Published 15 Aug 2023
What is an IATF Audit?
An IATF audit is the process of evaluating an automotive manufacturer’s Quality Management System (QMS) compliance with the IATF 16949:2016 standard. The IATF 16949:2016 standard replaced ISO/TS 16949 and it intends to prevent defects, reduce waste, and facilitate continuous improvement.
In this article
- What is the IATF Standard?
- Challenges of Implementing the New International Automotive Task Force 16949:2016 Standard
- Powerful Technology to Overcome Challenges
- Best 5 IATF Audit Checklists
What is the IATF Standard?
The IATF 16949:2016 standard was developed by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF), a global group of manufacturers and business organizations in the automotive industry that aims to build consensus on benchmarks for product quality and processes 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.
Challenges of Implementing the New International Automotive Task Force 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. SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor), the world’s most powerful mobile auditing app, can help quality managers accomplish the following:
- Proactively identify noncompliance and defects
- 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 SafetyCulture 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, SafetyCulture can help streamline the implementation of QMS in your organization.
Best 5 IATF Audit Checklists
Manufacturing engineers can use this FMEA template to help prevent production issues caused by industrial machinery failures. Observe trends of failure modes, effects, and causes. All SafetyCulture (iAuditor) templates can be customized to fit the needs of your business.
5S audits are performed to assess the workplace’s adherence to the 5S principle (sort out, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain). Capture photos of issues or best practices found. Use the data collected as basis for training to reinforce 5S. Provide the overall recommendation at the end of the audit.
Use this environmental risk assessment to evaluate any environmental risks caused by manufacturing activity. Identify the risk and take a photo. Mention the possible impact on the environment if the risk is not mitigated. Provide some control measures and the overall risk assessment.
This ISO 9001:2015 internal audit checklist can be used by companies that also produce non-automotive parts. Assess the organization’s compliance with the international standard for QMS and determine readiness for third-party ISO 9001:2015 certification. Perform regular inspections to ensure you continue meeting your ISO 9001:2015 certification requirements.