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Quality Assurance by D. H. Stamatis

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17
Suppliers Perspective of APQP
Overview
As we mentioned in Chapter 1, the principles of advanced product quality
planning (APQP) are very important from a customer’s perspective because
they assure timing, capacity, and quality characteristics being within the
necessary requirements. In this chapter, we will focus on the requirements
of APQP from the supplier’s perspective.
Traditionally, APQP has been misunderstood and taken seriously very late
in the process of launching. Suppliers do not take advantage of the posi-
tive benets that a system such as APQP can deliver and the many value-
added goals that it presents when it is viewed as a process rather than a
single tool to be checked in a list of multiple activities just because “the
customer says so.” APQP is a structured method of dening and establish-
ing the steps necessary to assure that a product satises the customer. The
goal then is to facilitate communication with everyone involved to make
sure that all required steps are completed on time. It is imperative that any
form of quality planning in any organization not be viewed as a system to
be used by certain individuals and for specic situations but rather as a pro-
cess that encompasses all aspects of a program, that is, from conception to
completion. This commitment to planning for quality applies to everyone
involved—from management to operators.
Effective advanced quality planning depends on a company’s top man-
agement commitment to achieving customer satisfaction. In essence, this
effectiveness is a culture change and a mindset that calls for continual
improvement and waste reduction.
For a typical supplier, the benets of APQP are
Promotion of early identication of required changes
Avoidance of late changes
Provision of a quality product on time at acceptable cost to satisfy
the customer
258 Quality Assurance
Provision of uniformity and standardization in the process of com-
municating and reporting any issues or problems to the customer
APQP Initiatives
The APQP initiative is important in that it demonstrates the continuing
efforts of both customer and supplier to become quality leaders in their
respective industries. It does this by providing value-added goals explicitly
focused on all pertinent activities to avoid concerns rather than focusing on
the results in the product or service throughout all the phases, until delivery
of the product or service to the customer.
It is this reason that the deliverables discussed earlier must be clear and
understood by all concerned. In fact, to make the point, we suggest review-
ing Appendix I. The appendix is a typical detailed expectation list of a site
assessment by the customer to the supplier’s facility. By understanding the
value-added goals, the supplier will benet immensely because they add to
better quality, lower cost, productivity increases, and timely delivery. Some
of the value-added goals might become instrumental to
Reinforce the organizations focus on CI in quality, cost, and delivery
Provide the ability to look at an entirely new program as a single
unit
Be prepared for every step in the creation of the product
Identify where the most amount of effort must be centered
Create a new product with efciency and quality
Provide a better method for balancing the targets for quality, cost,
and timing
Deploy targets that use detailed practical deliverables within spe-
cic timing schedule requirements
Provide a tool (methodology) for all concerned to follow-up all plan-
ning processes
Provide consistency and stabilization results in cost improvement
opportunities including reduction of special sample test trials
Understanding the program requirements makes it easier for the supplier
to fulll the expectations of the customer, but it also provides the following
advantages to the customer.
Claries the expectations early on in the relationship
Focuses on the deadlines to make sure they are met

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