Packet had recently embarked on a Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) program. QRM is an improvement strategy designed to reduce lead times and quicken response across all aspects of manufacturing and office processes. The process involves identifying activities that don’t directly contribute to the value of a product and work to eliminate or simplify that activity. QRM dovetails with other improvement programs such as 5S or Six Sigma.
QRM focuses on time; many times organizations will place more importance on other elements of an operation such as labor efficiency. QRM teaches us that long lead times leads to excess inventory and waste. Focusing on lead time results in improved response time in all phases of an operation.
Like any major effective implementation, commitment starts at the top. This program has commitment, involvement and follow through at the highest management levels at Packnet.
QRM fits perfectly with Packnet’s core strategy of beating our competition by being more responsive, innovative and flexible. We have already had positive feedback from some of our clients. One mentioned that our quote time was about 1/3 as long as our competitors. This was critical to our customer as waiting for a quote costs them time, and time is money. So while many of our competitors are taking 10 days or longer to return quotes, Packnet is taking 1-3 days.
QRM has been applied to much of our manufacturing. We have dramatically reduced in process inventory and clutter on the shop floor. Our manufacturing lead times continue to shorten. We are supplying many of our customer’s products via Kan bans using just in time manufacturing techniques. Our goal is to get an order in the morning and have it on the delivery truck that afternoon.
QRM is just one of the major strategic initiatives that Packnet is employing to become a stronger, more responsive supplier to the industry.