Frequently Asked Questions

Getting started

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Our biggest customer is demanding faster response time. Can QRM help?

QRM helps your company to gain speed and serve your customers faster.

Reducing lead time throughout the organization is the most effective way to use speed as a competitive advantage. In most manufacturing companies, the amount of time a product is actually worked accounts for less than 5% of the total lead time. The rest is spent waiting. QRM provides a full set of tools to reduce unnecessary lead time.

I have never heard of QRM. How do I know that it's not just another buzzword?

QRM is tried and tested.

For more than 15 years, companies worldwide and from a wide variety of industries and size have implemented QRM with impressive results. Cooperation between industry, faculty and students at the Center for Quick Response Manufacturing continually develops and refines QRM principles with a focus on real-world challenges.

We already went through many improvement programs. Do we need to start all over again?

Simple Answer: No

QRM complements existing improvement efforts such as Lean programs. It helps companies to introduce and manufacture custom products on short notice and exploit strategy variability in the process.

QRM and other improvement strategies

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Because of high mix and customization we have struggled to implement certain Lean/Six Sigma concepts. Is QRM a possible solution?

QRM has been proven to work very well in a high-mix, low-volume environment.

QRM builds on the foundations of Lean (SS, VSM) but addresses common issues related to takt time, cells and dynamics in a high-mix environment. The focus on lead time provides a guiding principle on how to exploit variability to gain market share.

Across the enterprise

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Our shop floor has become very efficient, but it takes too long to generate a quote or process an order. Does QRM work beyond the shop floor?

QRM works in all functional areas of the enterprise including office operations like quoting, engineering, order processing and more.

Many improvement strategies focus solely on the shop floor. QRM takes the next step and gives you a set of tools to reduce lead times in the office and other “non-traditional” areas of your enterprise. After all, long quoting lead times and long production lead times mean just the same to the customer: time to take their business somewhere else.