The new chair of AIAG’s Quality Steering Committee, Jim Pastor, has some specific ideas of where he’d like to see the committee focus its efforts in 2017. After eight years with Johnson Controls in positions ranging from global director of quality — GM Business Unit to group vice president — automotive quality, Pastor recently transitioned to the role as vice president — quality for the new Johnson Controls spinoff, Adient. With global responsibility for all of Adient’s manufacturing sites, including complete seat and components, Pastor is in a perfect position to lead AIAG’s quality initiatives on behalf of the industry.
AIAG Quality eNews: With the new company spinoff, you’ve got to be very busy. So why AIAG? Why volunteer your time here?
Pastor: I really respect the AIAG approach to driving industry standardization. That’s very important for suppliers. Most suppliers supply products for many customers. AIAG gets these customers to sit at the table and agree on what common approaches we can implement that will work for multiple customers.
AIAG is also a key force in the creation of industry standards. As the industry transitions to IATF 16949, AIAG is proving integral to that process.
AIAG Quality eNews: How would you describe the work of the Quality Steering Committee?
Pastor: Actually, I have not been on the committee for that long. I have been attending meetings since about April 2016. I volunteered for the co-chair role when Craig Williams had to move on and the position opened up.
Serving on the AIAG Quality Steering Committee is important to me and my company because we get the opportunity to provide early feedback from the supplier’s perspective. Anyone serving on the committee has that opportunity. When I hear committee members that represent our customers discussing a potential standard or initiative, we have the opportunity to say, “You may need to rethink that.” It’s invaluable to have input on the things that we will eventually be held accountable for.
AIAG Quality eNews: What do you hope to accomplish as chair?
Pastor: The committee has about 15 to 20 volunteers, so I’d like to start by making sure that the people attending the meetings are participating. We will start by clearly defining the expectations of participation. We need to commit to what it means to be a part of the AIAG Quality Steering Committee, which includes being engaged in special projects and serving on sub-committees.
Having that discussion may cause us to lose a few committee members, and that’s OK. It will only energize the committee and make it stronger.
And then, we can turn our efforts to addressing some of the challenges. The industry is changing a lot. IATF 16949 is going to have a huge impact on the industry. The Quality Steering Committee must help customers and suppliers through this transition. We have to help the industry become compliant on the new aspects of the standard.
AIAG Quality eNews: What new expectations of the standard stand out most to you?
Pastor: There are many changes that stand out. For example, there’s a lot of focus on product safety. Look at the recall environment. There are significant dollars spent on recalls. IATF 16949 pays much more attention to product safety to proactively address it. The new standard helps drive that accountability.
AIAG Quality eNews: What is your advice to AIAG member companies?
Pastor: To take better advantage of the training benefits for your company. Most member companies don’t take full advantage of it. AIAG has really extensive programs in key areas where some OEMs and suppliers struggle. You don’t have to develop your own training. AIAG’s training resources are proven, and many are free to members.
For the amount of free training you and your team can access for the cost of the AIAG membership, it’s a great value.
AIAG Quality eNews: What is an area of AIAG training that you think stands out?
Pastor: If you go out into the industry, everyone is talking about problem-solving. There’s a real gap in the development of the problem solving as a skillset, which falls right into the quality space. AIAG offers a number of training options in the areas of problem solving and core tool development, which can help everyone achieve a higher level of quality.
Carla Kalogeridis is AIAG eNews editor.