Summary of It's About Time

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It's About Time book summary

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After his 1998 groundbreaking guide to “Quick Response Manufacturing” (“QRM”), Rajan Suri returns with a concise edition that takes on a how-to perspective and explains the system’s core concepts. You need not be an engineer or expert in manufacturing to understand how Suri turned former conventional wisdom on its head with respect to how companies can make their operations more efficient and customer-oriented. Suri details all aspects of QRM so that any company can benefit from his instructions. Step by step, you can follow his examples to see how QRM uses time-based analysis to reduce costs and improve outcomes. 


About the Author

Rajan Suri, PhD, is professor emeritus of industrial engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He founded the Center for Quick Response Manufacturing and was its director from 1993 to 2007. In 2006, he received the Albert M. Sargent Progress Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers for creating and implementing the QRM philosophy. Updates and appendices for this book are available under the “additional resources” tab at online.


Quickly responding to customer needs is a competitive advantage.

Few companies look at their entire production process from raw material to customer delivery in terms of the total amount of time these jobs require. Yet time is an important factor for competitiveness and market share. “Quick Response Manufacturing” (QRM) strategies are valuable for analyzing existing processes and redesigning them to minimize total lead times.

The roots of cost-based analysis go back to auto maker Henry Ford’s assembly line and the early 20th-century ideas of scientific management. They focused on reducing manufacturing processes to the simplest series of tasks that could be rapidly repeated by low-skilled workers, a strategy that works for making large quantities of a single product. This cost-based approach became the model for manufacturing in the industrialized world. Today, many companies want to produce numerous products, while targeting ever-smaller market segments discernible through the growing amounts of online market data available.

Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) is a proven enterprise-wide&#...

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