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.
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.
The number of ISO registered companies in the United States continues to grow at a rapid rate. At the same time, there is a growing trend toward forming sustainable relationships with quality-focused and environmentally conscious businesses. However, there is still a misunderstanding that ISO standards are only applicable to and beneficial for large corporations and manufacturers.
Is ISO certification a good investment for entrepreneurs?
While it is a common misconception that ISO certifications are only for big businesses, this is simply not true. The standards set forth by ISO are generic by design so that they may be applied to businesses of any size, type, or product line. Having an ISO certification provides the solid foundation entrepreneurs need to build a successful business.
Benefits of ISO Certification
ISO standards take a holistic approach to improving business functionality and growth through consistency; and are just as much about improving processes as they are about improving products and services. Consider the following benefits to your business:
Entrepreneurial companies are at a greater risk than established organizations – and have a more compelling need to identify and manage risk. If a young company doesn’t have policies, processes and procedures that are standardized, it risks wasting resources. And smaller companies are often not in a position to absorb that loss.
In order to adhere to standards, entrepreneurs are required to establish processes that are clearly defined, documented and monitored. Objectives are also established and progress is measured, so you can see how your business grows.
According to a 2015 analysis of 92 studies, three out of five businesses saw an improvement to their bottom line as a result of ISO standards. This revenue increase was slightly higher than non-certified businesses and was primarily due to improved operations.
Standards open the door to new markets. Certain opportunities, such as government contracts for example, are only available to ISO certified businesses. In addition, many ISO standards are recognized internationally, which increases your credibility in international markets.
ISO certification provides your current and potential business relationships the assurance that you have the relevant processes in place to deliver what is required, giving your business the competitive edge. No business is too small to be ISO certified. If you are an entrepreneur and ready to take the next step in improving your business and quality management system, contact simpleQuE to find out how to get started.
WRWP, LLC (Western Reserve Wire Products) has been designing, building and distributing wire harnesses since 1987. Through the years they have evaluated and implemented more efficient means of production with state of the art equipment and manufacturing plants in China to reduce time and costs for their customers, while maintaining a high standard of quality.
The engineers at WRWP often work with their customers’ engineers in the design phase of new products to produce the best possible fit and function for the wire harness that will be needed, thus reducing unnecessary changes down the road. And with that approach, in 2015 WRWP searched for a consulting firm that was the best fit and function to review their quality management system and develop a customized implementation plan to achieve ISO 9001:2008. They selected simpleQuE, and with consulting and training support, achieved their certification.
Due to that success, when it was time to transition to ISO 9001:2015, they again turned to the experts at simpleQuE who utilized a Fast Track approach and developed an action plan while utilizing a detailed gap checklist to identify where WRWP was already compliant and where gaps existed. Over the next several months with the guidance of simpleQuE consultants, their quality team worked hard to close the gaps while maintaining their quality system and improving internal processes. That preparation resulted in zero findings and certification to the new standard by Smithers Quality Assessments. Congratulations to the team at WRWP!
We did it! SimpleQuE has been recertified to ISO 9001:2015 by Eagle Certification Group through December 2020. Our initial ISO 9001:2015 certification was in November 2015 right after the standard was released and we were one of the first to be certified.
“The majority of companies have waited until the last possible year to upgrade to the new standards. This is consistent with the past, when changes to the standards occurred. The problem now is that all the key standards (ISO, automotive, aerospace, environmental) have the same expiration date of 9/15/18 and everyone is rushing to get it done at the last minute. The capacity constraints on registrars, consultants, and auditors is evident and organizations that have not begun the transition process are in serious jeopardy of losing their certification, especially if attempting to wing it with the registrar and not doing anything new to comply with the new standards.”
-Jim Lee, simpleQuE President.
The ISO 9001:2015 certification provides us many benefits and is a big differentiator over our competitors. This is especially critical since this standard and common structure are integrated into other management system standards like environmental, aerospace and automotive. It also provides simpleQuE with cost savings, an innovative service offering, market access, and a high level of customer confidence and satisfaction.
