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Can a company get ISO/TS 16949 even if no customer requires it?

Discussion in 'IATF 16949:2016 - Automotive Quality Systems' started by alltrees, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. alltrees

    alltrees Member

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    A company currently makes products for several OEM builders of tractors and large trucks. These customers are non-automotive and do not currently require ISO/TS 16949 certification (just ISO 9001). However, most of the best practices contained within ISO/TS 16949 have been implemented in the company processes as continuous improvements because they make sense and improve the company results.

    Can this company get certified to ISO/TS 16949, even though their customers do not require it?

    The primary strategic reason, compared to just maintaining these process under ISO 9001, is so that the company could continue to grow by attracting business from new customers that do have ISO/TS 16949 as a requirement.
     
  2. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Have you a copy or access to the "TS" rules? The applicability requirements includes trucks but NOT tractors. You can obtain a letter of conformity until such times as you are awarded work from a subscribing customer of the certification scheme.
     
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  3. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    I would rather stick pins in my eyes than deal with TS. Auditors are leaving and getting harder to find. Thus, costs are going up and it's harder to find good auditors. Some are lazy and just want to see that you have a certain form which is the "best practice" for "compliance." There seems to be a direction to look more at form rather than substance. Just look at the whole site extension fiasco where companies with buildings next to each other have been require to have multiple audits -- no logic at all. The recent emphasis on customer specific requirements creates a huge cluster for companies who don't have formally published CSRs like Ford, GM, etc. In many instances, auditors are replacing their judgment based on boilerplate with what your customer actually requires.

    So my opinion, obviously, is to stick with "compliance" and hold off TS until you are forced by your customers. It's all going to change in a year or so with the new revisions. Good luck.
     
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  4. MCW8888

    MCW8888 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with all of the above. I have been giving that same feedback to whoever ask about becoming certified to TS16949. It's a long arduous journey let alone put up with incompetent CB auditors. Being TS certified should a business decision and there should be an OEM customer who requires it. The new ISO9001:2015 standard has been raised to the level of TS16949. I heard that TS will be dropped to adopt ISO9001:2015. I do not know how true is it, but if it happens I can breath a sigh of relief for streamlining this quality management system. I does impact cost and manpower just to maintain it.
     
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  5. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Which "auditors" are you speaking about? Surely it's inappropriate to tar all with the brush of your experience. TS auditors I know are not "leaving". TS auditors I know may not have passed a test, perhaps. It's inaccurate to make generalized statement based on a few observations...
     
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  6. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    I guess it's worth checking with your sources. There have been far too many myths about standards and certification over the years and, like belly buttons, everyone's got an opinion. It's really best to stick with facts, from trustworthy sources. https://www.nqa.com/en-us/resources/blog/november-2015/revision-of-the-iso-ts-16949-standard

    To attract customers it may well NOT be the best thing to WAIT until told to do it. The timeframe for implementation may be artificially shortened in a panic to win business. And to suggest that all businesses will have a long, costly, difficult journey, is simply NOT accurate.
     
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  7. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    It is a fact that the number of TS auditors is lower today than it was several years ago. I know two who have decided to "retire" from TS rather than put up with the BS. Those auditors know several that are making the same decision. They can make a much more stress free living just auditing ISO.
     
  8. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    2? They couldn't put up with the "BS" or they didn't pass the qualification course? As with AS9100 etc, this is an attempt to "weed out" the same auditors who create the confusion etc we read here about write ups and opinions, instead of objectivity.

    I don't call that "BS"...
     
  9. MCW8888

    MCW8888 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry I cannot be specific. Auditor competency can be evaluated by CCI survey. If the auditor is weary of TS and are retiring from the automotive industry it must be because IATF has raised the bar of auditing for them. Thanks.
     
  10. Sidney Vianna

    Sidney Vianna Well-Known Member

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    According to the IATF website, work continues on drafting on the (ISO 9001:2015-based) TS16949 revision. It reads:
    According to the 2014 ISO Survey, there are approximately 4,100 organizations in the USA certified to the TS 16949 standard, a small number compared to the size of the automotive Industry in this country.

    The truth about TS auditor competence is that we have the whole spectrum: from extremely competent, professional, knowledgeable auditors in one end, to lazy, ignorant, shady characters on the other end and everything in between. Sometimes :cool: you get what you pay for.
     
