QRM News

Notable Industry Articles Pertaining to QRM

Quick Response Manufacturing Certificate Program

Tempus Institute offers a QRM Certificate Program to provide a credential for practitioners who demonstrate capability and knowledge of QRM. There are three certificates available. Level One is a certificate of QRM Knowledge for those who have been trained in QRM and participated in a project. Level Two is a certificate of QRM Leadership for those who have demonstrated skill in QRM training and implementation. Level Three is a certificate of QRM Mastery for those who have made contributions to the QRM body of knowledge.   

​Bill Ritchie, President and Founder of Tempus Institute based in Dayton, Ohio, notes that the certificate program is a useful credential for both external consultants who assist enterprises in QRM implementation and internal employees who want to demonstrate their QRM skill to become Champions that sustain lead time reduction into the future. He notes that Dr. Suri considers Level Two Certificate holders eligible to use his materials for training.

Level One – QRM Knowledge
Outline of Requirements:

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Warnacut Publishes “The Monetary Value of Time – Why Traditional Accounting Systems Make Customers Wait”

Of particular interest to the QRM community is a new book that examines accounting practices from the perspective of a high-mix, low-volume manufacturing environment.  Author Joyce Warnacut contends that traditional accounting systems and metrics run counter to lead time reduction principals, often increasing customers wait time, rather than reducing it.

Warnacut states, “The ability to deliver a product that is made to customer specifications, at a competitive price, in the quantity needed, and at the same time quicker than the competitors is a distinct strategic advantage in many markets.  However, traditional cost accounting systems will tell you that the process of creating strategic advantage in this fashion is not cost-effective.”

To substantiate her assertions, Warnacut has over 30 years of experience in manufacturing firms serving as controller, CFO and vice president.  She currently serves as director of finance for Germanna College in Locust Grove, Virginia.  More relevantly, in her previous recent tenure as former CFO of longtime QRM member-company Nicolet Plastics in Mountain, Wisconsin, Warnacut served as the chief architect for their QRM initiative, which culminated in Nicolet being awarded the Manufacturing Leader of 2013 for Operational Excellence by the Manufacturing Leadership Council (ML100).

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Five Reasons Why QRM is Going to Change Dutch Industry

by David Kemps, Banker - Industry Sector, ABN-AMRO Bank, the Netherlands.

English translation of the “Insights” column, May 2015, on the ABN-AMRO Bank website.

Nearly 20 years ago Prof. Dr. Rajan Suri published his first book on Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM). In 2015, this process improvement method is in the limelight through its resounding results. Now that foreign competition is getting stronger and pressure on costs remains high, many industrialists are trying to adapt their organizations to the “low-volume, high-mix” customer requirements. However, production processes are currently tuned for optimum efficiency, while the customer requires customization and flexibility. These goals appear to conflict with each other, but in fact, QRM can increase the effectiveness of production in this low-volume high-mix environment, and thus improve customer satisfaction. 

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Provan Receives Belgian “Factory of the Future” Award

Provan, a Belgian supplier specializing in laser and sheet-metal working, welding and assembly, was recently recognized as a “Factory of the Future” as part of that country’s campaign, “Made Different.”

The “Factory of the Future” is a campaign launched by the Belgian government in recognition of the challenges faced by Belgian companies and the need for them to be innovative and future-proof.  The “Made Different” project is driven by Agoria, the Belgian federation for technology and industry and Sirris, the collective center for and by the country’s technological industry. To qualify for the award, a company must demonstrate seven essential transformations including modernization of machines, digitization, staff involvement and ecology.

Provan, one of the first of four companies recognized for the award, focuses on the Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) strategy in everything it does - with the goal of reducing lead times and working with the lowest possible stock levels. Even the introduction of a new operational planning system was designed and almost fully digitized to support QRM.  For Provan’s customers, this means the company can quickly respond to changing market demands with new products and modifications.

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Marel Manufacturing System Drives Speed and Quality Throughout its Global Operations

How does a multinational organization made up of 4,000 employees of different cultures who speak different languages and perform different functions at sites in 30 countries develop a dominant, enterprise wide, unifying strategy that is understood and embraced by all?

Marel, which designs and manufactures highly customized food-processing equipment, faced that challenge after nearly three decades of expanding through acquisitions. It purchased Stork Food Systems in 2008, a firm with U.S. roots dating to the 1850s that had its own blend of acquisitions, history, culture and manufacturing practices. Equal in size to what Marel had become, Stork introduced even greater diversity into the parent company’s operations and culture. With the acquisition of Stork, Marel’s international profile now includes, in addition to multiple sales offices and its Iceland headquarters, 17 manufacturing sites in Iceland and the United States, the Netherlands, Brazil, China, Singapore, the UK, Spain, Denmark, Norway and Slovakia. The global economic crisis of 2008–09 led to changes in Marel’s top management. Aligning the sales function to achieve one consistent image, one identity, one “voice” to the customer emerged as a primary goal. “Customers saw us as a conglomeration of different companies,” says Global Manufacturing Director Fred Vijverstra. A parallel goal was to effectively capitalize on synergies within and among Marel’s various facilities. Each had developed its own unique operational process improvements, but there had never been a structured way for those to be shared. Netherlands-based Vijverstra, a 20-year Marel veteran who holds a degree in mechanical engineering, was charged with helping to integrate the conglomerate’s strengths through the design, implementation and oversight of a new manufacturing strategy that would help meld Marel’s disparate cultures and processes. He brought together an equal number of representatives from Marel and Stork; they agreed that the focus had to change from the organization’s differences to a new vision that recognized the organization’s similarities. It took until 2010 to formulate and formalize what was to become the Marel Manufacturing System, or MMS, and until 2011 to be ready to introduce and roll out the new approach to its 17 manufacturing facilities.  

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