We recently partnered with Ease, Inc, provider of the Ease software tool for Layered Process Audits to create an e-book entitled LPAs 101: 3 Simple Steps to Starting Layered Process Audits.
The Luminous Group was involved due to our thought leadership for best practices to implement LPAs and my involvement in the development of the AIAG CQI-8 “Layered Process Audit Guideline.”
Even though the Automotive industry uses the legacy name Layered Process Audits, we prefer the more practical name Layered Process Verifications. Various layers of management use customized checklists to verify conformance to process steps and standards. That’s a good thing – no one wants to be ‘audited’!
What are LPAs and Why are They Important to Quality?
Layered Process Verifications or Layered Process Audits (LPAs) are frequent audits conducted by all layers of the organization. Rather than waiting to assess the quality of finished products, LPAs are used to validate that standards and processes are in place before and during manufacturing the part or product.
The impact of a well-designed LPV system is prevention of wasteful costs of scrap, rework and customer complaints.
In addition to preventing or even eliminating wasteful costs, LPAs help organizations develop a culture of quality by encouraging:
- Company-wide engagement
- Proactive risk management
- Top-level prioritization
- Ongoing communication
- Accountability to define methods and standards
Cultural benefits aren’t always as tangible, but they’re essential building blocks for achieving ambitious cost reductions and improving competitiveness
Developing Your LPAs
LPAs shouldn’t be just another process to manage, but rather a tool to help you achieve and hold quality gains. A simplified framework for starting an LPA program involves three steps:
- Verify Your Processes
- Engage Your Employees
- Build a Culture of Quality