car in assembly line

When it comes to risk, compliance to standards is critical. That’s a given. I argue that while we do need to remain compliant with all of the rules and regulations in the automotive industry, we should also strive for operational excellence. And they don’t need to be mutually exclusive.

IATF 16949 is an Opportunity for Change

Anytime there’s a transition that affects the whole enterprise it becomes an opportunity to change some practices within the organization. Other examples include a change in leadership or the addition of a large new customer. In this case, given IATF 16949 will affect the whole enterprise, this is a golden opportunity to shift the mindset away from quality as a department to the inherent quality in the day-to-day.

Given the increased focus on management responsibility with IATF, this becomes a great time to get more buy-in from executives. Many successful manufacturers have a culture of quality and often this is driven by executive sponsors who understand the importance of quality in manufacturing. Now is the time to get the entire company on board with quality — backed by executives — and working toward operational excellence.

Moving Toward Operational Excellence — Everyone Needs to Be On Board

When striving toward a lofty goal, such as operational excellence, it’s critical to have everyone on board. So where do you begin? A great starting point for getting everyone involved is a software-based enterprise quality management system; these systems are generally used to gain involvement via actions and notifications. This will provide a focal point for the whole enterprise relating toward the organizational shift.

Now that we have a method to get everyone involved, what project do we start with? Choosing the starting point of a journey is often the most difficult part. You’ll want something that affects the majority of the organization so that the solution can engage all employees. With the IATF changes, I think there’s the perfect starting point: managing risk within the organization.

Taking Risk Management to the Next Level

Risk identification and mitigation is a process that should be completed in all departments and/or processes of the organization making it the perfect starting point to include the whole enterprise. Storing all of this data on a single enterprise-wide risk register provides access and query ability to all levels of the enterprise, which is a key component in getting everyone involved.

Cloud QMS to Support Your Business

No longer will you have to manually maintain documents in spreadsheets, PDFs, and printed reports when you use QAD Cloud QMS. You only need to enter information once and it will be shared with top management and throughout the enterprise. Using QAD Cloud QMS, you can easily implement SPC, CAPA, APQP and other industry best practices. Learn about other key areas that are critical to address in your IATF journey.