Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) isn’t just about meeting quality management standards. It is a framework, built through clearly defined, pre-established steps, that can help your company save time and resources by ensuring that quality and design problems are caught early on in the production process. It also establishes a level of communication between suppliers, customers, and project teams that helps to ensure your customers are satisfied with the end product.
But is it the right process for your business? If it is, do you know how to effectively manage APQP so that it’s not only a useful tool, but a successful one? What obstacles do most companies face when implementing it, and how can your organization avoid some of these issues? We’ll answer all of these questions, and more.
Because it is designed to touch all elements of an organization, including its suppliers, the benefits of APQP are both far-reaching and plentiful when implemented correctly. Some of those benefits that companies can expect to see include:
- Improved communication between the organization and the customer that offers the ability to meet customer needs, requirements, and expectations.
- Effective communication throughout the organization.
Early detection of quality and design problems that reduces propensity for costly mistakes.
- Benchmark standards from which the organization can build and grow upon.
- Opportunity for continual improvement.
- Effective communication between supplier and organization that improves PPAP process.
APQP Barriers and Obstacles
Despite being designed to reduce the potential for problems and improve the overall customer satisfaction of a product or service, there are some barriers and obstacles that organizations should be aware of prior to implementing APQP.
Most APQP obstacles and barriers can be tracked back to a mismanagement of documents—spreadsheets, Word documents, charts, and more. But other issues, like disconnected systems and difficult to find files may also be present. Whatever the root cause, these issues can have a negative impact on an organization’s day-to-day operations of an organization. Some of the most common problems include:
- Wasted time and resources
- Compliance risks and problems
- Mismatched Process flows, FMEAs, and control plans
- Slowed production
- Extra time spent attempting to correct flow changes
- Missed opportunities in continual improvement and early detection
- Difficulty meeting or exceeding customer expectations and desires
Avoiding Common Obstacles and Barriers
A clear understanding of how to effectively implement APQP, and adequate preparation for implementation, are some of the best practices for combating the potential barriers and obstacles sometimes found in APQP. Another form of protection against potential APQP problems is to have a clear understanding of the potential obstacles your organization may face. The following are just a few examples of the tools, resources, and preparations your organization can use to reduce the propensity of APQP problems:
- An understanding of the APQP Key Elements
- A thorough understanding of the APQP Planning methods available
- APQP software designed to fit your company’s unique needs
Want to learn more about how to safe-guard your organization against some of the most common APQP problems? Check out this blog where we discuss how to plan for success with APQP. For other questions and assistance, click here to contact us.