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  11. alltrees

    alltrees Member

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    I greatly appreciate all the feedback on this topic so far. With my previous history primarily in 9001, I was not aware of the "TS Rules" 4-edition (despite recently attending a 5-day TS Lead Auditor Training session) but with Andy's input have received them from http://www.aiag.org/products/products-list/product-details?ProductCode=TSRULES-4. These have help me a lot with my situation. I also appreciate & support Andy's statement "To attract customers it may well NOT be the best thing to WAIT until told to do it. The timeframe for implementation may be artificially shortened in a panic to win business. And to suggest that all businesses will have a long, costly, difficult journey, is simply NOT accurate."
     
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  12. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    There is no reason you can't implement a compliant system and save the third party audit fees. In fact, if you run your system for a few years prior to audit, and you take it seriously, you may find your registration audit is a piece of cake. Where people get in trouble is when they don't take the time to actually work the kinks out of their system.
     
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  13. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    How will a company attract customers who WANT certification, know the OPs organization is TS compliant? Send their own auditors? And who knows what THOSE auditors are qualified to audit? I'm amazed that you believe it takes 2 years to "work the kinks out" to be successful at a registration. What could possibly take THAT long? Experience shows that to be successful, you need to be able to demonstrate an effective management system (not a perfect one) which means an effective business - anyone who takes 2 years to become an effective business won't be around by then...
     
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  14. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    First, customers don't WANT certification. They WANT suppliers who can do what they need. If you are good at what you do, they won't care about certification. They use "certification" as an easy way to get rid of pesky salesmen.

    Second, it is about saving money which is not necessary to spend. I don't know how big the original poster's organization is, but the third party audit can be quite an expense these days. No reason to spend it until it is necessary. Once you get a customer who wants a certification, if you are already running a compliant system it should be pretty easy to spend the money and get the piece of paper.

    Now I never said it takes two years to be successful at registration. Read what I said. If you run your system, and make it a habit, registration is a piece of cake. I have seen a lot of companies struggle with these things because they rush to the piece of paper rather than designing and working a system that works for them.

    As you say, most companies who are in business these days have an effective system. That's because 80% of what is "required" is just good business practice. Where companies struggle is the 20% which is marginally applicable and has low or no value add.
     
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  15. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd hazard a guess that you don't talk much to those companies (as I do on a regular basis) who want to be ISO/TS certified because THEY HAVE CUSTOMERS WHO TOLD THEM TO BE CERTIFIED OR MISS OUT ON BUSINESS...
     
  16. pqman

    pqman New Member

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    We just spent 17 months and thousands of dollars getting ISO/TS 16949 (i.e. dual TS and ISO certifications).We achieved it on the first attempt. There are 296 "shall" statements distributed over 138 clauses; then 5 core tools; and then - customer specific requirements. I have been in this profession since 1987 when ISO was a pup, and QS was a gleam in the eye of harassed Big 3 auto suppliers. There has been a "winterkill" of TS auditors in the last 5 years, and I know several former TS auditors who deliberately flunked their IATF exam so they could just audit ISO. I think the IATF is a "secret society" - who are these people anyway, and do they get input from people who work in this system every day? I doubt it. Everything is from the top down - one way - from Big Brother. Registrars and their auditors are now being audited very severely by IATF to see if their clients have "effectively" identified customer specific requirements, implemented them, and evaluated that implementation through customer feedback. What if your customer does not publish CSR's and they rarely if ever give feedback or a score card? Then you have to view it from the "Do they hate us less?" standpoint - customer rejections, returns, complaints etc. Clauses 8.2.1.1 and 8.4 are very closely connected - joined at the hip. Our registrar and even our auditor have been served nonconformances by IATF for not auditing CSR's closely. The old theory was that the ISO/QS/TS registration would calm the customer's fears about the quality system of their supplier, and they would not have to audit them. The fact is that, in automotive, the customers expect the registration as a matter of course. They are "deadly serious (to use that infamous phrase from the old QS video) about you following their requirements, their SQA manual- and they will come audit you anyway. The greatest single improvement to any registration system would be that the top management of the firm had to go to a 5 day lead auditor school every year, and pass the exam, before they could be registered or retain their certification. That would solve a lot of problems for those of us who have to deal with quality amateurs in the executive suite. That would be real "management commitment". I think the evolution is back to a closer "Customer-supplier" audit system, independent of 3rd party auditors. The 2nd party audit is real world, up-front, and personal. Your quality performance with each customer is what counts with them. The detached, bureaucratic, autocratic 3rd party system is becoming increasingly "non-value added" and expensive in time and money - from this man's point of view. A QMS solidly based on the realistic TS requirements, audited by your customer, will be far more effective and efficient.
     
