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QRM Continues Rapid Growth Across Europe

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QRM Continues Rapid Growth Across Europe

Quick Response Manufacturing continues to experience rapid growth in many European countries as the following events reflect:

In France, the French translation of Rajan Suri’s book, It's About Time was celebrated with a book launch event in Paris on May 12, 2014.  The event drew nearly 100 participants and generated a feature story in the June issue of the French publication, Supply Chain Magazine.  With the publication of Faites du Temps votre allié!, Suri’s book is now available in English, Dutch, Russian, Polish and French.  The agenda included a speech by Suri and a QRM case study presentation by Bosch Hinges CEO, Fried Kaanen, co-founder of the European QRM Center in Arnhem, The Netherlands and a European QRM pioneer. On their shop floor, Bosch runs one of the most sophisticated POLCA systems in the world. 

Dominique Andreux, right, CEO of the French consulting firm Quick Response Enterprise, introduces the French translation of it’s About Time.  Seated are Fried Kaanen, CEO of Bosch Hinges, left and Rajan Suri, who spoke at the event.
Following the event in Paris, Dr. Suri was invited to teach a one-day QRM workshop in Ghent, Belgium, hosted by Sirris, the Collective Centre of the Belgian Technology Industry, a public-private partnership. The popularity of the event was indicated by the fact that the workshop was sold out and had a waiting list of over 10 people.

Perhaps most indicative of the growing interest in QRM at the grassroots level, the QRM Management Center in The Netherlands, issued its 100th QRM Alpha Specialist certificate.  The Center’s certification program consists of three levels.  The Alpha level trains participants in the core principles of QRM and encourages them to take the first steps towards the application of the strategy in their own companies.  It is a theoretical course and knowledge is tested through a rigorous exam and elaboration of a business case.  For the Beta level, participants need to show that they can implement QRM in a company themselves and achieve results with an increased QRM number.  The Gamma level is still under development in cooperation with universities, but the goal is to lead to a Masters’ degree.

Rajan Suri, front row near center, poses with a graduating class of the QRM Management Center.

In Germany, a QRM Workshop hosted in Frankfurt and organized jointly by partners in Germany and Scandinavia addressed both theoretical and practical aspects of QRM.  The cooperation of axxelia, QRM pioneers in Germany, and QRM Danmark featured an “Introduction to QRM” and more practical and technical explanations of Manufacturing Critical-path Time (MCT) and the Focused Target Market Segment (FTMS) presented by Dr. Suri.  The workshop’s agenda also included a QRM case study of cell implementation, presented by Carsten Steffensen, the CEO of Heco in Denmark.

Spearheaded by the consulting firm of 4 Results in Poland, the First Eastern European Conference on Quick Response Manufacturing, held in Warsaw on May 27, 2014, featured a keynote speech by Dr. Suri followed by case studies from recent European implementations.  The 4 Results leadership team shared the lessons learned regarding change management and challenges to successful implementation of QRM.  The following industry representatives also spoke:

  •  Radoslaw Salaj, director of Nederman Manufacturing in Poland, which develops solutions within the environmental technology sector, described a two-year company program that reduced lead times by 50% and increased growth 25%.
  • Godfried Kaanen, director at Bosch Hinges, again presented both his company’s cultural transformation and its unique POLCA implementation, which evolved from a card-based system to a digital control system that resulted in the development of PROPOS job shop control software.
  • Ben Proesmans, owner of Provan, a metalworking company and Pascal Pollet, senior advisor from Sirris, the Belgian Technology Centre mentioned earlier, described the implementation of two cells that helped reduce lead time from weeks to hours.

Approximately 70 people attended this event. Following the day of case studies, Dr. Suri presented a one-day workshop that focused primarily on the opportunities for lead time reduction in office operations such as quoting, design and order processing. As yet another indication of the growing QRM interest in Europe, this workshop was sold out well before the conference, and the organizers invited Dr. Suri to repeat the same workshop on a second day.

Irek Biliński, left, partner in the consulting firm 4 Results in Poland, presides over the First Eastern European QRM Conference.

The variety of events and the growth of QRM in Europe have also resulted in an increase in activity on the LinkedIn site managed by the QRM Center in Madison, Wis.  

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