QRM projects pay off at ETAP
A manufacturer and supplier of professional lighting solutions, ETAP has achieved great results within a short period of time by implementing QRM in various departments.
Based in Malle, ETAP manufactures energy-efficient, flexible and comfortable lighting solutions for professional environments. ETAP develops and manufactures fixtures and systems in-house, both for normal and emergency lighting, and has recently conducted research into options for a new approach to serve their customers faster. The company found its new approach in Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM), a growth strategy that focuses on a radical reduction of lead times. To learn more about this approach, several employees completed QRM Silver training.
QRM @ ETAP
The company has now been implementing QRM for about one year and has started on several projects, both in production and in the office environment.
For the application of QRM in production, ETAP started with the emergency lighting department, to reduce delivery lead time. After several interventions, the time was reduced from 15 to 5 working days. The production of standard pictograms was also tackled. In this case, the lead time has already been brought down to three working days.
This success encouraged ETAP to continue the journey it had embarked on: deliveries to Australia and New Zealand within one week, a €150,000 reduction in finished product stock, and reduction in rotation in the finished products warehouse from 34 to 4 days.
Another major project addressed that was based on the QRM method was the LAAS (lighting-as-a-service) quotation process for the Belgian market. An analysis of the quotation process was used to reduce the turnaround time of lighting studies, by creating additional capacity through process optimisation and cross-training of sales support staff.
The final project looked at the redesign of a product. This task was brought to a successful conclusion by forming a Quick Response Office Cell (Q-ROC). A team of employees was brought together at a single location, so they could work together intensively. Despite the impact of COVID-19, the resulting concept was much stronger and the development time was reduced by two months.
Impact and lessons learned
ETAP managed to build up a great deal of experience and learn lessons from the many projects. ETAP now has a full-time QRM Program Manager and wishes to extend the principles of QRM to other levels within the company. In terms of the market, the implementation of the QRM strategy proved to be an important push to remain competitive – a considerable challenge given the great diversity of the ETAP product range.