How to Decrease Supply Chain Lead Times for High-Mix and Custom Products

Upcoming dates (1)

Mar. 14, 2023

Madison, WI


This course will present how to use manufacturing critical-path time (MCT) to evaluate supply chain performance and utilize the principles of quick response manufacturing to reduce long lead times in your supply chain.  The course will include presentation, group discussions, and hands-on exercises.


Intro by Jenny Patzlaff, Supply Chain Practice Director, UW E-Business Consortium

Overview of Quick Response Manufacturing

  • Understanding the power of time and the response time spiral

Using MCT as a performance metric

  • How to measure MCT and apply it to your supply chain

Supplier metrics

  • Comparing MCT to traditional metrics of cost, quality, and on-time delivery

Truck loading criteria

  • Moving from a cost-based to a time-based perspective when making logistics decisions

System dynamics principles

  • Importance of spare capacity and small batch flow
  • Demonstration of trade-offs

Outside operations (subcontracting)

  • Using time slicing for a shared or subcontracted process

Make vs. buy decisions

  • True cost of sourcing
  • Dual sourcing
  • Choosing a second source based on MCT and responsiveness

Delayed differentiation

  • Benefits of this strategy
  • Case examples

Multi-tiered concurrent planning

  • Cooperating across the supply chain for sales & operations planning

Office cells

  • How to organize office resources into quick response cells to manage sales & operations planning, purchasing, and supplier development

Relationship between time reduction and cost reduction

  • Using the Power of 6 rule to relate cost reduction with lead time reduction (and vice versa)

Upcoming dates (1)

Program Director

Charlene Yauch