A working cell is an area where different operations have been joined together in a compact way.
So no functional structure but a structure based on process and product flow. These can be formed both on the shopfloor as in the office. In practice you often see combinations where both the direct and indirect tasks have been included.
The concept of manufacturing in cells already exists for several decades. These cells usually have a linear flow with a fixed sequence of operations and predetermined takt times (regular intervals), in which each operation has to be performed. QRM expands this concept of cells in different ways. QRM cells are always formed around a very specific and defined product-market segment (FTMS: Focused Target Market Segment).
We concentrate at what activities or operations are needed to realise the product. These tasks are allocated to people. The workers don’t have a single function but have a role in which they perform several tasks. So it is important to make the workers multi-disciplined. We realise this by means of cross-training (learn to perform each other’s activities). We therefore call the cell within QRM a Q-ROC, which stands for Quick Response Office Cell. This cell can, beside office tasks, also include tasks of the shopfloor. We always strive to locate Q–ROC physically as close as possible to the realisation of the product, for example on the shopfloor or near to the assembly.
What are the advantages of a QRM Cell?
- A simple and clear product flow which results in:
- low work in process / high flow
- Less handling
- Easy to manage
- Enrichment of the work
- Increased quality
- Reduction of non-value added activities