Understanding the needs, requirements and expectations of the customer is what Advanced Products Quality Planning (APQP) is all about. APQP helps in mitigating the risk involved in the product manufacturing and quality improvisation of the product hence making way for efficient and profitable business.
In the 1980s automotive giants such as General Motors (GM), Chrysler and Ford majorly implemented APQP. After realizing the benefits of APQP in their organizations they came together to form a common platform and standardized the entire APQP process in supply chain.
The complexity involved in building an automotive product increases the occurrence of errors in the manufacturing process. Taking manufacturing of vehicle as an example – producing a vehicle includes thousands of parts; way from small screws to big frames. Each of these parts may not have been built by single manufacturer. In order to ensure the quality throughout the supply chain there should be a well-built monitoring methodology and APQP is such methodology, which facilitates the minimization of errors.
APQP is a set of procedures that documents the capability, reliability & repeatability of the process throughout the risk assessment.
APQP along with PPAP, FMEA, MSA and SPC forms five core tools, which ensures the streamlined quality management system throughout the IATF 16949 adhering industries.
APQP is required to develop/introduce a new product when the OEM and its suppliers are working together. APQP can be used while modifying the product or process changes after release.
The Cross Functional Team (CFT) takes care of APQP process implementation in any organization. APQP usually consists of members from Engineering, Product Development, Operation, Purchasing, Marketing and other functions with a team lead.