Formex Industries is a reputable manufacturer and supplier of various automotive components in South Africa. We have been a reliable partner for South African original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for decades. Part of our good reputation is owed to the regular audits that we undergo from various industry bodies and global automotive brands, such as Volkswagen.

At Formex, continuous improvement and total quality management are core organisational objectives that drive our business. These audits are just a few of the tools available that push us towards excellence in all aspects of our business. They provide valuable insights into our current performance across multiple departments, allowing us to see how we are tracking across our goals.

Audits allow us to see our reported results and compare them to our projections. This helps management teams make educated and precise decisions for the benefit of Formex and our customers. Audits improve our products quality and supply chain efficiencies.

What sorts of audits do we face?

Currently, Formex is undergoing a 5S audit that follows a structured questionnaire-based evaluation system. According to the company’s desired standards, questions are developed to rate the processes and areas under scrutiny. The 5S audit originated from Japan’s Lean Manufacturing principles and helps to improve efficiency and quality within automotive manufacturing.

A 5S audit identifies areas of improvement within cleanliness and standardisation parameters. The areas of improvement include the following:

  1. Seiri (Sort) – This involves separating unnecessary items in an assembly line from essential ones, including the removal of broken tools, unused materials and obsolete equipment.
  2. Seiton (Set in order) – This organises and arranges everything into dedicated spaces and workflows. Items included in this area are labelling tools and components, creating designated storage areas and establishing optimised layouts for workstations.
  3. Seiso (Shine) – This focuses on maintaining a clean and hygienic work environment by regularly cleaning workstations, equipment and shared areas, such as canteens and toilets.
  4. Seiketsu (Standardise) – This promotes consistency and uniformity in all aspects of our production processes. It relies of standarised procedures for material handling, machinery operations and cleaning routines.
  5. Shitsuke (Sustain) – This final area emphasises the continuous improvement and maintenance of the other four areas. It helps to foster a culture of pride and ownership among employees to maintain an organised and efficient work environment.

Another example of an audit that we undergo regularly is the Volkswagen VDA 6.3 process audit. VDA stands for ‘Verband der Automobilindustrie’ and this audit sets the standard for improving controls in a manufacturing facility’s processes. Formex has been awarded an A-rating for this audit.

VDA 6.3 looks at the entire product lifecycle of the components produced by Formex and other manufacturers. As with all standards and regulations, there is a growing emphasis on identifying, assessing and managing risks. The audit examines change management and customer satisfaction too.

How often do audits happen?

Audits are generally carried out once a year to ensure that we sustain our ratings or improve upon them. These audits can take place concurrently or at different times throughout the year, but when they are taking place, it is a daily schedule that affects every department and station.

By undergoing regular audits throughout the year, management is able to benchmark the performance of their teams against the previous year’s results. With accurate data that is updated annually, we can see where potential issues lie, how our processes are evolving and whether the company is on a good growth strategy.

Audits are an excellent quality control and assurance tool that helps Formex increase our product output and quality. In turn, this boosts our reputation and customer satisfaction, which drives demand and growth. Audits keep us on our toes but allow us to constantly improve our products and services. For more information about our components and products, please contact us today. 

Formex Industries is a metal forming and assembly company that supplies a variety of complex products to the local automotive industry and the export market. The company is based in the Nelson Mandela Bay metropole, South Africa’s foremost region for automotive manufacturing and export.

Formex is a Level 2 B-BBEE supplier. The company is owned by Deneb Investments Limited – a subsidiary of Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited (HCI) – one of South Africa’s biggest true B-BBEE companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

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