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Beacon Quality Blog

A blog on plant floor quality: IATF 16949:2016, ISO 9001:2015, layered process audits, 5S, health and safety, gemba & more. Our software, Beacon Quality, simplifies these processes with our mobile auditing solution.

7 LPA Mistakes to Fix Before Your Next Customer Audit Checklist [Plus Download!]

Mar 15, 2019  |  Richard Ruiz

New call-to-actionWhen a customer asks to see your layered process audit (LPA) documentation, will you be ready?

For many manufacturers, the answer is no. Instead of having proof of an effective LPA process, they’re left scrambling for data that show low audit compliance and few actual results. Unfortunately, poor LPA processes are enough to fail a customer audit, which could put your key contracts at risk. 

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7 Signs Your LPA Program is Struggling

Jan 22, 2019  |  Richard Ruiz

If your organization conducts layered process audits (LPAs), which of these statements accurately describes your results?

A. We’ve significantly reduced defects and complaints, using these high-frequency process audits to improve standardization.

B. We’ve been doing LPAs for awhile, but we’re not seeing much change in quality.

Those of you that answered B may question if LPAs are just a pointless customer requirement, or whether there are deeper problems within your approach. Here we examine 7 signs of a struggling LPA program, with tips and strategies for improving your results.

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7 Mistakes to Avoid with Layered Process Audit Checklists

Sep 04, 2018  |  Richard Ruiz

Consider the last time you conducted a layered process audit. What did you learn? How much insight did you get to improve the process? Did you have the opportunity for coaching and feedback?

If the answer to any of these questions was “not much,” then you’ve got work to do on your layered process audit checklists.

Layered process audits (LPAs) are a type of high-frequency audit common in automotive and aerospace manufacturing. The audits take place multiple times daily and require participation from all levels of the organization, creating a series of checks to catch process errors before they become defects.

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Familiarity Isn't Enough: How to Understand and Fix Manufacturing Processes

Jul 16, 2018  |  Richard Ruiz

Anyone who’s hired a quality management consultant knows that familiarity with processes isn’t necessarily the same as understanding them. The consultant’s outside perspective is often their greatest value, allowing them to ask questions that challenge the status quo.

And yet, many automotive and aerospace manufacturers still tend to mistake process familiarity for true understanding, an error that breeds complacency, variance and defects.

A layered process audit (LPA) program is a high-frequency auditing strategy that can bring these variances to the surface. However, LPAs only work when they drive a deeper understanding of your processes via the right questions, frequency and cross-functional participation.

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How Layered Process Audits Foster Quality Management Maturity (chart included)

Jul 02, 2018  |  Richard Ruiz

Management expert Philip Crosby famously asserted that quality is free, declaring that managing defects always costs more than doing things right the first time.

It’s even the title of his 1979 book Quality Is Free, which provides Crosby’s detailed quality maturity grid for helping organizations evaluate their performance.

Quality management maturity should obviously be every auto and aerospace manufacturer’s goal, but it can be hard to get from point A to point B. High-frequency audit strategies, specifically layered process audits (LPAs), provide a defined path for getting there.

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Layered Process Audit Checklist Template: 10 Questions to Get Started

Jun 15, 2018  |  Richard Ruiz

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6 Key Steps for Your Layered Process Audit Implementation

Aug 10, 2017  |  Richard Ruiz

If you could reduce defects by half in just a few months, what would that mean for your company?

It’s possible with a layered process audit (LPA) program, but the complexity involved with these audits means many companies don’t leverage their full potential. With LPAs, every layer of management participates in daily checks of high-risk processes. It’s a tall order for many organizations, requiring a solid plan and a prepared team.

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