Quick Response Manufacturing

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Contributed by: Jane Austin

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What is Quick Response Manufacturing? Meaning.

Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) is a lead time reduction approach, aiming at reducing lead times in all phases of manufacturing and office operations, including concept, design, production and delivery. The method was developed by Rayan Suri in his book: Quick Response Manufacturing: A Companywide Approach to Reducing Lead Times, 1998.

QRM helps to respond quickly to customers’ needs by rapidly designing and manufacturing products customized to the requirements. At the same time Quick Response Manufacturing internally results in improved quality, lower cost and a quick reponse.

Compared to the Lean / JIT Approach, QRM is more suited for companies that make custom-engineered products in low or varying volumes.

The following four core concepts are underlying a QRM strategy:

  1. The Power of Time: While everyone knows that time is money, QRM addresses the non-obvious reasons why lead time is important (much more important than most managers realize), how it influences total operating costs and quality, and how to take advantage of this realization.

  2. Organizational Structure: Once you realize the huge significance of lead time, QRM shows you how to restructure your organization to minimize lead time throughout your enterprise.

  3. System Dynamics: QRM shows how interactions between machines, people and products impact your lead times. As a result, Capacity Planning policies (e.g. machine and labor utilization) and lot sizing policies need to be reconsidered.

  4. Enterprise wide Application: QRM is not just a shop floor approach; it is applied throughout the organization. It encompasses material planning and control, purchasing and Supply Chain Management, office operations such as estimating and order processing, and new-product development.

Quick Response Manufacturing versus Lean Manufacturing

Compared to Lean, QRM emphasizes a different mindset: the driver for all the principles and strategies in QRM is reduction of lead time. This time-based mindset results in many operating policies that are different from traditional ones. In contrast the driver in Lean Production is reduction of resources. Furthermore QRM  is a company-wide strategy, while typically JIT / Lean approaches are focusing on manufacturing and Materials Management

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Compare with: Just-in-time  |  Kaizen  |  Six Sigma  |  Value Chain  |  Value Stream Mapping  |  CPFR

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