Congratulations to Dana Incorporated!

With sites in 33 countries on six continents, Dana Incorporated is positioned to serve customers worldwide. In 2016, Dana was named to Forbes’ List of America’s 100 Most Trustworthy Companies.  That kind of trust and quality has earned Dana an impressive list of automotive customers including Ford, FCA, Renault-Nissan, GM and Toyota. That’s why IATF 16949 quality management system certification is so important to automotive suppliers like Dana and required by the OEMs.  SimpleQuE has consulted with multiple Dana sites in the U.S. to prepare them to successfully transition from the old standard to the new and we’re very proud of their success. Congratulations to Dana, Inc. and their Quality Teams who have an important role in making our vehicles reliable and safe!

Dana, Inc – Gordonsville, TN
From left:  simpleQuE Operations Manager, Barb Dodson and Dana Quality Team – Will Lanham, Jose Arras, Guy Buckner, Debbie Oldham, Shannon White, John Billingsley

Dana, Inc – Louisville, KY
From left:  Jason Van Over, Quality Manager; Natalie Sheflyand, simpleQuE Consultant;  Tim McDevitt, Plant Manager

Dana, Inc – Dry Ridge, KY
From left:  Todd Perry, Production Manager; Greg White, Quality Manager; Natalie Sheflyand, simpleQuE Consultant; Carol Locke, QE – Audit Lead; Sara Meyer, QE; Mike Hirsch, Plant Manager; Frankie Wuebbling, Quality Team Leader

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SimpleQuE Associate Spotlight – Megan Genet

We are thrilled to highlight one of our newest team members, Megan Genet, a Project Manager here at simpleQuE. Read on to get to know more about Megan’s background, interests, and favorite things about working at simpleQuE.

What is your position and what do you do for simpleQuE?
My career at SimpleQuE is Project Manager. My main focus is to monitor and manage our many consulting projects.

How long have you worked for simpleQuE?
I have been working at simpleQuE for five months.

What do you like most about working for simpleQuE?
The team! We are all very supportive of each other and we often come together to share ideas. Each one of us brings something special to the company.  

What is your favorite QMS standard and why?
I’ve studied the ISO/TS and now IATF over the past six years. I really respect the standard and I know the hard work and determination a client must put into having a automotive certificate.

What attracted you to simpleQuE?
The thought of helping companies start their quality systems and providing them the confidence to get it done made me feel like I could make a difference.

What is your favorite part of the day?
I love the morning. All is still quiet and I love to sip my coffee and prepare for my day.

What was your first job?
At 16 I started at a local outdoor lighting manufacturer. They really took me under their wing and through the 13 years I was there I was able to experience every aspect of a manufacturing business. I held many different roles which I believe gave me a good stepping stone into a career in quality.

What is your hometown?
I was born and raised in Norton, Ohio and now I raise my family in the same town.

What is your favorite sports team?
I always root for the home team! Go Cavs, Indians and Browns.

If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?
I would have to say teleportation because I would have the ability to do what I want, when I want. If I want the best pasta I can go to Italy, if it’s Winter in Ohio I can pop over to a beach in the Bahamas, I’m bored on a Saturday I can shoot down to Disney World.

Thinking back over your career, what is the professional accomplishment you are most proud of achieving and why?
Achieving my lead ISO 9001:2015 certification was the highlight of my career. The years I spent in quality and all the studying of the standard lead me to that accomplishment.

Client satisfaction is pinnacle to your background. What are your client-focused approaches to simpleQuE?
In the world of technology, I still believe person to person conversation is key to customer service. I like to pick up the phone and speak to people. By doing so you grow a great working relationships with your customers.
 
Explain how simpleQuE is different from their competition.
Our name says it all “simple”. SimpleQuE strives for simplicity, efficiency and sustained value when approaching a client’s system.

How would other people describe you in three words?
Helpful, determined, and funny.

What happens if a company drops their ISO/TS 16949 certification, but still wants to maintain their automotive customers?

Question mark heap on table concept for confusion, question or solution

That’s a question that some automotive suppliers are facing as they weigh the various costs and options of meeting the requirements of the new IATF standard. Deanne Sparr, simpleQuE’s Vice President, has discussed this area of concern with a variety of companies who don’t feel they are ready to transition.  Some companies in this situation that kept the IATF scope and continued with the certification audit, under the new IATF Rules, found that the auditor is not permitted to stop the audit and is allowed to write as many findings as needed.  This resulted in IATF audits having over 30+ findings that all then need resolved within 90 days.