As an organization that is ISO certified, it proves to our clients that Quality Excellence can be made Simple. It’s what our company name means. For over 10 years, our simple approach has allowed us to have a quality manual that is only a few pages as we put our simple best practices to work in our own company. At simpleQuE, we don’t take a cookie cutter approach, therefore, we don’t implement our processes at our client sites. We look at what works for them and leave that alone, only focusing on those areas that don’t comply. Considering each company’s culture and unique situation results in different solutions for each client.
As the transition deadline of September 14th approaches, we encourage organizations that are still working on their implementation or transition certification to keep at it, ask questions, and ask for assistance. Demonstrating a commitment to maintaining the effectiveness of your system, continual improvement and customer satisfaction will put you in the lead. ISO 9001:2015 certification is an internationally recognized distinction that will benefit your organization for years to come.
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 data, the 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.
Silberline was founded in 1945 by aluminum industry pioneer Ernest Scheller. His vision was to create a business that would provide the highest quality products and customized service with unyielding integrity. Today Silberline continues that vision as a global manufacturer and supplier of high quality special effect and performance pigments that enhance the visual appeal of coatings, paints, inks, plastics and textiles. Still a family owned business, Silberline has over 700 employees world-wide with manufacturing, technical and research centers in Europe, Asia and North America. Their products are utilized in a variety of markets including automotive, graphic arts and printing inks, plastics, and industrial coatings.
In 2015 Silberline began the search for a consulting firm that could assist them not only with transitioning to ISO 9001:2015 (along with ISO 14001:2015 for 1 site) , but also a company that understood the complexities of international, multisite and corporate certifications. SimpleQuE fit that criteria and assigned 4 consultants and a project manager to work with the quality teams at the headquarters in Tamaqua, PA and 3 other manufacturing sites in PA, IN and Scotland to prepare them for the transition. By September 2017 they had addressed the gaps in their quality systems, implemented new quality management software and were ready for their surveillance audits with BSI Group. As a result, all 4 sites passed and received their ISO 9001:2015 certifications! In addition, the Scotland site also transitioned to ISO 14001:2015. Congratulations to the entire Silberline team!
Photo taken at Silberline Global Headquarters – Tamaqua, PA
Front Row: Sheila Setcavage (Quality System Manager), Jennifer Mikovich (Site Manager, Hometown), Lisa Scheller (Chairman), Jan Moos (VP Innovation/New Product Development), Herb Whildin (Manager, Pilot Plant/Process Improvement/Technical Support)
Back Row: Blake Russell (simpleQuE Consultant), Tom Schwarz (Global CFO), Gary Karnish (CEO), Chris Gross (Interim VP Operations), David Stanko (VP Technical Service/Quality Functions)
For the last 12 years simpleQuE has attended the Toyota Opportunity Exchange (TOE) to network with Tier I suppliers like Dana Incorporated. Dana has 100+ facilities and 29,000 employees in 34 countries making it one of the world’s most influential automotive suppliers. Through the TOE, a relationship was developed with Dana and in 2013 simpleQuE won the opportunity to perform IATF 16949:2009 internal audits for the Dana site in Auburn Hills, MI. That opportunity has expanded to now include internal audits and/or IATF 16949:2016 transition consulting at five more Dana facilities in PA, IN, TN and KY. SimpleQuE consultants worked with the dedicated Quality team at Dana – Gordonsville, TN which recently successfully transitioned to IATF 16949. The first of our clients to do so!
Providing a forum for suppliers and minority business enterprises to connect is just one of the many ways that Toyota ensures its supplier base continues to reflect the diversity of its customers, partners and team members.
Worldwide over 6300 people die each day from work-related accidents or diseases – nearly 2.3million every year. ISO is developing a new standard, ISO 45001, Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements, to provide a framework to improve employee safety, reduce workplace risks and create better, safer working conditions, all over the world. ISO 45001 is targeted to be published in the first quarter of 2018 and will replace OHSAS 18001. Current users of OHSAS 18001 will need to update their systems according to the requirements of the new international health and safety standard within a three year transition period that will commence after ISO 45001 is published.