149. Reliable and flexible Quality Management Systems in the automotive industry: monitor the context and change effectively
The automotive industry is facing considerable challenges with increased competition and more brands, models and complex vehicles, tighter regulatory requirements (e.g., emissions), and the need to manage global supplier networks with shorter development cycles.
To respond to customer demands and to improve business performance, more than 1 million organizations, of all activity sectors worldwide, have implemented ISO 9001 International Standard Quality Management Systems (QMS).
With the purpose of ensuring that ISO 9001 remains actual in a world of increasingly complexity and interconnection, ISO issued the revised ISO 9001:2015, with novel and reinforced approaches. This lead to the new IATF 16949 standard for the automotive industry, that should be comprehended as a supplement to and used in conjunction with ISO 9001:2015. While ISO 9001:2015 is more focused on the organization and its customers (and relevant interested parties that influence the quality of the organization products), IATF 16949 greater emphasizes the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and statutory and regulatory requirements, emphasizing defect prevention and the reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain.
The ratio of supplier added value in the automotive industry shows a consistent growth from 56% in 1985 to 82% in 2015 (Statista, 2016). QMS are a key requirement to ensure a competent supplier network, with properly selected and qualified suppliers.
This research goal is to identify relevant dimensions for organizations to effectively improve (either by continuous incremental improvement or by disruptive breakthrough), a study of the organizations that have already implemented and be independently audited against ISO 9001:2015, was carried out with IRCA ISO 9001:2015 Registered Auditors, all over the world.
Although the auditee organizations were not restricted to the automotive sector, due to the horizontal characteristics of the automotive industry supply chain, this could be a preliminary input for the industry. The online survey yielded 393 valid replies, from auditors from 71 countries, and three variables were evaluated with a Likert scale:
- “Change management” has been successfully implemented by the auditee organizations?
- “Understanding the organization and its context” has been successfully implemented by the auditee organizations?
- “Improvement” has been successfully implemented by the auditee organizations?
Sample normality was confirmed trough Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test and the hypotheses were tested by using Pearson Correlation coefficient. The findings show the existence of a strong positive correlation between:
- The capability to understanding the context and both the ability to change and the achievement of improved performance and results;
- The ability to change (plan, design, implement and control change) and the achievement of improved performance and results.
These conclusions highlight the need for the automotive industry OEM and Suppliers to properly monitor the organizational (internal and external) context and identify the key issues that affect the ability of their QMS to deliver quality products, and to plan, design, implement and control change in an effective and timely manner, within the whole supply chain. These can be major contributors for the industry ecosystem improved performance and results.