Manufacturing Critical-path Time (MCT) - Definition

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Manufacturing Critical-path Time (MCT) - The QRM Metric for Lead Time

by Paul D. Ericksen, Nathan J. Stoflet, Rajan Suri, QRM Technical Report, April 2007

Manufacturing today abounds with acronyms and definitions. So why is there need for another one? The reason is integral to the theme of Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM)*: in order to reduce lead time, you first must measure and benchmark its current value. In this document the focus will be supplier lead time. However, since every company is a supplier to its customers, this definition should help the operations side of any manufacturing enterprise.

Amazing as it may seem, prior to the formulation of MCT, no precise, unambiguous, practical, and universal definition for supplier lead time had been put forth. Such a definition is essential to the success of QRM: If you were interested in reducing lead time, you would need a precise definition of lead time. You can't reduce something if you can't even agree how to measure it!

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