The International Automotive Task Force or IATF is an industry association for automotive companies. They may make cars, subassemblies for trucks or deliver services related to autos. IATF 16949 is a new IATF standard that is radically altering business for these companies.

What is IATF 16949?

IATF 16949 is an automotive industry standard that replaces the ISO standard 16949 that came out in 2009. Both industry standards are quality management systems or QMS. Each is related to the ISO 9001 quality standard. However, ISO 16949 was no longer good enough for the automotive industry. That’s why they introduced IATF 16949 in 2016. That’s a radical departure, given that the auto industry worked in the 1990s to come up with a harmonized standard in the ISO.

How does IATF 16949 differ from ISO 16949?

IATF 16949 contains many of the core principles of ISO/TS 16949:2009. For example, it continues the high-quality standards and emphasis on continual improvement. It has more emphasis on defect prevention, since a mechanical or electrical failure in a vehicle can be life-threatening. IATF standard 16949 deviates entirely from ISO 16949 by applying customer specific requirements. ISO standards don’t adequately address custom orders, such as when someone orders various parts and features in their new car. The IATF standard outlines QMS requirements for automotive production including accessories and service.

IATF 16949 is intended to meet the structure and requirements of ISO 9001. This makes it possible to use IATF 16494 while remaining your ISO 9001 certification. However, it means that IATF 16949 standard cannot be implemented alone. It doesn’t apply to business processes, record-keeping, financial records and IT security.

Yet automotive suppliers must meet understand IATF standards, because audits for these companies are now done according to IATF. (This change happened in October 1, 2017.) If you aren’t already in compliance, you need to learn about IATF 16949. And you can’t get by with paperwork that says you meet ISO/TS 16949:2009, because it was officially canceled.

How can you learn about IATF 16949?

IATF is too new to have been taught in automotive technology programs. And it is too complex to cover in a simple read-through of the standard. The best solution is to take classes that teach the essence of IATF 16949. Click here to visit this website to learn how to sign up for IATF 16949 training. They also discuss how to achieve IATF 16949 certification.

The IATF includes all original equipment manufacturers or OEM as well as many of their suppliers. This is essential for businesses that want to be able to sell parts to the fast-growing and profitable automotive industry. Your business needs to be certified to sell to them. And your rivals already have it. For example, more than sixty thousand businesses had achieved IATF 16949 standard certification in 2015. The number of certified firms has been steadily growing since then. Furthermore, your employment prospects in the automotive industry are improved if you personally master this standard. You could move from conventional manufacturing to a better paying auto industry job if you know the standard. And ISO certification experts could expand their realm of practice if they get IATF certified.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to [email protected].