What is QRM

Do you want to reduce the lead time of your products with 80% and costs by 25% lower than QRM is the answer. Mr. D. Kemp banker at ABN puts it perfectly: Almost published 20 years ago Professor Rayan Suri his first book on Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM)… Anno 2015, this process improvement method in the limelight by sounding results. Now the foreign competition is getting stronger, and pressure on costs remains high, many industrialists to adapt their organizations to the “low volume, high mix ‘customers’ demands. Production processes are now tuned for optimum efficiency while the customer requires customization and flexibility. This is going to collide. QRM helps increase the effectiveness of production and thus improve customer satisfaction.
These are my five reasons why QRM will change the industry : QRM…

  1. … creates a competitive advantage;
  2. … it is designed for tailor made production;
  3. … customers and workers are satisfied;
  4. … it can involve more than just your own shop floor;
  5. … it is a proven success formula for SME.

1. QRM creates a competitive advantage: In his books “Quick Response Manufacturing” (1998) and” QRM, it’s about time “(2010) Professor Suri describes how companies can shorten their lead time in a structural way. It is his theory that by reducing time in the process from the customer order until the delivery of the goods it also automatically creates lower costs and thus it becomes more competitive. QRM companies have demonstrated that their order lead times can be reduced by an average of 80 percent. Because of this they have reduced their costs by an average of 25 percent. Lower working capital improves the needs for a financial buffer of the entrepreneur. Also makes QRM relocation of production to low-wage countries unnecessarily.

2. QRM is designed for customization: The familiar process improvement methodology Lean Manufacturing is derived from the Toyota Production System. This method was designed by the Japanese to streamline high volume and repetitive manufacturing. However, consumers want more choice and customization. Industrial entrepreneurs see decline the order size and increase the variety. They must respond to this with more flexibility and customer production at low cost. Low volume, high-mix production are the mantra for the coming years. QRM used many elements of Lean, but is especially designed for customized production. Not all of the processes, for example, are to be standardized, such as in Lean. QRM focuses exclusively on reducing lead times. Variability in the process, namely, can provide the much needed speed and adaptability.

3. QRM makes for satisfied customers and employees: For enterprises stock is costly and for customized production it can be even impossible. This creates a gap between the customer’s wish and capability of the manufacturer. The result is an unhappy customer and a frustrated production. This is exactly the ‘burning platform’ where Professor Suri writes about in his latest book. You need drama to successfully implement QRM. Smart factories, intelligent robots and 3D printing will eventually provide customization and rapid local production. For now QRM will ensure customer satisfaction through fast delivery and greater flexibility, but also by improving coordination. QRM requires more interaction between manufacturer and customer. This requires more attention and communication with the customer, but also leads to higher customer satisfaction. QRM also makes for happy employees. Multi-deployable personnel is a prerequisite for implementing QRM successful. Additional training and collaborate with employees in customer teams provides an above average commitment and responsibility. QRM therefore contributes to sustainable employability and higher job satisfaction of employees.

4. QRM looks beyond our own shop floor: The ultimate aim of QRM is the entire supply chain – from ordering to delivery – to make it as “fast” as possible. This true in the factory, but also at the office. A slow quotation process or a long production time gives for customers the same result, namely they have to wait. With manufacturer of fireplace: Interfocos it showed that 85 percent of the errors in the plant were caused by misinformation from office. Within the industry we see that cooperation becomes the name of the game. The supplier takes care of the needs of the customer, but this also creates a growing interdependence. A lead time reduction and successful QRM implementation is only possible when we involve the entire chain there. It is precisely this collaboration creates greater loyalty and new opportunities.

5. QRM has proven to be a success in SME: shorter lead time is important for multinationals but also for SME. Main advocates for QRM in the Netherlands Fried Kaanen – owner of Bosch Hinges and president of the Royal Metal Union – and Thomas Luiten, director of operations Interfocos and partner at QRM Management Center. They give a lot of presentations on the practice of QRM. Luiten indicates precisely at small and midsize businesses with small series and a wide product variety, the improvement potential is great. Next to Bosch Scharnieren and Interfocos, other SME companies such as BOZ Groep, Agrifac, Altop Kunststoftechniek, Hapert Wagenbouw, De Vries Trappen, Heurkens & Van Veluw, Vrijdag Premium Printing, Provan (B) and De Haan Special Equipment have engaged in the QRM method.

Interesting links: Center for Quick Response Manufacturing, University of Wisconsin Kenniscentrum Technologie en Samenleving, Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen Blog Proces verbeteren.nl QRM Management Center Filmpje QRM bij plaatbewerker provan (B)