What you need to know
Creating and selling a quality product is the focus of everything you do. You know that the high quality of your product, coupled with the efficiency and client service you provide, sets you apart from others in your industry. But is your product quality planning as good as it can be? Even if you have a system in place, read on for information about Advanced Product Quality Planning systems and why they matter to your business.
What are Advanced Product Quality Planning systems?
Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) systems are a specific framework of procedures that develops critical tasks, all the way from conception to completion. In short, it is a structured process to ensure high quality in each product you create. There are typically five phases the process goes through:
Product Planning and Quality Program Definition – this is the very beginning of the process, during which you outline the exact need you want to meet with your product. You will then create a design to start working through more details.
Product Design and Development – in this stage, you will complete your product design, and specify what materials and resources will be needed to create the product prototype.
Process Design and Development – now that you have the product design and the prototype ready, you need to figure out what mass production will look like, down to the packaging you will use to distribute the product to others.
Validation of Product and Process – this key phase is all about testing what you have made. You can discover any potential areas of weakness and new ways to improve your product during this phase.
Production Launch, Assessment, and Improvement – finally, your product is ready to launch. You will gain valuable feedback from clients, as well as information about preferred methods of delivery and customer service.
What else do I need to know about APQP systems?
One important thing to keep at the front of your mind is to listen to your clients. The feedback you receive from them will be one of the most valuable pieces of information you will gain as you perfect the process of your production efforts.
The other key point to remember is that this process will always be evolving. You may find that what worked five years ago is no longer a good fit today. Don’t be afraid to go through the five phases to implement a new type of plan or product when you feel the time has come to make necessary changes.
Even if you have an excellent production plan in place, consider implementing an APQP system to find out just how efficient your process can truly be. Customize it to what you need for your business, listen to your clients, and make as many changes as needed until your plan is perfect.
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