At a very macro level the First Article Inspection process is a risk management tool. Manufacturing a product that is expensive, dangerous to operate, potentially threatening to human life or other catastrophic impacts of various types call for a disciplined manufacturing process to increase success of the product and remove as much financial and liability risk as possible.
Performing a FAI enables companies to track and improve their production methods (including during different stages of development) and instantly report the results to meet corporate expectations and regulatory requirements.
With FAI, companies can be well positioned to quickly review proper documentation of design characteristics, manufacturing parts, referenced exhibits, drawing requirements, product specifications and much more.
An FAI typically will help a manufacturer ensure that production begins on schedule and that quality concerns have been addressed. Mistakes may still occur, but an FAI will minimize them (and document how they’re addressed).