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What is value stream mapping?

womanwithdatebook19201063.jpgWhen you are trying to produce better products and develop a better organization, you may turn to value stream mapping. Value stream mapping is similar to the design of a river because it is a process that carries along things with it to other places. The things that come along with value stream mapping will flow in a natural order, like the river does.

Value stream mapping provides you with greater productivity. This process is detailed and it's not always easy to implement for your organization. In order to focus on proper implementation of value stream mapping you are going to start by hiring a team of consultants that can come in and help you and teach you how to become productive again.

Implementation begins with the mapping of current flows of production and of the supply chain. Having a detailed analysis of how your processes are currently working allow you to see what to change. Sometimes problems arise from something as small as poor communication. The input of the managers is vital to value stream mapping. The managers will document the flow of the company from one end to another. The managers offer help as you are trying to analyze the information and to map a flow chart. Time is another big question your managers need to answer in order to help you create a consistent diagram.

Once you map out existing processes you will then review each step. The lean manufacturing consultants you bring in will not only help you review each step but to come up with solutions for the various steps. The consultants are hired on to help you acquire greater productivity through the identification of waste and how you can prevent the waste from occurring again in the future. When you use lean manufacturing principles for the future, you are engaging in future state value stream mapping, which is a great way to position yourself for greater savings in the future.

So how do you use the various lessons from value stream mapping? You want to identify the different manufacturing principles and methods that will work. Cellular manufacturing is a popular tool as it helps you not only in the present but with future value stream mapping. Cellular manufacturing is done with the right type of planning along with defining the various cells in the process.

Many companies prefer to stick to kanban. Kanban is easy to use as you will measure the movement of goods from the point of production to the time of sale. Kanban is used in the retail industry as well as in other industries because it allows for constant improvement. Kanban is part of the Kaizen process which is focused on significant improvement through management circles and groups. Kaizen is a process and it is a great way to strengthen your organization to make it become more efficient.

Value stream mapping is the most effective tool for assembly lines. Car companies generally use value stream mapping as it is the best way to check on the machines and the overall production of products. It is also a great way to claim that you are focusing on improvement of your cars by using the latest technology. Ford and Toyota are two of several car companies that use value stream mapping to produce high quality vehicles.

Value steam mapping is considered a technical process that helps to focus on a cultural change within the organization. The benefits of value stream mapping are valuable to your organization as they also help to assure your customers that you are focusing on quality and on safety.

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