17th International Conference on Quick Response Manufacturing

As manufacturers compete in an increasingly challenging global market, they need to provide customers with customized, high-quality products that can be delivered fast! Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) provides an enterprise-wide strategy that can help manufacturers compete on speed and achieve positive financial results. For almost 30 years, the Center for Quick Response Manufacturing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has helped over 300 companies from a variety of industries implement strategies for lead time reduction in manufacturing, assembly, quoting, engineering, order processing, purchasing, and supply chain. Companies have reduced lead times by over 90% and costs by over 30%, while improving on-time deliveries to 99% and increasing productivity by over 50%.

Join us on September 19-20 in Madison, Wisconsin for this year’s international conference to hear industry executives and QRM experts from across the world share case studies on results achieved and tutorials on application of QRM principles. Learn how others have used QRM to achieve dramatic results, transform their companies, and race ahead of their competition.

An added bonus for the 2022 conference is that it will be held jointly with the UW E-Business Consortium. Conference attendees will be able to take advantage of joint sessions and offerings in parallel tracks related to supply chain, marketing, information technology, and customer service.

Preconference Workshops

Choose from two different topics for an optional preconference workshop, held on September 19 from 1:30-4:30pm at the Monona Terrace. 

System Dynamics in Action:  A Hands-on Simulation Game

Pascal Pollet, Sirris, Belgium, QRM Institute Chairman
Eli Alef, Tailwind, Israel, QRM Institute Member

System dynamics describes the complex interactions between machines, workers, products, and tasks in a manufacturing system. Understanding and exploiting system dynamics leads to improved operational decision making and increased manufacturing system performance. This workshop demonstrates the effects of manufacturing system dynamics on throughput, work in process, and flow time of a simulated manufacturing plant, called the “Tailwind Factory.” Each “plant team” will be able to modify their operational strategy and observe the results as the simulation game progresses.


Dr. Charlene Yauch, QRM Center Director

Continuous Improvement Methods:
What to Use and When
Charlene Yauch, Director, Center for Quick Response Manufacturing

Since the 1990s, numerous methodologies have been created for continuous improvement of manufacturing systems, including Lean Manufacturing, Quick Response Manufacturing, Agile Manufacturing, and Theory of Constraints. This workshop provides an overview of each of these improvement methodologies, distinguishes key features, highlights anticipated performance improvements, and helps attendees understand the production and business context where each is most appropriately applied.

Note: There is a $165 fee to attend a preconference workshop, which is not included in the conference registration price.

Register Now!

Conference Details:

When: September 19-20, 2022

  • September 19: Choose from 2 Pre-Conference Workshops, 1:30-4:30pm
  • September 20: Conference is held from 8am-4:30pm

Where: Monona Terrace, 1 John Nolen Dr., Madison, WI

Cost: Register early for the best price!

  • Early Bird Pricing (ends July 31)
    • Members: $495
    • Non-members: $595
  • Regular Pricing (Aug 1-Sept 20)
    • Members: $595
    • Non-members: $695

Conference Presentations and Speakers

Use the tabs below to view the different presentation topics and speakers we will have at our conference. Continue to check this website as additional information will be added in the coming weeks!

richard walters  danielle weatherly

Session Presenters

Richard Walters, CEO

Danielle Weatherly, Pre-Production Manager

New Ravenna Mosaics
Virginia Beach, VA

Stopping the Doom Loop: How QRM and POLCA Saved Us from Chaos

Presentation Topics: 

  • We implemented QRM across all of New Ravenna’s manufacturing operations initially and then to some of our production-related office operations such as sales and production planning.
  • Our goals were to focus the organization on continuous improvement, reduce lead times, improve cash flow and rebuild credibility with our customers.
  • We implemented POLCA as a second phase of our implementation after we became more comfortable with the concepts of QRM.
  • Our experience showed the huge improvements in lead time reduction that are possible even in a company whose product mix is 70% make-to-order.We also learned the critical importance of a QRM mindset, the impact of office operations on lead time improvement and the necessity of daily problem solving.
  • QRM and POLCA transformed New Ravenna. Within 3 years we went from the company’s worst year ever financially to its best despite the pandemic

About the Presenters: 

Richard Walters: Richard Walters is the CEO of New Ravenna, which he has led since 2016.Prior to joining New Ravenna, he worked in the finance, IT and government services industries. He also served as a US Army officer. Mr. Walters has an MBA from LondonBusiness School, an MA from Oklahoma University and a BS from Georgetown University.

Danielle Weatherly: Danielle Weatherly heads New Ravenna’s production planning team. In this role she is responsible for scheduling all orders across a complex routingsystem, identifying capacity limitations and assisting manufacturing leaders in resolving production problems.Mrs. Weatherly helped implement New Ravenna’s QRM and POLCA systems. She has worked at New Ravenna since 2001in a variety of roles, including as a mosaic artisan.

About New Ravenna: 

New Ravennais America’s premier designer and manufacturer of custom stone and glass mosaics for both residential and commercial installations. The handcrafted mosaics are fashioned into decorative borders, murals, fields, and medallions. Mosaic materials are polished, tumbled, honed and cut to create distinctive styles and subtle shade variations and textures. The installations are custom works of art in mosaic tile, which often incorporate the designs of architects, interior designers and their clients.

