Quick Response Manufacturing, or QRM, is a company-wide strategy to reduce lead times, particularly for low-volume and custom-engineered products. It is the latest development in lean manufacturing where companies have progressed from the just-in-time (JIT) methodologies of the 1970’s. Aztalan has adopted this practice by taking steps to stay ahead of the competition to ensure continued quality customer service along with the best product output around.
Implementing QRM requires the entire organization understand its role in this vital process. In addition, both management and employees should fully understand and support the manufacturing systems in place, especially those that affect lead times. QRM reduces both external and internal lead times: the internal aspect focuses on reducing lead times for all tasks within the organization, such as the time to approve an engineering change; reducing external lead times means rapidly designing and manufacturing products for specific customer needs. Reducing these lead times results not only in quick response, but also in lower cost and improved quality. It has been shown that companies that use QRM have reduced their lead times by 80 to 90 percent.