consider this)
  3. Certification to ISO 9001 + compliance to IATF 16949 through 2nd party audits*
  4. Then finally certification to IATF 16949 through third party audits

MAQMSR aligns the Automotive QMS Requirements with the corresponding IATF 16949:2016 section(s); however, it is not certifiable or a third party auditable standard, though the guideline may be referenced during a second party audit *(by customer or with a qualified 2nd party like simpleQuE).

SimpleQuE consultants have been assisting companies to understand their options and make the change to drop IATF 16949 and prepare for ISO 9001:2015 certification.  Upon receiving  customer approval to use 2nd party audits to be compliant with MAQMSR, our consultants can provide guidance for that process and perform the audits.  For more information on MAQMSR, contact us.

The 7 Major Components of IATF 16949

 

IATF 16949:2016 defines the quality management system requirements for the design and development, production and, when relevant, the assembly, installation and services of automotive-related products including products with embedded software. The focus of this automotive standard is the development of a QMS that provides for continual improvement, emphasizing defect prevention and the reduction of waste in the supply chain. Combined with applicable Customer Specific Requirements, IATF 16949 is also fully aligned with the structure and requirements of ISO 9001:2015.
The standard is divided into ten sections – the first three are introductory, with the remaining seven containing the requirements for the Quality Management System. Below is a brief summary of Sections 4-10:

Section 4: Context of the Organization

The organization determines its context in terms of the QMS, including interested parties and their needs and expectations. It also defines the requirements for determining the scope of the QMS, as well as general QMS requirements.

Section 5: Leadership

Top management is required to demonstrate leadership and commitment to the QMS, along with defining corporate responsibility and the quality policy. The top management must also assign process owners along with other roles and responsibilities.

Section 6: Planning

The planning section defines requirements for addressing risks and opportunities and the requirements for risk analysis. This clause also includes requirements for preventive actions, contingency plans, and quality objectives and plans to achieve them.

Section 7: Support

This section covers requirements for supporting processes and resources. It defines requirements for people, infrastructure, work environment, monitoring and measuring resources, organizational knowledge, auditor competence, awareness, communication, and documented information.

Section 8: Operation

The product requirements deal with all aspects of the planning and creation of the product or service. This section includes requirements on planning, product requirements review, design, purchasing, creating the product or service, and controlling the equipment used to monitor and measure the product or service. IATF 16949 allows for requirements in clause 8.3, regarding design and development of products, to be excluded if they are not applicable to the company.

Section 9: Performance Evaluation

This section includes requirements for monitoring the effectiveness of the QMS – assessing customer satisfaction, internal audits, monitoring and measurement of manufacturing processes, and management review.

Section 10: Improvement

The last section focuses on continual improvement of the QMS, including requirements for nonconformities and corrective actions, problem solving, and error-proofing processes.


These sections are based on a Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, which uses these elements to implement change within the processes of the organization in order to drive and maintain improvements within the processes.

IATF 16949 is a standard that benefits businesses large and small. The experts at simpleQuE can help your business achieve this standard, ensuring your business cost savings and efficiencies.

The Time Is Now – Preparing for a Successful IATF 16949 Transition

Automotive industry manufacture line with different metal parts

The transition to IATF 16949 has been a rough one according to industry experts.  More than 68,000 organizations certified to IATF 16949:2009 (and 6,382 companies in the US) will need to undergo a transition audit to IATF 16949:2016. As of April 2017, 181 upgrade audits had been completed, resulting in an average of 5.3 nonconformities and approximately one major nonconformity (.73) per audit.

The top five nonconformities overall are “total productive maintenance” (48 nonconformities), “control plan” (38), “contingency plans” (37), “control of production service provision” (26), and “internal auditor competency” (23). Based on automotive industry datathe top-five major nonconformance clauses are customer-specific requirements (7 nonconformities), internal auditor competency (7), quality management system (QMS) audit (7), TPM (6), and management review inputs (6).

For companies that have yet to transition to IATF 16949, you do not want to wait any longer. The deadline for suppliers to transition to the new standard is your next scheduled annual audit.  All audits as of October 2017 have to be to the new IATF standard.   And note that the IATF will not be granting waivers for organizations that can’t meet the transition plan timing.

According to Russ Hopkins, head of supplier technical assistance for Ford Motor Company, “Globally, over 1,200 audits need to take place each week, which averages out to about one per week per auditor,” he said. “This is doable with the proper planning.  It’s doable as long as people do not wait until the last minute.”

This process can seem daunting to suppliers, but Hopkins notes there are several steps to a successful IATF 16949 transition:

  • Confirm dates for the transition audit with your certification body. Upgrade has to occur at your next scheduled audit.
  • Develop a work plan back from the date of the transition audit
  • Review the requirements and provide feedback regarding any concerns (suppliers contact AIAG, certification bodies contact their oversight offices, and OEM through their IATF representative)
  • Allow enough time after the transition audit to address any non-conformances. All findings must be closed in 60 days.

For those with an existing IATF 16949 certificate with one or more nonconformities of the audit to IATF 16949 which are not either 100% resolved or closed within the required timeframe, the transition audit will be considered “failed” and the IATF database will be updated accordingly.  The certification decision shall be negative which means the IATF 16949:2009 certificate is withdrawn and the client has to start over with an initial certification audit. (International Automotive Task Force)

For more information on transitioning to IATF 16949 visit our website.

Top 5 Reasons Not to Miss a Single Issue of Our Newsletter

At simpleQuE it’s not just our name that represents quality excellence, it’s our unique combination of consultants, knowledge and expertise.  We believe in serving our clients before, during and after the certification process. This value added service consists of an ongoing education process on the quality standards through our website, newsletters social media, and blog. Each month, we provide updates on the latest news from the ISO, AIAG, ASA, IAOB and IATF standards community, and what we’re is seeing in the industry.

In a year that will be filled with companies scrambling to upgrade their certifications, we feel it’s even more important to stay informed.  That is why we encourage anyone who is currently not receiving our monthly newsletter to sign up today.  And if you’re still on the fence, here are our top five reasons:

  1. Obtain the latest quality standard news and updates from simpleQuE.
  2. Learn useful tips, tools and best practices for transitioning and maintaining an effective quality management system.
  3. Preview the latest simpleQuE blogs and infographics.
  4. Receive data and reports from industry leaders and registrars on current certification standards and how they will impact you.
  5. Check out the latest companies who have earned their QMS and EMS certifications as we proudly recognize our clients’ success!

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