New Ravenna mosaics are found in homes, restaurants, hotels, casinos, and businesses around the world, and are available for purchase through designer showrooms across the country and internationally. New Ravenna has approximately 120 employees and is proudly located on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

     amy schweinhart

Session Presenter

Abby Schweinhart, Manufacturing Engineer, Sierra Space

Schuette Metals
Rothschild, WI

Office Cell Combines Design & Manufacturing Engineering for New Part Implementation

Presentation Topics: 

  • Representing 75% of sales, repetitive parts are components that will be fabricated multiple times over the lifespan of a product and require detailed preparation to guarantee consistent and repeatable production
  • Goal: Design a QRM office cell (Q-ROC) to reduce new repetitive part implementation by 50%, ensuring on-time production and the ability to meet customer promises
  • Swimlane diagrams and MCT mapping played a key role in visualizing the existing implementation process, revealing just two core departments essential to new part implementation
  • A conventional Q-ROC design estimated a 35% reduction in lead time, but was complex and heavily reliant on time-slicing to incorporate all relevant areas of expertise
  • In lieu of a conventional Q-ROC, creating paired-work teams of project and manufacturing engineers is a simple approach to reduce the recurring theme of communication delays identified by the Q-ROC design process

About the Presenter: 

Abby Schweinhart is a Manufacturing Engineer at Sierra Space in Madison, WI. While earning her M.S. in Industrial Engineering at UW-Madison, she collaborated with industry partners such as Schuette Metals on QRM cell design to reduce lead times for manufacturing and office operations.

About Schuette Metals:

Schuette Metals is a leading full-service metal fabricator with 175 employees located in Rothschild, WI with a reputation as the go-to metal fabrication company for complicated manufacturing. Since 1957, Schuette Metals has used advanced technologies to manufacture components used in finished products by a variety of OEMs in sectors including architectural, agricultural, construction, defense, industrial, and access equipment.

karen jones  megan patterson

Session Presenters

Karen Jones, Commercial Operations Manager

Megan Patterson, Master Scheduler

Sentry Equipment
Oconomowoc, WI

Office Cell Delivers Rapid Response and Motivation for Additional Cells

Presentation Topics: 

  • Express Lane QROC was our first cell and now we’re moving on to a shop floor and office cell that have the same FTMS and another shop floor cell. Working on the low hanging fruit first in each area.
  • Objective of the QRM effort was initially to reduce lead times in our office operations.
  • Education with book clubs, presentations, and online trainings prior to launching our first cell.
  • The principles of Ownership and Collocation of the first cell have been key to the success of the cell.
  • Process improvements are always at the top of the QROC’s mind. Even after a year, they are working on more and more improvements, which they can share with other areas as well.
  • Robust Steering Committee that helps to move our QRM efforts forward.

About the Presenters: 

Karen Jones is the Commercial Operations Manager and has been with Sentry 16 years. She has held positions in Purchasing and Materials Management before moving to the Commercial side. Karen earned her CPIM with APICS and is passionate about process improvements and improving employee experiences while creating excellent customer experiences.

Megan Patterson, the Master Scheduler at Sentry Equipment, has successfully implemented QRM at three companies now. Megan has experience in Continuous Improvement with QRM, Lean and Six Sigma principles. Outside of work, you will find Megan behind a camera, working out and spending time with her daughter and husband.

About Sentry Equipment:

Sentry Equipment is an employee-owned manufacturer of sampling equipment, that provides customers with custom solutions for safely monitoring processes. Sentry has been serving customers for 98 years and has been 100% employee owned for 36 years. Sentry Equipment has 170 employee owners with headquarters in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin and another manufacturing site in Houston, Texas. Sentry serves customers in all 50 states and in 55 countries across 6 continents. A few of the markets Sentry serves are Food and Beverage, Power, Pharmaceutical, Hydrocarbon Processing and more. Some of the major customers include Hormel Foods, Pepsi, Cargill, Exxon Mobil, and Shell.  Sentry proudly safeguards people and processes for a better world.

Session Presenters

Dominique Andreux, CEO
Quick Response Enterprise,
Lyon, France

Rodolphe Barbaray, Jewelry Business Unit Director

Eric Atton, Director of Activities

Plailly, France

We are excited to have our friends from DESRUES in France joining us at our conference this year. Additional information about this presentation will be available soon!

Conference Agenda

The QRM Conference will be co-located alongside the UW E-Business Consortium’s Annual Conference. Your registration allows you access to offerings from both conferences, and some of the sessions are shared between the two simultaneously.

All events on this agenda will be held in person at the Monona Terrace and streamed live to our virtual audience. Instructions on how to access the virtual conference, both for the day of and to view content after the conference date, will be shared with you after registration.

All times listed are in Central Time and are subject to change.

QRM Conference Offerings
UWEBC Conference Offerings

Continental breakfast; Networking and
Sponsor Booths Open

Grand Terrace
Opening Plenary Session

Welcoming Remarks: Mark Jeffries, Conference Emcee
Keynote Presentation

Exhibition Hall
Break; Time for Networking
9:20-9:45am QRM Welcome
Community Terrace
Networking and Strategic Briefings
Hall of Ideas
9:55-11:20am QRM Conference Speakers
Community Terrace
Track Speaker Presentations
Customer Service
Speakers 1 & 2
Information Technology
Speakers 1 & 2
Speakers 1 & 2
Supply Chain
Management Track
Speakers 1 & 2
11:20am-12:05pm QRM Mini Master Class
taught by Emeritus Professor Rajan Suri
Mini Master Class Presentations
Hall of Ideas
Lunch and Table Topic Talks
Exhibition Hall
Break; Time for Networking
Networking and Strategic Briefings
Hall of Ideas
1:55-3:20pm QRM Conference Speakers
Community Terrace
Track Speaker Presentations
Customer Service
Speakers 3 & 4
Information Technology
Speakers 3 & 4
Speakers 3 & 4
Supply Chain
Management Track
Speakers 3 & 4
Closing Session: Distinguished Executive Panel
Exhibition Hall

Bonus: Join us on the Grand Terrace Rooftop for additional networking and fun!