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Quick Response Manufacturing

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Quick response manufacturing " QRM " is a methodology developed from the point of view of logistics. Its strategy is based on the total elimination of downtime during the phases of manufacturing and office operations " such as queues, waiting, on processes, etc. ".

The purpose of this methodology is to reduce the time critical path manufacturing " Manufacturing Critical-path Time, MCT ", which is based on manufacturing and faster delivery times.

What are the basics of QRM?

Rajan Suri has developed a theory that points out the existence of four basic QRM concepts.

The power of time

The delivery time is more important than many managers think. Long delivery times cause many organizational expenses as a result of additional planning, forecasting, expediting, storage, etc. Such costs can add up to four or five times the cost of labor.

The structure of the organization

Rapid response manufacturing transforms traditional departments into " QRM cells. " These are more flexible " offer a greater variety ", more holistic " employees have more power " and also apply off-site. Each of these cells has three to ten people, and each of the cells performs a similar number of tasks. For the processing time to remain short, the amount of work in progress per work cell must be small. In addition, each cell is composed of a multidisciplinary team and, if necessary, team members can take over the work of others.

System dynamics

When managers understand how capacity, batch size and other factors affect delivery time, QRM allows them to make better decisions. One way to do this is to strategically invest in additional capacity. The rapid response manufacturing demonstrates that this investment recovers quickly thanks to the reduction of costs in planning, expediting, inventory, among other costs due to the delay in delivery times.

Application throughout the organization

Although the rapid response manufacturing methodology is designed logistically, it doesn't apply only to the workshop. In fact, this methodology is implemented at all levels of the organization, from the office section to the supply chain.

When talking about QRM it's easy to find another methodology related to logistics, Lean Manufacturing. However, rapid response manufacturing is aimed at companies with low volume and high product customization. This strategy also eliminates dysfunctional variability " caused by errors and poor systems, for example, repetition of work, machine breakdowns or changes in priorities ". However, the QRM doesn't eliminate strategic variability, but exploits it to take competitive advantage.

The Lean Manufacturing methodology is responsible for eliminating all the variability in the manufacturing system, which works optimally for those organizations with a high volume of production and replacement products, but not for low volumes, high variety or customized products. Both methodologies aren't exclusive, but both can be carried out to improve business performance.


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