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How to Design Office Cells to Reduce Lead Times for Custom Products See upcoming dates


When it comes to continuous improvement initiatives, most manufacturing companies primarily target opportunities on the shop floor. However, office operations such as quoting, design and order processing could present a huge opportunity for your business to reduce lead times and grow market share.

Companies offering high-mix, low-volume or custom-engineered products spend significant time and resources in processing quotes, finalizing engineering designs, establishing bill of materials and purchasing critical components. Restructuring your operations into office cells could lead to significant improvements in long lead times, missed opportunities in quoting, delays in order processing, engineering changes, expediting and high costs. 

For more than two decades, the Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) Center, in collaboration with its member companies, has developed several tools, methodologies and principles to design office cells specifically for high-mix or custom-engineered products.

Join us for this workshop to learn how to design and implement Quick Response Office Cells (Q-ROCs) to improve order capture rate, streamline order processing to reduce hand-offs and release orders to the shop floor faster.

What you will learn:

  • Overview: Explanation of the Four Core Principles of Quick Response Manufacturing
  • The starting point: Focused Target Market Segment – the nucleus of a production cell
  • Designing the cell: Streamline office operations to reduce hand-offs and reduce lead times
  • Implementation: Steps to start a Q-ROC at each participant’s company


Office cells: An integral part of the QRM strategy

  • QRM fundamentals and the role of your organizational structure
  • Key aspects of QRM cells

Where to start: Focused Target Market Segment – the nucleus of a cell

  • What is the motivation for creating the cell?
  • Ways to identify a Focus Target Market Segment
  • Case studies on FTMS creation

Designing the cell: Streamline office operations to reduce hand-offs and reduce lead times

  • Using process redesign principles
  • Using system dynamic principles


  • Provides a roadmap to start a Q-ROC in each participant’s company


Charlene Yauch

Charlene A. Yauch, Ph.D., P.E., has been an engineering educator for over 20 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) and Oklahoma State University. Her notable honors include five teaching awards and a National Science Foundation Career grant. She has taught a wide variety of classes, including Manufacturing Systems Design & Analysis, Materials & Manufacturing Processes, Computer Numerical Control Machining, Automation Technologies, and Engineering Economy.

Her professional interests relate to the implementation of manufacturing system improvements, such as Quick Response, Lean, and Agile Manufacturing, with emphasis on the human, social, and organizational aspects. Prior to her doctoral degree, she worked in industry for six years, performing a wide variety of tasks for manufacturing firms, including simulation modeling, facility layout, and process improvement. She has also advised numerous student projects related to manufacturing system improvement.  Dr. Yauch has a multi-disciplinary educational background with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University, and graduate degrees in sociology (M.S.), manufacturing systems engineering (M.S.), and industrial engineering (Ph.D.) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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