Queen's Award for Enterprise

A question of quality

Matthew Snelson, head of quality systems at Grainger & Worrall, discusses the importance of our recent IATF16949 accreditation

Many companies talk about offering a ‘quality’ service and in some sectors, it can mean different things to different people. However, in the industries we service at Grainger & Worrall, especially automotive, definitions are typically much clearer. For those markets, internationally recognised standards provide reassurance to customers about guaranteed standards of materials, manufacture, service and more.

As a business, these standards are crucial to us in winning and keeping customers and we take a highly proactive approach to ensuring we hold the highest levels of accreditation to enable us to meet the evolving requirements of this sector.

Earlier this year, we became one of the first companies in the UK to achieve IATF16949 accreditation, providing independent recognition that we consistently meet the highest standards for business systems, continual improvement, risk management and defect prevention in the supply chain.

Developed by the automotive industry specifically for suppliers, IATF16949 replaces TS16949 and outlines the requirements for an effective Quality Management System (QMS). The key to this is risk assessment, driving the organisation to learn from the many inputs it experiences, such as customer feedback, internal and external audits and improvement efforts, to provide the highest quality product and service to the customer.

The standard is backed by many of the world’s premier vehicle manufacturers including BMW, General Motors, FCA, Volkswagen, among others.

The accreditation process involved detailed on-site audits by Lloyds Register, after which we were awarded both IATF16949 Certification and renewal of our ISO9001: 2015 standard which covers requirements for QMS.

It’s a great reflection of the hard work and dedication of the Grainger & Worrall team, which continually pulls together to achieve significant uplifts in processes and quality systems.

And, of course, it means automotive customers can be totally confident in awarding us projects of any size and scope.