Whether you call them complicated or the basic guidelines, quality standards are critical for every industry to ensure that they are meeting the minimum requirements. However, these requirements may not always fulfil customer expectations that are growing expedite especially when it comes to the automotive industry.
Quality Management in the Automotive Industry has become quite challenging in recent years due to the trends, personalized experiences, and other next-generation features that have evolved. In addition to all these factors, environmental changes have also contributed to set new guidelines and performance metrics for the automobiles under quality standards.
Any automotive manufacturer, to comply with quality standards, must have a clear understanding of the benefits that they can reap and the processes they need to streamline, standardize, and automate.
Such a huge emphasis on quality is not required just to stay ahead of your competitors, it is rather about fulfilling the basic requirements such as safety to ensure safe rides for your customers. Further, when we talk about quality, “Quality Standards” and “Quality Management System” are the two most common terms that are used interchangeably.
Quality standards refer to the controlled documents such as specifications, guidelines, instructions, etc. that can be used to conduct the business in a certain manner. For example- defining product specifications, process workflows, and general work instructions.
Quality Management System
Quality Management System can be referred to as a tool that companies use to streamline and standardize their processes to meet industry-specific quality standards without any hassles. Simply put, Quality Management System is a means to attain quality standards.
Quality Standard for Automotive Industry
ISO IATF 16949 (previously ISO/TS 16949) is the most commonly used International Standards for automotive quality management, designed to standardize the assessment criteria and certification system globally.
IATF 16949:2016 is not a standalone identity, it should be implemented along with ISO 9001:2015 for establishing an effective quality management system in the automobiles industry. Before heading to further discussion, you should understand the basic differences between ISO 9001 and IATF 16949.
- You may not find all the ISO 9001 updates in the newly released IATF 16949 standards for automotive.
- ISO 9001:2015 emphasizes on the replacement of documented procedures with the digitized documents and electronic signatures while IATF 16949 still keeps the paper documents mandatory.
- ISO 9001 doesn’t require companies to have a quality manual on-site while IATF 16949 mandates one to ensure consistency of processes.
- ISO 9001 no more requires a management representative. It mandates to encourage a culture of collaboration and participation throughout the quality management starting from leadership while IATF has still maintained the legacy of a management representative.
Automotive Industry Trends That Fostered Change in Quality Standards
The trends of the automotive industry that led to amendments in the quality standards include:
- Need for improved safety especially related to carbon print due to poisonous emissions
- Evolving new technologies for a more facilitated environment.
- Keeping quality costs to a minimum even with the complex supply chains.
- New policies for transparency and good governance to avoid expensive product recalls.
- Increasing demand for vehicles while maintaining a competitive environment.
Benefits of Implementing Quality Standard for Automotive Company
The automotive industry requires stringent quality standards with specialized ISO standards and certification to keep the quality standards high especially with respect to the safety risks to the vehicle owner. A quality management system is something that the automotive industry cannot afford to miss. There are many other benefits of implementing quality standards and quality management system in the automotive companies that include:
- Faster Time-to-Market Cycles
With increase transparency of the quality processes, it becomes easy for automotive manufacturers to watch the performance trends and make significant improvements to reduce the time to market. Effective quality management software for the automotive industry is the best solution to manage the quality issues that may slow down the time-to-market cycles by limiting the potential of available resources.
- Reduce Quality Costs
The absence of a robust quality management solution may increase your quality costs significantly since there will be no proper system and process to manage the scrap materials, recalls, etc. It will further result in process delays and a blemished bottom line. On the other hand, keeping quality checked and assured will help you eliminate all sorts of overhead expenses that arise due to quality issues including the product recalls.
- Improved Product Quality
Having the right quality management solution in place, you can ensure a proactive approach for quality issues to manage and resolve them before the product reaches to the customer and leads to the bigger troubles including life risks. A quality management system also helps you to make evidence-based decisions with their in-built analytics and reporting tools. Most importantly, continuous improvements in product quality are one of the basic guidelines by ISO.
- Meeting Compliance Standards
Managing compliance risks in the automotive industry is not easy since the existing systems for quality management are not centralized. But, a compliance-friendly solution like Qualityze can make it easy for automotive companies to manage compliance issues systematically with its configurable workflows.
- Improves Customer Experience
When you will have a quality control process in place, you can keep your customers happy and satisfied by delivering the quality as expected. The things like product recall that hurt an automotive company’s image the most can be reduced to a minimum. Then, you can enjoy more loyalty, more sales, and an impressive brand image.
In the end, we can say that in the highly competitive environment of the industry like automotive, it may become challenging for you to maintain quality levels. You must take advantage of technological innovation such as quality management software to manage quality, compliance, and other operational issues in a fully compliant manner.
The next-generation Quality Management Software like Qualityze eQMS is a single solution for all your quality management needs. It enables you to keep a track of suppliers as well as the component quality so that you will associate with the quality suppliers.
Additionally, it allows building effective training programs for certain activities to make your employees competent for the jobs assigned. From identifying and tracking nonconformances to resolving issues using CAPA, document change control management to customer complaints management, and training management to supplier and audit management, you can manage all the important functions through one solution.
So, are you ready to revolutionize the way quality management was conducted in the automobile industry by leveraging the innovation to survive through competitiveness?