Competence in the Automobile Industry

The requirements for a high level of quality and especially safety has always been key in the automobile industry, that is why the staff responsible for the quality and safety of products must be highly skilled.

One of the requirements of the standard is that the organization must define and ensure a competent staff to successfully perform quality management and to operate and control the organization's processes.

“In the time of the Zastava 750 minicar, it was mandatory to bring a big bag of tools for the ride. Today, we do not even know how to change the tyre, and tomorrow cars will drive themselves. The complexity of cars is increasing risk and dictates the use of tools and approaches for the systematic provision of quality and safety of products. The key skills are the leadership and development of competences of all co-workers,” says mag. Frane Koren, manager of the HLS Lean 6 Sigma department at Hidria d.d. and a lecturer at SIQ Education.

One of the requirements of standard IATF 16949 is that the leadership must ensure staff members that understand their role and posses appropriate skills.

“Should the staff train upon the request of a buyer or the requirement of a standard or for their own benefit? I find that there is still a lack of awareness on the part of the leadership regarding the attainment of necessary knowledge before a project is begun and not only after the buyer's assessment or after planning corrective measures,” believes Boris Škulj, advisor, auditor, and lecturer at SIQ Education. A common request in the automobile industry is also the project method of product development in accordance with the requirements of IATF 16949 and the familiarization and understanding of the tools of quality, such as APQP, PPAP, MSA, FMEA, as well as the special requests of buyers.

In practice, organizations that build their competitiveness on the basis of excellence are much more successful, and it is not only the result of using some methods or tools but a comprehensive system based on an elaborate way of thinking and understanding processes. Nowadays, organizations react to the dynamic state on the market and the demand on the market by increasing the adaptibility of processes. The effectiveness and successfulness of adapting is in large part dependant on the staff that plan and manage these processes.

The organization must therefore ensure the staff's competency by offering appropriate education and training. If necessary, it needs to take measures to obtain the necessary competences. It must also evaluate the successfulness of measures taken and keep the relevent documented information as a proof of competence.

What makes a skilled staff is not the participation in training programs but their functional knowledge.