When I first heard that Apexon was offering a PPAP/APQP automation solution for eighty bucks a month per user, my ears perked up. Because ultimately, highly focused On Demand solutions will be available across the Spend Management market at low price points which you'll be able to pay for with a P-Card. And this is a perfect example of one that's ahead of its time. Now, I'm not a quality or supplier implementation expert (though I'm married to someone who gets it far more deeply than I do). But I do know enough about the subject to be dangerous. For those that know less than me about the subject, PPAP/APQP refers to a parts approval process. And here's a really quick intro to what it's about (for those quality people reading this, feel free to tell me I'm full of *&$! and improve on my explanation).
PPAP (Production Part Approval Process)/APQP (Advanced Product Quality Planning) is a parts / component approval process. Essentially, it documents the agreement between a buyer and supplier about the way a part is going to be produced and the standards it will meet. Specifically, it documents the agreed to operational flow. And it also captures how quality will be measured. In addition, it forces both suppliers and the buying organization to agree on a process to take if there's a non conformity or quality issue.
There's a number of reasons to bring the PPAP/APQP processes online such as enabling visibility to multiple projects at a single time (so a supplier quality or procurement manager in charge of the implementation process can handle more projects at once and focus on exception management as a rule). In addition, an online approach enables dashboard driven management and visibility, not to mention a structured process for identifying quality or other issues and structuring resolution and tracking.
While I have not demoed the application yet, my kudos go out to Apexon for introducing such a targeted Spend Management solution at such a reasonable price point. Moreover, I believe that supplier quality and performance should be targeted from the start, and existing applications in the market focus on identifying issues after the fact, versus solutions like this which are designed to eliminate issues before they occur.