Quick Response Manufacturing

Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) is a manufacturing strategy aimed at reducing lead times throughout the entire production process. It focuses on the rapid delivery of products to customers by minimizing waste and improving overall efficiency. QRM was developed by Professor Rajan Suri at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Purpose and Role: The primary purpose of QRM is to help manufacturers become more competitive by reducing lead times, which in turn leads to cost savings, increased market share, and improved customer satisfaction. The role of QRM is to provide a framework for identifying and eliminating inefficiencies in the production process, particularly in low-volume, high-variety manufacturing environments.

Components: The main components of QRM are:

  1. Focus on lead time reduction: The primary goal of QRM is to reduce lead times throughout the entire production process.
  2. Organizational structure: QRM promotes the creation of cross-functional teams, known as QRM Cells, that are responsible for specific product families.
  3. System dynamics: QRM emphasizes the importance of understanding the relationships between different elements of the manufacturing system and how they impact lead times.
  4. Enterprise-wide approach: QRM is not limited to the shop floor but extends to all aspects of the organization, including sales, engineering, purchasing, and support functions.

Importance: QRM is important because it allows manufacturers to better respond to customer demands and market changes. By reducing lead times, companies can minimize inventory levels, improve customer satisfaction, and increase their market share.


  1. Reduced lead times: QRM helps companies to deliver products to customers more quickly, enhancing their competitive advantage.
  2. Improved efficiency: QRM enables companies to eliminate waste and streamline their operations, leading to cost savings.
  3. Increased customer satisfaction: Faster response times and quicker product delivery can boost customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  4. Flexibility: QRM is well-suited for low-volume, high-variety production environments, making it applicable to a wide range of industries.

Pros and Cons:


  1. Improved competitiveness through reduced lead times.
  2. Greater efficiency and cost savings.
  3. Enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  4. Applicable to a wide range of industries.


  1. Requires organizational commitment and cultural change.
  2. Implementation may be resource-intensive, particularly for smaller companies.
  3. May not be as effective for high-volume, low-variety production environments.

Examples: A company that manufactures custom machinery might implement QRM to reduce the time it takes to design, produce, and deliver its products. By adopting QRM principles, the company can streamline its processes, eliminate waste, and improve collaboration among different departments, resulting in shorter lead times and increased customer satisfaction.

In summary, Quick Response Manufacturing is a manufacturing strategy that aims to reduce lead times and improve efficiency throughout the entire production process. By focusing on lead time reduction and fostering cross-functional collaboration, QRM can help companies become more competitive and responsive to customer needs.

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