In the dynamic realms of automotive and aerospace, quality stands as a paramount force driving customer satisfaction. Measuring quality fosters continual improvement, precludes defects, and reduces variation and waste across supply chains.
Its impact is colossal, culminating in flawlessly realized products that adhere to exact specifications – a testament to the synergy of efficacy and efficiency.
What’s more, in sectors as vital as automotive and aerospace, quality transcends excellence, underpinning the safety of operators, passengers, and all traversing highways and airways.
The ‘superglue’ at the heart of any organization
At its very core, quality embodies effective business management that benefits both customers and stakeholders. It's not just a separate discipline or function; rather, it serves as the 'glue' that binds your organization's interdependent functions into a unified team, culture, and way of working.
This integrated approach is reinforced by related international management systems standards that refer to:
- Information security (ISO 27001)
- Environmental management (ISO 14001)
- Human factors (e.g., health, safety, well-being: ISO 45001 and ISO 45003)
The unifying thread among these is a shared process approach, seamlessly weaving them into an effective business management system that forms the bedrock for efficient operations.
Core tools for continual improvement
A comprehensive portfolio of quality management systems, processes, tools, and techniques can help your organization optimize performance through continual improvement.
Ultimately, this can result in a more productive, profitable organization that satisfies your customers and stakeholders.
As the name implies, ‘continual improvement’ is an ever-changing goal and, as such, requires ongoing commitment.
To help facilitate this, numerous quality tools have been developed and successfully implemented by organizations large and small in recent decades.
Some examples of well-established core tools include:
- APQP (Advanced Product Quality Planning)
- PPAP (Production Part Approval Process)
- FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis)
- SPC (Statistical Process Control)
- MSA (Measurement System Analysis)
An integrated approach to quality management standards
Driving quality management standards through global supply chains from the top down offers the potential to ensure that quality is embedded in each organization involved.
With thousands of suppliers involved in the manufacture of a car and tens of thousands involved in a commercial aircraft, this can encompass aerospace Prime Contractors and automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to suppliers of assemblies, systems, software, hardware, and parts – right down to the nuts and bolts.
With safety front of mind, quality management standards are often mandated in the transport sector, especially automotive and aerospace supply chains.
Suppliers are required to implement quality management systems, comply with relevant standards, and prove compliance with certification.
To help achieve reliable supply chains and production on a global scale, these two organizations have developed the Automotive Quality Management (IATF 16949) standard and the Quality Management Systems for Aviation, Space and Defense (AS 9100) series of standards, respectively.
Both these standards are based on the international Quality Management System (ISO 9001) standard which, according to the ISO Survey 2021, is the most recognized quality management system standard.
Containing eight principles and a common framework for running an organization well, it integrates with other systems for managing:
- Health, safety, and wellbeing
- Information security
Quality is the foundation for everything else that follows
As a core platform on which to build, quality cannot be overlooked in any organization, especially those operating in the aerospace or automotive industries where safety is paramount.
Continual improvement from good quality management will lead to improved effectiveness and efficiency in your organization, ultimately increasing customer satisfaction.