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Rajan Suri
Professor Emeritus, Industrial Engineering
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Member since 1998

“The APICS community is instrumental in helping industry adopt new ideas”

ASCM Member Rajan Suri, was one of only 10 people to be inducted into the IndustryWeek 2010 Manufacturing Hall of Fame for his embodiment of US manufacturing leadership, vision and innovative ideas. Suri, who is professor emeritus of industrial engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and has been on faculty since 1985, was honored for the development of the quick response manufacturing (QRM) strategy and his long-standing efforts in helping US manufacturers stay competitive in the global marketplace.

QRM is a company-wide strategy for reducing lead times. “Success stories from many companies have been documented at conferences and in industry publications” Suri notes.

In 1993 Suri founded the Center for Quick Response Manufacturing, a partnership between the University of Wisconsin and industry leaders with the goal of implementing QRM strategies in the real world. “Most of my career has focused on helping manufacturing companies improve their competitiveness…. I also developed new undergraduate and graduate classes to get more students excited about careers in manufacturing” Suri explains.

Suri says the APICS community and APICS magazine have had a profound impact on his career. Suri thought the APICS audience would be the perfect place to promote his principles. He submitted an article, which was published in APICS magazine in 1995. The response was overwhelming: Suri received more than 400 reader comments. “The APICS community’s response to my article convinced me that I should elaborate on my ideas,” he says. Three years later, Suri published his first book about QRM.

Having formalized his methods encompassing the entire organization, he decided to work more with the APICS community in order to help practitioners learn about and implement the QRM process. “ASCM Members were open-minded and receptive to many of my ideas—many of which challenged traditional beliefs,” Suri says.

He continued to receive numerous requests from APICS chapters to speak at their events. “The APICS community encouraged and supported my approach,” Suri says, noting that his APICS volunteer experience was very meaningful. “These activities are critical to the success of the APICS community. Volunteers benefit by gaining organizational experience and personal contact with other experts … as well as by developing a professional network of peers,” he says. “The APICS community is instrumental in helping industry adopt new ideas.”

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