Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) focuses on lead time in all aspects of an organization – from the office area (the entry point for most businesses) to manufacturing. QRM can be defined in two contexts: externally (as perceived by customers) and internally (in terms of its implications for organizational best practices).
Externally, QRM means responding to customers' needs by rapidly designing and manufacturing products customized to those needs.
Equally important is what QRM means internally to an organization. QRM goes beyond the capabilities and goals of just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing. While JIT manufacturing focuses on making only what your customers need, when they need it, and in the amount they need, QRM is a time-based strategy that focuses on reducing lead times throughout an organization's operations with the goal of improving quality, reducing cost, and eliminating non-value-added waste.
The QRM Philosophy – To compete in today's business climate of customized product manufacturing, companies must be able to work fast while ensuring the highest quality workmanship, which is a main driver for QRM. To understand and implement QRM, an organization must be able to fully grasp the effect long lead-times have on increasing costs, be willing to change its organizational structure and properly plan loading of work cells, while maintaining the expansion of QRM throughout the enterprise.
QRM provides principles and tools to reduce unnecessary lead-time in all areas of operation by creating cells in high-mix, low-volume, customized environments – from the shop floor to the front office to the engineering department.
The implementation of QRM at Alexandria Industries – With QRM, Alexandria Industries is able to manufacture high quality, custom products, allowing us to do things that our competitors cannot. This gives us a distinct competitive advantage over our industry peers, enabling us to offer our customers lead-times of as little as five days for aluminum extrusions, compared to industry norms of weeks, and sometimes, months. QRM provides Alexandria Industries the ability to exploit manufacturing variability, while thriving in customized markets of the future.
Our QRM Newsletters – Sharing information is something we do well at Alexandria Industries. These beneficial newsletters will provide insight into implementation, maintenance, and other helpful tips as it relates to QRM.
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