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Supporting functions

Discussion in 'IATF 16949:2016 - Automotive Quality Systems' started by kogaratsu, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. kogaratsu

    kogaratsu New Member

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    Hello!

    I hope you can really help me because I am continuing arguing with my central quality HD on this topic.
    My plant has ISO/TS certification since 12 years, we are part of a multinational group spread all over the world. Now suddenly my central quality dept. has stated that we have Supporting Functions of some other plants (e.g. R&D) due to the fact taht sometimes happened that we developed a new project for other plants in the group. These plants are anyway certified ISO/TS and have their own R&D dept.
    In my opinion AIAG Rules are really clear in the definition of Supporting Function:

    "Supporting functions, whether located at the manufacturing site or remote from a manufacturing site, are not eligible for independent ISO/TS 16949 certification but shall include in the scope of ISO/TS 16949 certification. "Supporting function" shall be understood as an onsite or remote facility at which non-production processes occur and that supports one or more manufacturing site(s) of the same client."

    Now, we are certified ISO/TS 16949 (eligible for certification, so lack of condition n.1), and we have not only production processes (lack of condition n.2). My opinion is that our activities linked to other plants are carried on as "common" processes that sometimes involve different groups in different plants to make cost-effectiveness, for example.

    What do you think about? Am I wrong in my conviction?

    Thanks a lot in advance for your opinions!
    koga
     
  2. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    I can't see what your point is! Your plant qualified for TS certification, but your department has to support other sites which are also certified to TS? That's an organizational choice, nothing to do with the TS rules...
     
  3. kogaratsu

    kogaratsu New Member

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    Hi Andy!
    You are right, I try to explain better. The matter is that if we were considered as Supporting Functions, according to this other IATF rules:

    5.7.1 Client information for audit planning:
    The certification body shall require the client to provide the following information to be used as input for developing an audit plan:
    the client´s quality management system documentation, including evidence about conformity to ISO/TS 16949 requirements and showing the linkages and interfaces to any remote support functions….


    we could be audited as Supporting Function during the ISO/TS audit of the other plant. And obviously we do not want this...
     
  4. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    But your location already has a TS certificate? In that case you are a shared resource, NOT a support site.
     
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  5. MCW8888

    MCW8888 Well-Known Member

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    Andy is right. Your plant does not support the other plant that is TS certified.
     
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  6. kogaratsu

    kogaratsu New Member

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    Many thanks to Andy and MCW8888, I fully agree with you :)
     
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  7. kogaratsu

    kogaratsu New Member

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    Guys, I talked with the contact person of my CB and he confirmed to me that next time we'll be audited also as Supporting Function of other plants... how can be possible this???? In my opinion IATF Rules are clear on this point.
    Is anyone of you in a similar condition??? I am really confused...:(

    P.S.: my plant is in Europe, could be possible that can be different interpretations of this point by CB depending from the location area? In principle the answer should be no but who knows...
     
  8. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    Well since nobody else has chimed in, I'll give you my opinion. Sounds to me like your CB is playing it safe so as not to run afoul of the IATF. If they audit you as a supporting function even if not technically required, they are covered and immune from being called out by IATF. If they do not, then they have to justify why not. Easier for them to audit you. They don't really care about the trouble it causes you. Good luck.
     
  9. MCW8888

    MCW8888 Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure whether or not the CB is playing safe by auditing you as a supporting function. If your organization is mentioned in the scope of the TS certified plant that you support, then the CB auditor have to audit you 2X during the 3 year cycle unless there is a waiver from the IATF. Maybe you can ask for a waiver stating your particular situation. Our supporting functions are not TS certified but they are compliance to TS standards verified during the internal and external audits. We have a plant that is TS certified but they do not support us. We share resources. If your process interaction is clearly mapped, then it should be easy to evaluate the processes (COP, MOP, and SOP's) and audit the effectiveness. My apologies if I confuse you.
     

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