The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Oversight Division operates globally on behalf of the IATF (International Automotive Task Force) as one of five Global Oversight offices responsible for the governance of the 3rd party IATF 16949 certification scheme.
With numerous certification bodies and more than 70,000 certified organizations globally, effective and well-organized communication is essential to the success of the scheme. When SMMT began the search for a globally available collaboration solution, they turned to Huddle.
Niall Kealey, Oversight Manager at SMMT
Streamlined Audits and Audit Reviews
As a key member of the IATF certification scheme, SMMT are responsible for ensuring that the certification bodies are conducting audits in compliance with the IATF scheme rules. “The Certification Bodies often request waivers to specific sections of the rules for a particular audit.” Explained Niall Kealey, Oversight Manager at SMMT. “Before Huddle we managed these requests via email, which resulted in a lot of back and forth to answer questions, provide feedback and approve the requests.” SMMT have since implemented a dedicated Huddle Workspace for each Certification Body.
“Now we have Huddle, the certification bodies can load their waiver request forms into Huddle and we can review and approve them all online. It makes it really easy for our team to process requests. All the comments, approvals and feedback are kept in one place for future reference.”
To maintain adherence to the IATF scheme rules, SMMT undertake witness audits, evaluating the certification body IATF audit process in the field “We deploy witness auditors all over the world.” explained Niall. “They have a really important job in helping ensure the certification bodies are conducting robust audits that meet the required standards. They submit their findings into Huddle, and we can then invite the relevant parties in to feedback on any non-conformances and irregularities. We use Huddle to bring together people from different external organizations to collaborate on solving problems raised during the witness audit process.”
Audit documents can result in many versions and this created a particular headache for Niall and his team. “With many different people working on reports and audit documentation, we would end up with people emailing variations of the same file – it created a lot of noise which was damaging productivity. Consolidating all the different versions was an arduous task, but now Huddle manages all of this automatically – everyone always has access to the latest version of the document, and built-in version control means we have access to earlier versions if needed.”
Event Co-Ordination and Meeting Management Made Easy
While digital communication works well for day to day activities, face to face meetings and events still form a vital part of SMMT’s industry engagement strategy. Whether it’s a meeting of the IATF’s global oversight offices, or a member organization industry event, the implementation of Huddle meant that co-ordination of logistics and event materials was much more efficient. “Our events and meet-ups bring people together from all over the world and we work hard to ensure they run smoothly. Huddle is key to event organization, from developing and sharing the agenda, through to collating all the event pre-work and presentations, everything is in a single, easy to find location that everyone can access. Whereas before we would assign someone to assemble all the presentations, the organizers now use Huddle’s File Request feature to let presenters know what presentations they need to produce, what date they are needed by and where to save them – the presenters can then upload their own presentations directly into Huddle.”
“Huddle’s mobile apps have saved the day on a number of occasions. With people emailing materials at the last minute, which I can load directly into Huddle straight from my iPhone. The apps also mean attendees can access the event materials on their phones or iPads, which is perfect for our international members who like to travel light.”
Rapid Global Training Roll-Out
SMMT are responsible for overseeing the development of training materials for 3rd party auditor training. Materials are translated into multiple languages and previously they would be distributed via email. “Huddle has been a revelation for our training initiatives. We use a dedicated Huddle Workspace to develop and distribute training materials to our training teams around the world. Using Huddle we can ensure that trainers are working from a single, approved and up-to-date version, which removes any variances that might occur regionally. Publishing new materials is very straightforward. We use Huddle’s Workspace and folder permissions to makes sure ‘Work in progress’ materials are only visible to the development team. Once the materials are ready to go, we simply add in the external training teams who can view the materials online and download them for offline working.”
Creating a Global Community of Member Organizations
As a long-standing group, the IATF has built up a large repository of data, insights and guidance for members and stakeholders. SMMT has been at the vanguard of making this information more accessible. “We used to have a storage system that was more of a traditional file server, with file trees that were difficult to navigate – it was tricky for people to find what they were looking for. We’ve now transitioned the entire repository into Huddle. Huddle’s Workspaces, Bookmarks and Search features make it really easy for people to find exactly what they are looking for, and, because Huddle is a cloud-based platform, any updates we make are immediately available to all users. What I love most is how Huddle helps bring together the global organizations involved in our work. We can work together to improve what we do, and everyone benefits from the results.”