The Future of Quality Management in the Americas

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In conversation with Alejandro Najera, Technical Manager for the Americas – Pro QC

Comprised of geographical North America and South America, a resilient and efficient supply chain crossing these borders is particularly important to ensure prices and broader inflationary pressures are kept in check.

Pro QC recently onboarded quality management expert, Alejandro Najera, to join its team.  Based out of Mexico, and covering the Americas, Alejandro is a Technical Manager with over 15 years of experience in quality management. He is a certified ISO 9001:2015, IATF 16949:2016, and VDA 6.3 auditor and holds a BA in Computer Systems Engineering.

In his capacity supervising services and engineers for the region, Alejandro shared his journey and some of his views on how the Americas, especially Mexico, are evolving in terms of quality management within the supply chain.


How did you begin your career – and how did that lead to you joining Pro QC as a Technical Manager for the Americas region?
I started as a quality auditor for TI Automotive Systems, getting promoted to quality supervisor after just four months there. My job was to assure the quality of the A/C lines for big automotive brands including GM, Ford, and Chrysler. I moved on to be a quality engineer at GSW Manufacturing, assuring the quality of products and PPAP submissions for customers that included Toyota, Suzuki, GM, and Ford.

This led to a role at Brunswick Bowling & Billiards, which required the implementation of processes for their bowling products, similar to those required by the Automotive Industry. After a year here, I returned to TI Automotive Systems, where I worked directly with customers, and eventually took on a role as Production Manager, and later as Quality Manager – which meant taking on responsibility for the implementation of VDA requirements for our then-new customers VW and BMW, assuring and maintaining the IATF 16949 certification, as well as customer satisfaction.

Also, this experience has finally led me to Pro QC, where I am excited to be taking on the role of Technical Manager!


Can you tell us a little about what the Technical Manager’s role encompasses at Pro QC?

As Technical Manager I am responsible for reviewing customer requirements for inspection and audit jobs. I work with the account manager, project coordinator, and technical supervisor, to ensure that we provide clear information for inspections and audits in order to help the customers and suppliers assure or improve their processes. This means we have to work really well as a team!


With all your automotive industry experience, can you tell us how the automotive sector has evolved in Mexico since you began your engineering career?

Confidence is at an all-time high for strong automotive brands to have a presence in Mexico. Over the last seven years especially, foreign automotive brands such as BMW, Audi, Kia, Toyota, and Mercedes Benz have established themselves in the local market, with confidence that they can build high-quality vehicles in Mexico.


As a VDA 6.3 auditor, could you tell us why VDA 6.3 is so important in automotive manufacturing?

VDA 6.3 is an important process to assess whether companies meet all the customer requirements. This guideline is required by a large number of OEM customers especially within the German automotive supply chain as it covers their strict industry requirements.

We use this to measure the impact achieved from discussions with the customer, suppliers, inspections and traceability, implementation of the product, and process development, as well as the effectiveness and efficiency of quality management and final customer satisfaction and service. The overall focus of VDA 6.3 is on effectiveness and efficiency – and the end product. German automakers are known for their high-quality products, so this standard is important to make sure all the customer requirements are met.


What is your advice for Mexican companies looking to comply with VDA 6.3?

VDA 6.3 is important for any company, anywhere. Making sure implementation is carried through after improving all the processes to meet the standards of high-quality products and customer requirements, is key to this standard. This is the only way to maintain business as well as receive new business.


How do you view the future of the quality management industry in the region?

Quality Management is an important role for any manufacturing company. Companies and employees need to continue ensuring high-quality products, in order to achieve customer satisfaction. I see more internal and external improvements coming through the increasing use of different methodologies to achieve KPIs.

As governments across the Americas offer increasing support to localize foreign brands, this will open up more local opportunities for growth. This also makes the industry more agile, and less likely to face problems caused by geopolitical events such as the Covid-19 pandemic closing borders.

The Mexican government in particular is very strong on bringing global companies in to establish themselves in Mexico, giving new support for the local job market and economy.

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