If as a company you are interested in reducing your product lead time and getting your products to market faster, and you are familiar with quick response to your customers’ needs, then quick response manufacturing is what you are looking for.
Quick response manufacturing is one of the most popular outcomes in which companies have progressed since the just-in-time methodologies of the 1970s. This process examines how lead times can be reduced across the enterprise to increase productivity.
When lead time is reduced, an organization can get its product to market faster and become more competitive. Customer satisfaction is an essential driver for companies, and responding quickly to customer needs is a crucial factor in quality management.
Customers expect their suppliers to respond to their needs, so adopting quick response manufacturing processes can be an advantage for companies.
What is Quick Response Manufacturing?
Although a simple concept, saving time is difficult for many manufacturers. This is where quick response manufacturing plays an important role.
Quick response manufacturing (QRM) is a strategy to reduce lead times in all aspects of manufacturing operations. Regardless of the tools used, the primary goal is to reduce total production time.
The time from order to delivery is critical for any manufacturer. Investing money in people and machines results from trying to meet customer deadlines.
Adopting QRM does not conflict with these efforts or make them obsolete, nor does it mean abandoning other improvement efforts. On the contrary, QRM will enhance existing improvement initiatives and take them to the next level.
Time, is a very powerful thing
Many of a company’s hidden costs are due to long lead times. Typical symptoms are excess inventories, planning difficulties, shipping costs, overtime, quality problems, etc. The result is often unhappy customers and a stressed workforce.
By clearly visualizing lead time and using a primary measure to reduce it, the organization will be clear about its strategic objective and avoid confusion around conflicting objectives.
The overriding measure is MCT – Manufacturing Critical path Time: the typical time from when a customer creates an order, through the critical path, until the first parts of that order are delivered to the customer.
Who can implement Quick Response Manufacturing, and what are the advantages?
There are two types of companies that can use a Quick Response Manufacturing:
– A company that produces small batches of engineering materials.
– A company that does not need to design products but offers many different parts with varying demand.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and the QRM is no exception to that saying.
When implementing a Quick Response Manufacturing program:
– 95% reduction in lead times.
– 30% reduction in finished product cost.
– 60% improvement in on-time delivery.
– 80% reduction in rework and scrap.
However, lead times are not always determined by manufacturing processes. For example, the purchase of raw materials, a back-office function, will trigger a lead time. Therefore, part of the QRM policy will include reducing lead times of non-manufacturing processes. The QRM will cover all areas such as purchasing, shipping, finance, and human resources.
Quick response manufacturing reduces manufacturing critical path time (MCT) and cuts unnecessary costs. In addition, getting your products to your customers faster and at a better price will eliminate the option of outsourcing.
Difference between Lean Manufacturing and Quick Response Manufacturing
The lean manufacturing model maximizes production flow by eliminating steps that do not add value to the end-user. All industries can apply the lean principle, but it shows significant results for high-volume production.
Quick response manufacturing is a model designed for companies with lower volume production, such as small shops that have high-mix or variant production jobs and manufacturers that make custom products.
Lean manufacturing is usually considered an operational program to be implemented by the operations manager to reduce manufacturing costs. In contrast, Quick response manufacturing is an enterprise-wide strategy to create a competitive advantage by focusing on time-based competition.
Quick response manufacturing is very similar to lean manufacturing. However, lean manufacturing is based on principles developed in automotive manufacturing and is best applied to high-volume production of similar products.
The adoption of QRM is noticeable on the production floor and has a substantial impact on back-office operations (purchasing, engineering, planning, etc.) and the supply chain.
Supply chain optimization with Quick Response Manufacturing
The beauty of QRM is that it provides organizations with tools and principles that help them create cells in low-volume, high-mix environments. These environments focus on what is known as the target market segment.
This segment where lead times are shortened helps a company massively in offices and in their plants where employees work on products.
Lean manufacturing is as important today (and will be tomorrow) as it was first conceived. Companies today-now, more than ever-are looking for cost savings in their supply chains. In negotiating purchase prices with suppliers, we can find these cost savings and process optimization.
If QRM is suitable for you and your company, using it to complement your lean manufacturing program will help you reduce costs across multiple functions. It will also help eliminate waste from your production processes, raise customer service levels and achieve a higher level of financial goal attainment.
Quick Response Manufacturing variability
One of the goals of lean manufacturing is to eliminate waste by minimizing variability. Quick response manufacturing refines this philosophy by distinguishing between strategic and dysfunctional variability.
Strategic variability adds value to the product line. Dell, for example, allows customers to select the options they want for their computers. This creates a high level of product variability and a high level of customer satisfaction.
Dysfunctional variability does not add value; the customer does not desire it, so it must eliminate it. An example of dysfunctional variability would be inaccurate manufacturing, so that product size varies more than customers can accept. Resulting in rework, product returns, and missed delivery dates.
Although quick response manufacturing goes beyond lean production, it does not discard or ignore the principles and methods of lean production. What it does do is extend and refine lean principles to focus more on reducing lead times.
Quick Response Manufacturing in Northridge, CA
Investing in manufacturing machinery is essential; you want to keep your machines in good condition and see a return on investment as soon as possible. With QRM, your devices can run less frequently and have more time for preventive maintenance work. This makes it more affordable to invest in new technologies and helps extend the life of your machines.
Speed versus quality has always been a conflict for manufacturers. Increasing production speed creates the potential for mistakes. An effective QRM process led by a disciplined team decreases the chances of error through a system of continuous improvement.
For medium and small companies focused on delivering customized products to their customers, quick response manufacturing provides the framework and methods to drive success. It’s not an easy road, as it requires a relentless commitment to reducing lead times, but the rewards are well worth the effort.
Choosing a good QRM provider to help you put a system that enables you to reduce costs and grow is essential to achieving good results in production and development.
To do so, at Maroney Company, we emphasize the quality of our customers’ services. As a result, the company is AS9001AD and ISO 9001:2015 certified. We also ensure that our highly trained professional machinists and technicians pay great attention to detail when meeting our customers’ requirements.
Contact Us for Your Quick Response Manufacturing
At Maroney Company, we look forward to helping our customers with their quick response manufacturing needs. Please call us at (818) 882-2722 or visit www.maroneycompany.com to discuss your requirements and find custom solutions tailored just for you.