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  5. Industrial engineering professor emeritus named to manufacturing 'dream team'

Industrial engineering professor emeritus named to manufacturing 'dream team'

 The cover of the December 2010 issue of IndustryWeek, featuring Suri (bottom left). Photo courtesy of IndustryWeek.

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Rajan Suri, a University of Wisconsin-Madison industrial and systems engineering professor emeritus and founding director of the Center for Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM), has been inducted into the 2010 IndustryWeek Manufacturing Hall of Fame. The hall of fame recognizes the top 10 individuals who embody the best of U.S. manufacturing.
Suri is part of a lineup of “industrial superstars” who have had a considerable impact on manufacturing worldwide. Suri joins Michael Dell, founder of Dell Computer, and Rich Teerlink, the past chairman and CEO of Harley-Davidson. Previous inductees include Apple’s Steve Jobs and Lee Iacocca, the former president of Chrysler who served during the company’s revival in the 1980s.

In developing the QRM philosophy, Suri combined management methods, engineering techniques, and behavioral insights to create a comprehensive theory for reducing lead times throughout a manufacturing enterprise, and put that theory into practice through the QRM center. “While everyone knows that ‘time is money,’ I was able to demonstrate that time is a lot more money than most managers realize,” he says. "By reducing lead times, not only do companies get the competitive advantage of quick response to customers, but they also experience significant reductions in cost, which allows them to compete effectively with production in low-wage countries."
More than 250 companies have partnered with the QRM center since its 1994 inception. Part of Suri’s vision was to have industry sponsor relevant work, and for the past decade, all of the center’s funding has come from industry sources.
Suri’s latest book, It's About Time: The Competitive Advantage of Quick Response Manufacturing, lays out the principles of the system, which is designed to help companies that make low-volume and custom-engineered products reduce both external and internal lead times. Watch a video about QRM.
The IndustryWeek announcement is available at

Sandra Knisely