M-Design Production halves delivery times and doubles sales thanks to QRM


By Pascal Pollet, Sirris – 25th of April 2018

Making high-quality products from sheet material is something M-Design Production could already do best. It was planning or predicting the delivery that often deemed to be a challenge. That is why the company decided to approach the production department and start doing things differently across the entire organisation. The new wind of change that has recently started blowing is called QRM and the step-by-step implementation has not done the company any harm!


M-Design Production in Zedelgem specializes in laser cutting and bending of sheet metal and metal welding. They deliver custom-made, high-quality sheet and welding products to large and small companies. Including M-Design, manufacturer of stoves and fireplaces. Thanks to high-tech software and machines and years of experience of the employees, the company is aiming for sustainable results.

The company processes up to 10 tons of material per day of different grades and thicknesses. The starting point of each product is sheet material that is always in stock. The sheets are processed scratch-free via an automatic sheet storage system, which has a storage capacity of 80 tons. The company makes a point of keeping waste to a minimum, to ensure the best prices can be guaranteed. Efficiency and the lead time are maximized in every step of production and designs can be refined at any time. This is how M-Design strives to deliver quality at the right time.

Speaking to manager Jan Pauwels: "We have worked hard on the quality of the products, and with result: we achieved the ISO 9001. After that we turned to the production environment and primarily the predictability of the delivery times were considered to be a challenge." M-Design Production started searching for a way to optimize delivery times and ended up finding Sirris.

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(Photo source: M-Design Production)

QRM is plain common sense

By following one of our Masterclasses, Jan Pauwels got to know QRM (Quick Response Manufacturing) better. He immersed himself in the strategy and subsequently followed the course to become a QRM Alpha Specialist. This caused the changes within the company to gain momentum. Jan: "Thanks to the QRM course I started noticing things that I did not see before, and I started to look at our way of working differently. So my vision of 'a machine should never be standing still' changed to 'a machine is allowed to be standing still'. QRM gives you new insights, well actually clear insights, that are sometimes in conflict with what you have learned in the past, and it teaches you how to make use of your own common sense."

Breakthrough with a Q-ROC

M-Design Production was fully committed to the implementation of QRM in the production environment, and with result. In addition, a Q-ROC was also formed on office level, where a group of specialists were set apart and due to this they switched to direct communication. Jan Pauwels explains: "Emailing has become a bit of a habit within companies, but this form of communication takes time and is ultimately uncertain: Did the recipient read all the messages? Will they answer? And by when? By placing a group of people together in one separate space enables them to talk to each other directly. To ask more questions, of which they will receive direct answers." This way, the employees are very much aware of what is important and the orders and the the follow-up run smoothly from the start.

Ambition strengthened by positive results

With only a few changes within the QRM philosophy, M-Design was able to realize an increased turnover of more than 50 percent in just a number of months and with the same number of employees. The follow-up of orders is now strict and transparent.

Jan Pauwels: "To know which results are being booked due to your adjustments, measuring is of great importance. Once you know your starting point, you can see the impact and how big the impact is. In a few months’ time we shortened the production lead time by a third, and these results were an incentive to continue. Even doubling the turnover with the same number of people, and halving the delivery times. The deliveries are more often ready within the predicted period and – something that is also of utmost importance - the delivery times have become predictable." This even applies to large deliveries, which the customers can most definitely appreciate.