Value stream mapping
One of the tools used in Six Sigma is called value stream mapping. Value stream mapping allows you to see where your company is at now and where your company is headed. This allows you to plan for large customer demands and to prepare for times when customer demand is minimal. Value stream mapping is easy to implement and it provides companies with a great view of their manufacturing processes.
From the outside view, value stream mapping is extremely complicated. The map actually shows a connection from each individual component in the process along with their relationships to one another. The map will help you look over every process and look for some of the hidden wastes that exist.
Since most people are visual learners, value stream mapping provides them with a visual way to view productivity and performance. The map allows everyone at the company to see the same thing and correspond with one another.
Another benefit of value stream mapping is that it also allows you to map the existing processes to gain a view of how things are currently working. You can immediately see things that can be changed to quickly improve the company. Since you have instant results, you can discuss some changes that will impact your company into the distant future or just small departments within the company. The changes will go into affect immediately so the value stream map will reveal the results within a few days.
It is difficult to make predictions for the future and map them, which is why many companies only use value stream mapping for their present state. Comparing current results to future predictions often leads to disconnection between departments. This is due to the fact that some departments rely heavily on others and if they disagree with their predictions, it will cause problems for their department.
Every employee will have a unique role in value stream mapping and proper implementation of Six Sigma. Since the goal of the process is to reduce inefficiencies and improve performance, it is important for every employee to take steps toward improving their work performance. Quite often it boils down to the way they think about their job and the way they carry out certain job duties. If you find that they mundanely walk through their job duties, they are producing waste somewhere. To goal of Six Sigma is to help get them motivated and involved in the process. Employees must have a voice in mapping the future of the company.
Proper implementation of Six Sigma will improve employee morale and increase your sales. Companies that use value stream mapping are able to view some of the common lean manufacturing programs the company has tried and if they have been helpful. You can then compare them to some of the tools used in conjunction with Six Sigma to see the results.
Since value stream mapping does get complicated, you may want to consider purchasing some software that will do it for you. Value stream mapping software is a great way to organize all your data and it helps to present information to potential buyers as the information can be transferred to any computer. Value stream mapping software also includes access to flow charts, which are used for marketing predictions.
Value stream mapping makes it easier for businesses to successfully implement Six Sigma. You may need to hire a consultant to show you how to monitor your software and to make some necessary adjustments to your goals. If you cannot hire a consultant, use a web-based training course. They provide you with the same information for half the cost and they can help you learn all the tools you need to implement Six Sigma.