• Program Planning
  • Product Design & Verification
  • Feedback & Assessment
  • Steps for Corrective Actions
  • Control Plan
  • Observation Notes
  • AI Driven Summaries, Suggestions & Projects
  • *Available 3rd party Integrations

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Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) Overview

Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) is a structured framework employed within manufacturing to ensure product quality and customer satisfaction from the earliest design stages through post-production. Typically utilized by product engineers, quality professionals, and project managers, APQP guides the development and refinement of products by emphasizing preventive measures over inspections, and by promoting early identification of potential risks. This methodology not only aligns manufacturing processes with customer needs and expectations but also optimizes resource allocation, ultimately driving efficient production and high-quality end products.

Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) Details

Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) stands as a beacon in the manufacturing sector, illuminating the path to stellar product quality from conception to delivery. Rooted in proactive planning, this approach is systematic and comprehensive, ensuring that quality remains integral throughout the product lifecycle. For those unfamiliar with its nuances, here’s a breakdown of APQP’s crucial elements.

  1. Plan and Define Program: This initial stage involves understanding customer needs and expectations. It sets the stage by defining the product, its primary purpose, and key characteristics, drawing a roadmap for the subsequent phases.
  2. Product Design and Development Verification: This phase emphasizes validating the product design. It checks if the design meets customer requirements, and potential issues are identified and addressed.
  3. Process Design and Development Verification: Here, the focus shifts from product design to the manufacturing process. It ensures the process is capable of producing the product to meet design and quality requirements.
  4. Product and Process Validation: This is the testing phase where both the product and the process are validated under actual production conditions. It ensures that the final product aligns with the set requirements and standards.
  5. Feedback, Assessment, and Corrective Actions: Continuous improvement is the heart of APQP. This phase involves gathering feedback, assessing the entire process, and making necessary corrections to enhance quality further.
  6. Control Plan: This phase establishes the plan for the continuous monitoring of the process, ensuring consistent quality levels are maintained. It outlines procedures, monitoring techniques, and corrective measures in case of deviations.

Embracing APQP is akin to weaving a safety net below the high wire of manufacturing. It ensures that product quality is never left to chance, and proactive measures are taken at every stage to prevent flaws. In a world where customer satisfaction and operational efficiency are paramount, APQP serves as the cornerstone, offering a structured pathway to consistent excellence in product quality.

Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) Process

Implementing Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) within a manufacturing organization is akin to building a bridge between product conceptualization and unparalleled quality. As project managers embark on this transformative journey, the process must be methodically orchestrated to ensure successful integration and optimal benefits.

  1. Comprehensive Assessment: The first move is an exhaustive evaluation of the current quality processes and systems in place. Recognizing gaps and potential areas for improvement paves the way for a smoother APQP integration.
  2. Stakeholder Buy-In: Before diving deep, it’s imperative to bring onboard the key organizational stakeholders. Garnering their support and understanding of APQP’s benefits is critical to ensure organizational alignment.
  3. Customized Training Programs: Host tailored APQP training sessions for different teams, focusing on their relevance to their specific roles. Equipping teams with knowledge ensures they are primed to utilize APQP efficiently.
  4. Pilot Project Selection: Identify a single project or product line to initiate the APQP process. Using this as a testbed offers a controlled environment to tweak and refine the process before a broader application.
  5. Review and Feedback Collection: After the pilot run, gather insights, feedback, and experiences from all involved parties. This feedback loop is pivotal to understanding bottlenecks and areas of further enhancement.
  6. Full-Scale Implementation: Confidently, having learned from the pilot, begin incorporating APQP across various projects and product lines. This wider implementation must be constantly monitored to ensure consistent quality adherence.
  7. Continuous Monitoring and Evolution: Establish a mechanism to regularly evaluate the efficacy of the APQP process, ensuring its principles remain robust and dynamic to evolving manufacturing challenges.

Introducing APQP into a manufacturing ecosystem is a strategic endeavor, focused on amplifying product quality and customer satisfaction. The linchpins to its successful execution lie in thorough groundwork, active stakeholder engagement, iterative learning, and an unwavering commitment to quality excellence. As organizations navigate this path, the fruits of their diligence manifest in products that stand as paragons of quality and reliability.

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Your Manufacturing Operations Practice Lead

Michael Lynch

Michael Lynch is a creative and successful executive with extensive leadership experience in delivering innovative collaboration products and building global businesses. Prior to founding Praxie, Michael led the Internet of Things business at SAP. He joined SAP as part of the acquisition of Right Hemisphere Inc., where he held the position of CEO. During his tenure, he transformed a small tools provider for graphics professionals to the global leader in Visualization software for Global 1,000 manufacturers and led the company to a successful acquisition by SAP.