Value Stream Mapping

Value Stream Mapping

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a diagnostic tool to analyse current operations, create a future state for operations, and to identify the steps required to achieve change.

Value Stream Mapping is a powerful analytical big picture tool, used to collate lots of information together to see the bigger problem, and the bigger opportunity. Our typical approach is to work with a small team of your personnel to undertake the activity, split into three or so short workshops over a month. This allows the team to collate and collect relevant data as required prior to each workshop and to still manage the day job.

By working with a small team of your personnel we take them on a journey of discovery, often finding out surprising aspects of the business. With a cross functional team, inter department understanding is improved, frustrations are communicated and understood, and the team begins to take a more holistic view of the business.

With the introduction of Lean theory, along with simulations to demonstrate their application, we take the team through an analytical process to identify and develop ideas to improve operational performance and to implement best practice.

Each site and business is different, so we have to look at principles and how they might be applied at your site. This means there is no one answer, no one solution, no copying what someone else has done. Instead, we have to look at and understand your business and develop a set of recommendations to move you on from where you are. These may include recommendations to:

  • change the operational practices and philosophy of running and scheduling production to improve on-time-in-full order delivery
  • set a stretch target for plant reliability to match capacity with demand
  • implement a some form of level loading to ensure stock is available
  • address plant and product changeovers to facilitate campaign size reductions leading to reduced inventory and improved lead times
  • increase capacity at process bottlenecks to meet production targets (bottlenecks are not always in the physical process, they can occur in the business systems and support functions as well)
  • implement single piece flow to reduce work in progress and reduce order turnaround times
  • apply pull to simplify production planning and ensure finished goods availability

Sometimes changes can be made quickly, and the Value Stream Mapping activity can focus on recommendations to make immediate and simple changes. Sometimes the vision for the future will need to be achieved in steps over a period of time, and the Value Steam Mapping activity will map out a route to be taken.

Other diagnostic and analytical services are available, and would often be used in conjunction with a VSM activity, such as Takt Time Analysis (powerful in identifying bottlenecks and capacity constraints), Spaghetti Diagrams (useful in realising how much cost is expended in transport and movement), Swim Lane Maps (to visualise waste and opportunities to improve management processes), and Value Adding/ Non-Value Adding/ Waste Analysis (great at targeting process rationalisation to take out costly steps and activities).