Deanne explains, “In this situation, it would be preferable to have an assessment to ISO 9001:2015 only.  By achieving ISO 9001:2015 with this upgrade, you will be meeting the minimum requirements of IATF (clause 8.4.2.3) so customers can continue to source to you.  On the other hand, with any major findings from an IATF audit, your status in the automotive supplier database may affect the ability of automotive customers to source to you during that time.”

To satisfy a company’s automotive customers, Deanne recommends implementing MAQMSR.  This is the Minimum Automotive Quality Management System Requirements for sub-tier suppliers.  It was written by FCA and Ford and is permitted as part of development toward IATF certification with the IATF mandating customers’ approval. (Refer to IATF Sanctioned Interpretation #8.) This is an especially beneficial and cost effective approach for small sub-tier businesses, and for organizations with a diverse portfolio containing a small percentage of automotive business.  Compliance to this standard also satisfies the intent of an automotive supplier to develop and pursue the automotive requirements.  This translates to less risk for automotive customers to use you over a competitor who only has ISO, according to the new IATF requirements (clause 8.4.2.3) that they must now follow.

SimpleQuE has a 4-step consulting approach to assist companies with MAQMSR compliance.  The first step consists of a gap analysis to review the current system and match it to the requirements of MAQMSR.  Next, any gaps found are incorporated into a project plan or action list.  Based on the gaps and level of internal resources, you may opt to manage the project plan to close the gaps or allow one of our simpleQue automotive industry experts to guide you through the process.  Following completion of the MAQMSR compliance process simpleQuE has IATF certified auditors who can perform the MAQMSR compliance audit (steps 3 and/or 4).  Upon completion of the audit and closing of findings, simpleQuEwill issue your company a letter of compliance to MAQMSR that can be shared with potential and current customers.  Certification to ISO 9001 with compliance to MAQMSR will help your company retain current automotive business and increase biding opportunities for new automotive business.

Contact us regarding your management system needs.  SimpleQuE has helped many single and multi-site manufacturing companies who struggled with the ISO 9001:2015 and IATF 16949:2016 standard upgrades.  Let us help you find a customized and effective solution to update and advance your management system in a way that makes sense for your organization.

IATF 16949 Certification – The Automotive Quality Standard

Industrial automotive machine tool equipment close up, abstract industry manufacturing metalwork background, blue toned

IATF 16949 is the global standard recognized by the automotive industry. IATF 16949 defines the quality management system requirements (QMS) for the design and development, production assembly, installation and services of automotive-related products including products with embedded software. The focus of this standard and IATF16949 certification 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 which was designed to assure effective quality management systems for manufacturing and service industries around the world.

The Characteristics of IATF 16949 Certification

Developed by the International Automotive Task Force, IATF 16949 has a variety of automotive industry-specific features, including:

  • Defect prevention
  • Reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain
  • Customer focus and satisfaction
  • Identification of risks and problems in the production process
  • Management of resources
  • Product realization
  • Responsibility of management
  • Measurement, analysis and improvement

There are over 68,000 suppliers worldwide which currently have ISO/TS 16949 or IATF16949:2016 certification.  The standard can be used by any supplier, large or small who manufacture customer-specified production parts, service parts, and/or accessory parts.

 

How do you cross the finish line to become IATF Certified?

If you’re searching for an IATF 16949:2016 consultant, our team at simpleQuE is well positioned to support your IATF 16949 and MAQMSR consulting (Minimum Automotive Quality Management System Requirements), certification, maintenance, training and internal auditing needs. Our consultants are qualified, certified, competent and are experts on the automotive standards, customer specific requirements, and AIAG or VDA core tools. In addition, many are current or former 3rd party auditors who bring valuable insight because of the knowledge gained from auditing for certification bodies.

SimpleQuE also offers a full line-up of IATF 16949 training courses which includes AIAG and VDA Core Tools, Root Cause Analysis and Problem Solving, Requirements and Implementation.  With IATF also putting a major focus on internal auditor competency, it is essential to have IATF 16949 Internal Auditor Training. Our IATF 16949 auditor training utilizes the process audit approach. Contact us to learn more about the customized services offered to match your certification and training needs.

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

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.