Quality management should be a high priority for any manufacturing organization. Businesses cannot afford to produce sub-standard products and hope to retain customers and build their brand.
If an organization aims to produce a quality product or deliver quality service, it is essential to have a reliable quality management system. Advanced Product Quality Planning is much more than a conventional quality management tool. It ensures better communication between suppliers, customers, and project teams. Its step-by-step process saves time and resources with its unique design.
Primary Process of APQP
Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) process has systematic steps that can be implemented by any company.
1. Building a Cross-Functional Team: A process cannot be effective without a team. APQP involves building a synergic team from all relevant departments. It enables the team to identify and handle potential problems quickly. Responsibilities of the team include:
- Select a team leader to shoulder the responsibility for supervising planning process
- Define roles and responsibilities of each department
- Identify customers’ expectations
- Choose subcontractors, individuals, agencies that enable a smooth process
- Assess feasibility of the designs proposed based on the manufacturing process and performance expectations
2. Improving Communication: Much of the success of APQP is due to the level of communication involved between suppliers and consumers along with communication between the vendors. The complexity of the project determines the necessary level of communication and the involvement of outside contractors and vendors even though each of them have their primary obligations within the process.
3. Training Effectively: Training is critical to the success of any process. APQP ensures adequate training is provided to team members to develop skills for meeting customers’ expectations and make sure that all the requirements of the project are communicated and met consistently.
4. Streamlining Control Plans: APQP process involves prototyping, pre-launch systems, and final production. These procedures are documented with written descriptions detailing each phase of the project development. These plans describe systems which control the entire process to complete the project.
4. Making Problem Resolution Easier: Businesses face constant challenges when it comes to process implementation. These problems have to be addressed and resolved. APQP documents all the issues and harnesses sophisticated analytical techniques and logical problem-solving methods to resolve them.
Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) provides immense benefits which companies have to understand to exploit the process to its maximum advantage. If well implemented, APQP catches the quality issues in advance before they lead to poor consequences. Due to early detection, it provides scope for easy resolution and in fact costs less to solve the issues.
Benefits of APQP
APQP process helps businesses enormously with its clear guidelines in product development to ensure customer satisfaction. Here a some of the benefits:
Faster Delivery: The process helps in the faster delivery of a quality product at a lower cost.
Quicker Detection of Problems: It ensures problems are nipped in the bud so they don’t blow up to become unmanageable.
Easier to Monitor and Improve: It is relatively easy to control and improve the APQP process.
Better Standards: APQP sets a higher benchmark, which can lead to competitive advantage and an opportunity for growth.
Implementation of an APQP software benefits companies to deliver quality products consistently and helps to build a strong brand that captures additional market share.