Layered Process Audits: Going Beyond Compliance to Get More Value


Do layered process audits drive real improvement in your organization? Or are they just another hoop to jump through for customers like General Motors (GM) and Fiat Chrysler (FCA)?

Layered process audits are comprised of quick checks of high-risk processes, preventing defects by identifying when people aren’t working to standard. While each audit only lasts about 10 minutes, they also take place daily, creating an administrative burden that leads many manufacturers to simply treat them as busy work.

This “check the box” attitude creates its own avalanche of problems.

Completion rates are low, delivering little data. People pencil-whip audits by passing every item blindly—a problem for nearly half of respondents in our State of LPA survey. Completed checklists become an overflowing pile of unfinished paperwork, waiting for someone to enter and analyze the findings. When auditors do uncover problems, they may not receive the proper follow-up, sending the message that management doesn’t actually care.

It’s a vicious cycle that adds up to huge amounts of wasted time and money considering the effort required to set up, manage and track LPAs. Ultimately, this bare minimum compliance approach also means more defects, complaints and warranty costs. That’s because process failures lead to product failures, and if nobody’s looking for them, they will continue to impact quality.

In this post, we examine how to break this cycle, leveraging strategies like checklist design, problem-solving and automation to get more from LPAs and move beyond compliance.





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