What is an IATF Audit?
An IATF audit is the process of evaluating if an automotive manufacturer’s Quality Management System (QMS) aligns with the IATF 16949:2016 standard set by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF). Replacing ISO/TS 16949, the IATF 16949:2016 standard aims to establish a QMS that facilitates continuous improvement, prevents defect, and helps reduce waste in the automotive supply chain.
Car manufacturers that are members of IATF require their suppliers to be certified for the new IATF 16949:2016 standard. Implementing the international standard, however, has some challenges.
This article features (1) the challenges of implementing the IATF 16949:2016 standard, (2) powerful technology to help overcome said challenges, and (3) free digital IATF checklists.
Click here for the 5 Best IATF Audit Checklists
Challenges of Implementing the New IATF 16949:2016 Standard
The required implementation of IATF 16949 means that automotive suppliers and manufacturers need to follow a QMS standard that is based on ISO 9001:2015. However, there are challenges in transitioning to the new standard and maintaining compliance after the fact. Here are 3 of the common challenges in the implementation of the IATF QMS standard:
Challenge #1: Storing Mandatory Records
Compliance with the IATF standard requires both the documentation of processes being implemented and proof of audits conducted and actions taken whenever nonconformance is observed. These records can show if issues are addressed and if continuous improvement is indeed taking place. For those who use paper-based checklists, this can pose challenges when it comes to recordkeeping. In the long run, paperwork will pile up and all of them will need to be manually stored, maintained, and organized.
Challenge #2: Providing Timely Action
Actions taken to address nonconformance need to be timely, easily monitored, and properly documented. Addressing issues in a timely manner can prevent more defects and help lessen waste in the supply chain. With paper-based checklists, data collected need to be manually entered into a database before a report can be made to initiate action, ultimately defeating the purpose of a timely response.
Challenge #3: Maintaining Accountability and Competency
To ensure effectiveness of the QMS, the IATF standard requires accountability on the part of management and proof of competency on the part of workers and auditors. Conducting regular audits reinforces adherence to the QMS standard and demonstrates competency, which is also reflected on the audit reports. With paper-based audits, providing evidence of accountability and competence is a challenge due to the amount of paperwork that can be unmanageable once they pile up.
Powerful Technology to Overcome Challenges
Digital technology can help suppliers and car manufacturers promote continuous improvement, defect prevention, and waste reduction through implementation of an efficient automotive QMS standard. iAuditor, the world’s most powerful mobile auditing app, can help quality managers accomplish the following:
✔ Proactively identify noncompliance and defects
- Schedule audits to ensure routine compliance checks (e.g. Layered Process Audits, FMEA)
- Follow up on missed audits
- Assign corrective actions with corresponding urgency depending on nonconformance and issues found
✔ Proof of findings
- Take photos using your mobile device during audits
- Create item-specific notes for better context
✔ Organized record keeping
- Unlimited, organized, and secure cloud-based recordkeeping for all audit reports
- Easily share audit results via weblink or PDF report
✔ Observe trends
- Use customized scoring on audits to help measure the performance of the organization
- Use iAuditor analytics to observe trends and determine the current standing on conformance with the IATF 16949 requirements
✔ Streamline QMS
- From assigning audits and tasks, gathering reports, analyzing audit results, and integrating with other systems and platforms currently in use, iAuditor can help streamline the implementation of QMS in your organization.