The quality policy is the first document that many auditors will ask for when it comes to fulfilling the audit of IATF 16949 successfully.
The goals and objectives of any business can be determined by looking into the quality policy of the company from the leadership team. The quality policy helps in aligning purpose and motive of the organization enabling the businesses to achieve the business vision.
The Basic Ingredients of Quality Policy
Quality Policy of any business needs to cater to various policy needs, which are:
- Strategic Direction of Organization: Organizations often misunderstand quality policy as a generic document made just for the fulfillment of formalities. They sometimes fail to align the vision, mission, and objectives of the business with Quality Policy of the organization.
- Objective Setting Framework: Setting up the goals and objectives is done after establishing the quality policy. The established policy of any business should be reflected in its operations.
- Commitment to High-Quality Outcomes: Safety is an absolute requirement of this industry, with an an emphasis on local and international legal regulations.
- Continuous Improvement Cycle: The quality policy of any organization should exhibit a commitment towards continuous improvement, and the team should possess enough competency to seek opportunities for development and implement them.
Must-Haves for Defining Business Policy
To define the scope of the Quality Management System (QMS), there are around three vital considerations to define the Quality Business Policy for any business:
- Types of Issues: The issues that companies face daily include internal and external matters relevant to the organizational goals and objectives.
- Supporting Functions: IATF 16949 requires support functions, be it on-site support or remote support included in the scope of QMS. The support functions can include headquarters, distribution cells, and design centers.
- Exclusions in QMS: IATF 16949 has the critical requirement to include a Quality Manual having the scope to be the part of the QMS. The organization is bound to provide a documented explanation for all the exclusions.
- Consumer-Centric Requirements: All the consumer specific requirements that get highlighted either in the form of feedback or consumer complaint resolution has to be a part of the QMS.
- Precise and straightforward: Quality Policy should be simple, crisp, and precise, and something that can be easily remembered. It should be crafted in easy to understand language for communication and training.
Start Building QMS…
IATF 16949 defines step wise requirements building QMS (Quality Management System) are enlisted below:
- Drafted, Documented, Implemented, and Maintained: Quality Policy document can be in the form of soft and hard copy and needs to be implemented effectively and maintained through proper channel.
- Communication, Distribution, and Monitoring: All the team members need to be communicated and trained on QMS as well. After training and evaluation of all employees, it is a must for employees to implement the QMS effectively.
- Other Interested Parties: QMS information should be made readily available. All the requirements relevant to the QMS raised by third parties should also be made a part of QMS.
Responsible for the Quality Policy
It is the first and foremost responsibility of the top leadership team to set up, craft, communicate, distribute, train, maintain, implement, and monitor QMS along with peers.
Few organizations succeed in documenting quality policy but cannot implement on a real basis on operational grounds. Top management should be held responsible for the effective implementation of QMS. Risk-based thinking and process-based evidence approach should be included in the QMS.
Moreover, the leadership team should ensure QMS to deliver desired results in defined time limits, should engage all team members actively ensuring active and valuable participation.
The quality policy is the Mirror Image of Your Business
Want to gauge the level of seriousness about the quality of any company’s products and services? Check their Quality manual first. The quality manual speaks a lot about a company’s vision and mission.
While crafting quality business policies consider your customers and what they want to see in your business policies. Also consider the expectations of your suppliers and vendors.
The business policy should be a living document that you and your team implement in real time on shop floors, making it part of the best practices that are being followed in your business.
A successful QMS is something that can be easily understood and can cater to every person assessing it in accordance to IATF 16949. This can also fulfill every market and workplace need.
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