What is an IATF 16949 checklist audit?
The ISO/TS 16949 questionnaire has established itself as a globally recognized standard for quality management systems (QMS) in the automotive industry. Since 15.09.2018, the standard IATF 16949:2016 has replaced the ISO/TS 16949 questionnaire. Only IATF 16949 certificates are still permitted. Since then, certification companies audited and certified only according to this standard.
The audit procedure should make it possible to avoid errors, reduce waste and ensure continuous optimisation. The International Automotive Task Force (IATF) developed the ISO/TS 16949:2016 questionnaire to create new standards in the automotive industry.
The global group of manufacturers and business organizations created a consensus on benchmarks for product quality and processes in the automotive supply chain. Automotive manufacturers that are members of the IATF require their suppliers to be certified according to the new standard IATF 16949:2016.
This article deals with:
The content of an IATF certification
The IATF 16949 questionnaire comprises 10 chapters: Chapters 1 to 3 contain the scope of application, normative references, terms and definitions. Chapters 4 to 10 illustrate the P-D-C-A cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act).
With a certification according to IATF 16949 a company proves that it fulfills and lives up to the QMS requirements. This includes going through a continuous improvement process and having understood customer-specific requirements. The focus is on error prevention and the reduction of fluctuations and inefficiency. The IATF 16949 certification covers the entire value chain of automotive manufacturing.
Challenges of an Audit Checklist According to IATF 16949
The required implementation of IATF 16949 means that automotive suppliers and manufacturers must follow a QMS standard based on ISO 9001:2015. However, there are some challenges to overcome in the transition to the new standard and in maintaining conformity. Here are three of the most common challenges when introducing a process audit checklist, according to IATF 16949:
1. Challenge: Storage of mandatory data sets
Compliance with the IATF standard requires both documentation of the processes implemented, and proof of the audits carried out and of the measures taken if deviations are found. These records show if problems are addressed, and continuous improvement is actually taking place. For those using a paper-based audit checklist for IATF 16949, this documentation can be challenging. Over time, the paper stacks up and everything has to be stored, managed and organized manually.
2. Challenge: Taking Action in Time
The measures to remedy deviations from the standard identified by the IATF 16949 audit must be initiated in a timely manner, be easy to monitor and properly documented. Timely response to problems prevents further deficiencies and helps to reduce waste in the supply chain. For paper-based checklists, the collected data must first be manually entered into a database before a report can be generated. This delays the initiation of action, which ultimately thwarts the sense of timely response.
3. Challenge: Maintaining accountability and competence
To ensure the effectiveness of the QMS, the IATF 16949 standard requires management to assume responsibility and employees to demonstrate their competence in this field. Compliance with the QMS standard is strengthened by conducting regular audits. Competence can be demonstrated, which is also reflected in the audit reports. In a paper-based IATF 16949 audit, proving responsibilities and competencies is a challenge because the paperwork that accumulates can become unmanageable.
Powerful technology to overcome challenges
Digital technologies help suppliers and car manufacturers to promote continuous improvement, error prevention and waste reduction by implementing an efficient automotive QMS standard. The transition from the ISO TS 16949 questionnaire to the IATF 16949 standard is a good moment to change the current process from paper to digital.
With Lumiform’s mobile app, any quality and safety inspection can be easily performed using a tablet or smartphone – online or offline. The desktop software is used to create checklists and evaluate the collected data. This significantly reduces the risk of quality losses, work accidents, documentation errors and damage to reputation. The powerful audit app, helps quality managers to achieve the following:
- Lumiform offers over 12,000 pre-made templates, with which the digital startup can be carried out quickly and safely.
- Increase the efficiency of internal processes: Through more efficient communication within the team, with third parties and with management, as well as faster reporting of incidents, incidents are solved up to 4 times faster than before.
- Save time by simplifying the analysis of all data and identifying areas that need special attention more quickly.
- Continuous improvement of quality and safety: Internal tests and processes can be continuously optimized through the flexible checklist construction kit. Since Lumiform guides the inspector through the test, no training is required.
- All audit results are automatically bundled in a report and can be sent to stakeholders.
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