Improving Teamwork and Empowerment in Quick Response Cells in Quick Response Cells

Upcoming dates (1)

Oct. 23, 2024

Madison, WI


Learn How to Empower Employees and Cell Teams

In today’s competitive environment, manufacturing companies need to reduce lead times in all aspects of their operations, both on the shop floor and in the office. One of the core concepts that enables this lead time reduction is reorganizing the company into Quick Response cells, which consist of dedicated, collocated, multifunctional resources that complete a sequence of operations for a focused target market segment. To maximize the flexibility of the cell, employees are cross-trained in a variety of skills and empowered to make decisions about their cell’s operation. Cell employees often take on responsibility for scheduling, planning resources, assigning workers to stations, ordering materials and supplies, inspection, shipping, and more. For most companies, it is a significant expansion and enrichment of people’s jobs. It changes how employees interact with each other and with management and may significantly impact the overall company culture.

Additional Information

This workshop focuses on the “people side” of cell creation and addresses topics including resistance to change, employee motivation and best practices for implementation. It provides you with practical strategies to support your cell implementation efforts and helps your business succeed through effective management of employees and cell teams. Quick Response cells can result in superior business performance through rapid response, higher quality and lower costs, as well as increased job satisfaction for employees.


What you will learn:

  • Defining Quick Response cells for shop floor and office
  • Managing employees in Quick Response cells
  • Why there may be resistance to change
  • Pros and cons of having a team leader
  • Prioritizing cross-training needs
  • Planning a job rotation strategy
  • How to incentivize employees
  • How to ramp up employee empowerment and accountability
  • Best practices from QRM Center member companies


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.

Upcoming dates (1)

Program Director

James Rink