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ISO/TS 16949: Standardizing the Quality of the Automotive Supply Chain

By Rigoberto Stokes Subscribe to RSS | April 27th 2012 | Views:

ISO/TS16949 is a technical specification standard set by the International Organization of Standards (ISO). Its objective is to develop a quality management system that calls for continuous improvement, defect prevention, and reduction of waste; and a variation in the supply chain. First published in 2002, it is derived from the ISO 9000 family of quality management standards.

The TS 16949 provides the requirements of a quality management system specific to the automotive sector. The design, development, production, installation, and service related to automotive products are included in this quality management system. The standard is applicable to any organization within the automotive supply chain including manufacturers, auto dealers, and service providers.

Companies in the automotive industry can apply for TS 16949 certification by answering a questionnaire. The applicant company is then assessed by third party auditors after internal evaluation. The certification is given based on the rules of the International Automotive Task Force (IATF). This is valid for three years with annual confirmation by a third party auditor or an accredited certification body.

The introduction of this quality standard has led to some significant improvements in all sectors of the automotive industry. The implementation of ISO/TS 16949 resulted in increased quality and efficiency in all areas of the supply chain. Processes were enhanced and wasteful practices were discarded. This means less product recalls and more reliable vehicles. The number of audits required for manufacturers have also been reduced with the certification. In effect, this has benefitted both the manufacturers and the consumers in the automotive industry.

A TS 16949 certification adds value to a company. It gives a competitive advantage because the recognition signifies acceptance in a global scale. The certification can win the confidence of customers which allows the company to transact with more clients around the world. A certified company complies with the requirements of certain markets where such is a requirement. With a well-defined business process mapping standard, risks are easily identified, defects and errors are avoided, and costs are greatly reduced. Overall, a quality management system yields consistent product quality that brings customer satisfaction.

To know more about ISO/TS 16949, you can visit, the official website of the International Organization of Standards. You can also get more information at If you would like to have your company certified for this quality management standard, you can enlist the services of a compliance consultant to guide you through the process of the application and internal audits.

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