About the QRM Center

The QRM Center is a partnership between companies, faculty and students at UW-Madison, dedicated to the research and implementation of lead time reduction principles. Our goal is to help member companies reduce lead times in all areas of their operations to become more efficient and profitable in the increasingly competitive global marketplace.

Since its inception, the QRM Center is a true win-win-partnership between industry and university faculty. Industry partners gain access to cutting edge research to reduce lead times and stay competitive. Faculty and students benefit from the real-world exposure of their research, leading to further refinement of QRM principles. Over the years, this virtuous circle has propelled many companies forward while fine-tuning QRM principles into a sophisticated management strategy firmly grounded in manufacturing reality.

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Rajan Suri first developed some of the principles of Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) in the late 1980s. Combining growing academic research in Time-based Competition (TBC) with his own observations from various lead time reduction projects, Suri conceived QRM as a concept espousing a relentless emphasis on lead time reduction that has a dramatic long-term impact on every aspect of the company.

In 1993, Suri, along with a few Midwest companies and academic colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, launched the Center for Quick Response Manufacturing as a mechanism to combine university research with industry practice to address industry’s urgent need to reduce lead times, especially in manufacturing increasingly high-variety and customized products. Proposed by Suri, the newly-coined term “Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM)” signifies the new strategy.