How to Design Office Cells to Reduce Lead Times for Custom Products

Due to the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 situation, registration for this event is currently closed.

Office Cells Brochure
Click to download QRM Office Cells brochure.

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. The result: long lead times, missed opportunities in quoting, delays in order processing, engineering changes, expediting and high costs. Restructuring your operations into office cells could lead to significant improvements in these areas. Over the past 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 one day 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. Attendees will also participate in The Office Game, a hands-on simulation that demonstrates the effectiveness of Q-ROCs.

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
  • Simulation: Attendees will participate in The Office Game, a simulation that demonstrates the effectiveness of Q-ROCs
  • 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

Simulation: The Office Game

  • This simulation demonstrates the effectiveness of Quick Response Office Cells (Q-ROCs)


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

Bill Ritchie, President, Tempus Institute

Bill Ritchie
Bill Ritchie, President, Tempus Institute

Bill Ritchie started Customer Chain Consulting LLC in 2007 to help manufacturing companies benefit from Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM). Since that time he has worked with companies of all sizes to understand the need for an operations strategy and launch lead time reduction programs with QRM. Bill is a certified trainer in Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) and is actively involved with the Center for QRM at the University of Wisconsin. Prior to becoming a consultant, Bill was General Manager, Vice President of Operations, and Plant Manager for several industrial businesses including Boston Gear, Cone Drive Textron, and Union Pump Textron, where he was named Six Sigma Champion of the Year for the Industrial Group.

He founded Tempus Institute in 2012 to provide training, a certificate program, and support for Quick Response Manufacturing. He has spoken to groups throughout the U.S. and in Europe and is known as an enthusiastic and effective speaker who draws on his extensive experiences to illustrate his message. He holds an MBA and a BA and MS in economics and has completed executive programs at Wharton, the University of Chicago, and with the Harvard Business School faculty.

In addition, Bill was trained in Quality Transformations by W. Edwards Deming and Constraint Theory by Eli Goldratt, author of The Goal. Bill is certified in Change Management by Prosci to help organizations identify the key leadership factors needed to successfully implement and sustain their Lead Time Reduction programs.

Event Schedule

Continental breakfast and workshop check-in starting 7:30 a.m.

Course from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Workshop attendees are responsible for making their own arrangements for overnight accommodations.  The workshop fee does not include hotel accommodations.  However, for your convenience, a room block has been reserved for workshop attendees at the Madison Concourse Hotel at a reduced rate.

The Madison Concourse Hotel

Lodging at the Madison Concourse Hotel
1 West Dayton Street, Madison, Wis. 53703

Details for reserving overnight accommodations will be available soon.  Please check back.

Course Fees

$495 per person

Discounted fee for QRM Center members: $295 (QRM member companies may enroll up to five people at the member rate.)

Fee covers workbook, continental breakfast and lunch.


Registration deadline: August 14, 2020

Cancellations after deadline of August 14 will be assessed 25% of enrollment fee.