Quick Response Manufacturing

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by Leslie Shalabi, Editor; Reprint of an article from September 2003 OEM Off-Highway

Many manufacturers affected by the economic slump of recent years have looked inward, struggling to find ways to cut costs. While lean manufacturing has helped in certain types of companies, the three-decades-old approach may not be the best solution for all — especially those that produce a high mix of products, that custom-design products, or that work in a market where demand can vary.

Quick Response Manufacturing, or QRM, is a concept that addresses two key factors: 1) the external aspect of responding quickly to customers by rapidly estimating, designing and manufacturing customized or new products; and 2) the internal aspect, which focuses on reducing lead times for all tasks throughout an organization. Applying the principles of QRM reduces response times, improves quality and lowers costs.

Review in this article a Top Ten list of traditional beliefs in the manufacturing sector. Do these misconceptions prevail in your company? Examine how valid they seem when viewed through the lens of Quick Response Manufacturing.