How QRM Can Help Steel Industrial Caster Manufacturers Run Lean
Lean manufacturing benefits every single industry, and while there are certainly plenty of well-known tactics and standards designed to help realize the lean manufacturing vision, there is evidence suggesting QRM, or quick response manufacturing, may be the best solution – especially for steel industrial caster manufacturers. Here are some of the ways in which QRM can improve processes and promote lean manufacturing.
Understanding Lean Manufacturing
Lean manufacturing is a complex concept, but its core idea is very simple: reducing and even eliminating waste in manufacturing. However, in this case, waste is not defined as excess product that hurts the bottom line. Rather, it is an activity that does not create value for the casters’ end users. Research from the Lean Enterprise Research Center, or LERC, shows that at least 60% of the activities in standard manufacturing facilities are waste and add no real value from the customer’s perspective. Reducing this waste is incredibly beneficial in numerous ways. Not only does it result in a better value for customers, but it can also improve the industrial caster manufacturers’ bottom lines.
How Does QRM Help?
QRM stands for Quick Response Manufacturing, which is a set of standards designed to help cut lead times in the manufacturing industry in all phases of operation – including office operations. QRM has long been shown to be especially beneficial for companies offering custom-engineered products such as custom casters due in part to the strategies that focus on productivity and time management.
QRM focuses on four core concepts:
- Time: QRM aims to help reduce hierarchal department structures and reduce the degree of labor specialization that can have a negative impact on lead time and generate extra costs.
- Application: The time-based management ideas at the center of QRM should be applied to every single part of a company, from its production floor to its office and even its supply chain.
- Dynamics: By understanding the dynamics of the work environment and industry, companies can more easily improve their ability to plan for each individual customer and drastically reduce lead times.
- Structure: Finally, QRM offers up tools for a Focused Market Target Segment, or a segment with much shorter lead times, which offers maximum benefits for both the customer and the business. These tools are designed for use in the production area and in the office.
Can QRM Help Caster Companies Employ Leaner Manufacturing Practices?
Because QRM is designed to help highly specialized companies that produce custom orders for a very targeted market optimize their entire manufacturing process – starting with the supply chain and ending with the delivery of the finished product – QRM is an ideal way to help caster manufacturers run lean. It can help redefine a company’s hierarchy, eliminate unnecessary departments (and their micromanagement), and allow companies to learn the shortest path between a customer’s order and that customer’s satisfaction, all while adding value along the way.
Time is the most valuable resource in any industry, but according to research, a product is only worked on for about 5% of the total lead time. This means 95% of the lead time is spent waiting for someone else to act. QRM is designed to cut the waiting on the production floor, in the office, in the accounting department, and even in engineering and research, which has a huge impact on lead times, especially in the custom caster industry.