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ISyE NEWS : The Industrial & Systems Engineering Department Newsletter


Featured articles

Printing company uses UW-Madison methods

Hy-Vee partnership will optimize warehouses for a Wisconsin business

More than free time: Professor on sabbatical


Department Picnic

Save the date!
Lifetime achievement recognition for David Gustafson

Regular Features

Message from the Chair

Department News

Focus on new faculty: Jim Luedtke

Student News

Alumni News

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In tough times,
printing company uses UW-Madison methods
to recover

Raj Veeramani with Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle

From left: Ananth Krishnamurthy; Omnipress Vice President of Operations Tracy Gundert; and CEO David McKnight.
(View larger image)

Decorative initial cap I n the difficult business climate following Sept. 11, 2001, leaders of Madison-based printing company Omnipress decided it was time for a change as costs continued to rise. Omnipress, which specializes in conference and educational meeting material solutions such as printed books, handouts, CD ROMs and flash drives, decided to implement quick-response manufacturing (QRM), a set of principles and methods for reducing product lead times from weeks to days pioneered by Professor Emeritus Rajan Suri.

With help from students in the UW-Madison Center for Quick Response Manufacturing, Omnipress reorganized its CD production to ensure a flexible workflow by combining all CD-related operations on one team and cross-training the team members to do almost every job. The result was startling: Within months, staff slashed their CD publication time by 70 percent.

Graphic of a CD ROM

“We saw that the QRM principles worked,” says Omnipress CEO David McKnight. “We also anticipated we could get better efficiencies and results if we applied the concept to the whole company.”

Again, results were almost immediate. Within one quarter, the time to finish a print or digital job was on average cut by half. The shorter production time means Omnipress is well positioned to remain competitive in future economic downturns. The reorganized workflow has also reduced costs, increased revenue, uncovered hidden resources and created new growth potential.

Omnipress is one of more than 190 companies to have worked with the QRM center in the past 15 years. “Omnipress’ success shows how QRM’s focus on lead time reduction strengthens competitiveness,” says QRM Center Director and Associate Professor Ananth Krishnamurthy. “The center provides companies like Omnipress a forum to learn about QRM and help in the transition from theory to practice.

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Copyright 2009 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System

Date last modified: Monday, 3-August-2009
Date created: 3-August-2009



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