Advanced Quality Planning
What is Advanced Quality Planning?
Advanced Quality Planning (AQP) is a set of procedures and techniques to standardize product quality requirements. It aims to ensure customer satisfaction. Advanced quality planning seeks to reduce the complexity of product quality planning by facilitating communication between all stakeholders (customers and suppliers).
It requires that all the identified processes and necessary steps are applied correctly. It also ensures that the expectations and needs of customers are met and that each stage of the product development process is carried out efficiently so that the quality, timing, and cost commitments are also achieved.
Beginning of Advanced Quality Planning
The beginning of AQP dates back to the 1980s when it was developed in the automotive industry. Initially, Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors published it jointly.
It was also included in the QS-9000 Quality Systems Requirement Manual. The intention was to develop universal quality planning principles to provide a common understanding to all their suppliers. The AQP guidelines establish principles and standards to ascertain that customer quality requirements are met.
Phases of Advanced Quality Planning:There are 5 phases of advanced quality planning (AQP). These are listed below:
2. Product Design and Development
3. Process Design and Development
4. Product and Process Validation
5. Feedback, Assessment, and Corrective Action
Why Do We Need Advanced Quality Planning?
Advanced quality planning is more than just establishing standards for quality planning and management. It touches every aspect of business, including suppliers. It detects and mitigates quality issues before they reach customers. Some far-reaching benefits of advanced quality planning include:
1. Better Quality and Standards: AQP allows customers to easily communicate and give feedback. These feedbacks and insights combined with advanced statistical tools, processes, and product parameters help to build quality products. It raises the brand value and provides a competitive edge.
2. Increased Customer Satisfaction: It streamlines the product development process. It helps in incorporating assessment and corrective actions to increase overall customer satisfaction. Disruptions are also avoided by continuously monitoring and implementing identified processes.
3. Faster Delivery: One of the positive outcomes of advanced quality planning is faster product delivery. Understanding the requirements of customers ensures efficient use of resources. The rapid development of products and faster delivery is achieved with minimal costs.
4. Cost Reduction: Strict adherence to advance quality planning eliminates waste. Accurate and efficient production saves money and time. AQP makes it much easier to control, monitor, and improve production operations.
5. Effective Communication: AQP facilitates communication between suppliers and consumers and also involves vendors. It is a basic requirement to maintain product conformity. Effective communication mitigates or reduces risks or misunderstandings.
6. Quicker Detection and Resolution of Problems: AQP helps detect and resolve issues as and when they arise. If problems are not detected in their early stages, they may reach customers and become unmanageable. This situation adversely affects brand value in the long term.
What Advanced Quality Planning is Not?
Almost all organizations have some levels and techniques of advanced quality planning. It is not something new or alien to a business. In some cases, it may be done informally. The aim of reducing problems and gaining customer satisfaction may not be written down, but all organizations are working towards it.
AQP is also not as complex as it is thought. It is not only a standardization practice or a standalone activity, it is also an integral part of business strategy to achieve the final goal of customer satisfaction. It is also not secondary to other business processes or activities.