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  17. Sidney Vianna

    Sidney Vianna Well-Known Member

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    I don't think top management should necessarily go through lead auditor training, but I wholeheartedly agree with the concept that top management for a registrant should be required to undergo some type of assessment to ensure they understand strategic modern quality management and how operational processes outside of the typical quality control/quality assurance departments affect customer satisfaction.
     
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  18. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    I rather doubt that, given previous comments about auditors and passing tests, this is likely. Commitment doesn't come out of taking a test or sitting a class, frankly.

    The point being missed here - on all sides - is that unrealistic expectations were set for the 3rd party audit process. Expecting a CB auditor to think and act like a OE SQAE is totally bizarre. How is the CB auditor to get that amount of product knowledge. The whole reason for certification has been overlooked, if it was ever understood in the first place (by many people).

    I'd respectfully suggest that many internal implementation issues are as much to blame for poor management commitment, as anything else. I, for one, have yet to see an organization where the management team completely understand why internal audits are useful to them and also how they derive benefit from their management review! Forget the apparent problems with some CBs and their auditors - let's look at why implementations aren't exactly "stellar"...
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015
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  19. Sidney Vianna

    Sidney Vianna Well-Known Member

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    The quality management system certification process was devised as a path to minimize the need for multiple, repetitive, inconsistent, costly, redundant customer audits. The concept required certificates to be relied upon as a measure of ROBUST supplier quality systems. An indication that, customers could have confidence in those certified suppliers and be assured that they would have their orders fulfilled in accordance with their requirements and expectations.

    But the whole certification process, including the consulting layer has been excessively commercialized, trivialized, commoditized, franchised, ad nauseum... certification became the end goal, when it was NEVER supposed to be. Confidence and assurance in the customer chain was supposed to be the end goal of the certification process.

    Market pressure led to a dumb focus on certificates, rather than supplier system performance.

    Personally, I don't think that most of the knowledgeable people I know expected 3rd party auditors to replace 2nd party ones, but, without a question, many people expect 3rd party certification to add value to the real users, the registrants' customers. And a significant percentage of the players in the sector fail to deliver value to the real users, focusing solely on the registrants, those customers that will drop the registrar in heart beat, once their customers stop demanding certification.

    Until the ACCREDITED CERTIFICATION INDUSTRY reengineer itself, and regain the confidence of it's services real users, we will see stagnant and declining certification trends. In the meantime, more and more friction between auditors and auditees, as subject of this thread, will exist in the augmented accredited certification schemes, such as the IAQG AS9100, the IATF TS16949 and the Quest Forum TL-9000 Programs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
  20. pqman

    pqman New Member

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    There is a great deal of fear and frustration when you have to audit the top management, if you do all the internal auditing in the company. I have seen 3rd party auditors shrink from this too with a strong chief executive. If the top management had passed a lead auditor course, they might understand what the standard is about. In our company the top management insisted on "layered process audits" At least it got them involved, but prior to that I insisted that they take instruction based on the AIAG LPA document AND pass an exam with at least 70%. All the other LPA auditors must pass this exam as well. As you all are aware clause 6.2.2 of ISO/TS talks about people "affecting quality being aware of the relevance and importance of their activities, and how they contribute to the achievement of the quality objectives" That applies to the top management who almost always are not ISO/TS knowledgeable - and have the most impact on it. Dr. Deming focused his rightful wrath on the top management, and frequently uttered the Biblical phrase "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." I appreciate very much all of you reading my humble contributions here, and appreciate your thoughts. My first degree was in finance, but I gave my heart to quality a long time ago. My recurrent fantasy is that of a top management and even board of directors who came out of the quality function instead of finance.
     

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