New ISO quality management system standards for auto suppliers

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Courtesy of Intelex Technologies Inc.

As announced in an article posted on Quality Magazine’s website, a new ISO standard defining the Quality Management System requirements for suppliers to the automotive sector has just recently been published. ISO/TS (Technical Specification) 16949:2009 was jointly developed by the members of the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) and submitted to The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for approval and publication. The new document comes in the wake of a review conducted of its predecessor ISO/TS 16949:2002 which was carried out by the IATF and ISO Technical Committee ISO/TC 176. No major changes to the standard’s technical requirements have been made; instead the updates mainly consist of improvements to management requirements to reflect the content of quality management systems standard ISO 9001:2008 and an improved consistency with the environmental management system standard ISO 14001:2004.

The 2002 version has been used by major automotive manufacturers to approve the more than 35,000 organizations worldwide that produce and supply parts for the automotive industry. Implementation of ISO/TS 16949:2009 is seen as an opportunity for automotive suppliers to improve quality while reducing costs and the IATF has set a transition period of 120 days from the date of publication (June 15th 2009) to comply with the new requirements. As the article quotes ISO Secretary-General Rob Steele, “With the global nature of the automotive industry quality management systems based on ISO/TS 16949:2009 throughout the supply chain will serve to streamline operations, and thus help organizations cut costs while improving efficiency,” commented Steele, “The publication of ISO/TS 16949 will assist the sector, reassure consumers and ensure significant benefits for automotive suppliers amid the challenges facing the industry.” As organizations begin to implement the new specifications associated with ISO/TS 16949:2009, improvements should be seen on an ongoing basis as the new standard is aimed to foster the development of a quality management system that emphasizes continual improvement, specifically focusing on defect prevention and reducing variation and waste in the supply chain. A Web-Based Quality Management System such as the one offered by Intelex Technologies provides the tools, adaptability, power and support needed to comply with and surpass ISO standards, all in a web-based system that is easy to use and implement organization-wide.

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