The Optimas facility in Bredbury, UK, has been awarded VDA 6.2 accreditation in acknowledgement of its high quality standards and commitment to continuous improvement. This forms part of a growing network of Optimas facilities that carry the accreditation in Europe and Asia. As a key supplier to many prestigious automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and tier 1 suppliers, this demonstrates the commitment that Optimas has made to the industry and its customers.
The accreditation is a German quality management standard which was initiated by the automotive industry. It is based on the requirements of ISO 9001, yet adds further conditions based around product and service quality. The standard is an assurance to OEMs that a supplier can deliver a consistent and high quality service in all transactions. It’s relevant to all suppliers to the automotive industry, from dealerships to logistics providers, so part of the qualification process involves analysing how the language of the standard describes the specific organisation.
Andrew Woolley, key account manager at Optimas, managed the accreditation process for Optimas at Bredbury, explained: “Much like ISO 9001, the standard involves checks across every department, measuring performance against agreed key performance indicators (KPIs) and checking for consistent, sustainable improvement. As a full service logistics provider of fasteners and c-class components, we had to demonstrate not just the quality of all our components but also the quality of our supplier relations, quality assurance and testing procedures. This is in addition to the proof of quality relating to our engineering and management practices, accounts, HR and, of course, logistics and on-site support.”
The initial certification process for VDA 6.2 involves one year of performance measurement and analysis with a proven trend for improvement across every department in the business. For any company seeking accreditation, they must achieve compliance during the formal quality audit of their results. The accreditation is awarded by an independent certification body and shall be re-tested every year for it to remain valid.
Optimas has been working in the automotive industry for over 30 years, supplying parts and services to many of the most highly regarded German, British and American automotive brands. Until now the VDA 6.2 accredited facilities have been limited to Optimas facilities in Germany and China. The decision to extend the accreditation to the UK was made as part of a strategy to grow the service offering provided to a luxury automotive brand owned by a German manufacturer.
Andrew continued: “The standard was created by the German automotive industry and is a requirement for all suppliers hoping to work with German manufacturers. However, it is recognised by automotive manufacturers and tier 1 suppliers all over the world, which is hardly surprising given its origin. Ultimately it’s a management certification – proving that customer can have confidence that a business is continually advancing in terms of efficient, reliable operations. All the team at Bredbury are extremely proud to carry the accreditation.”