Implementing Value Stream Mapping

Published: 15th June 2009
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How to get to where you want to be from where you are now... Value stream mapping helps to show just where your company is now, and where you are headed.

Value stream mapping is a powerful tool that helps clarify the complete lean manufacturing process. At first glance it may seem complicated, but, as with other aspects of your program, when it is broken down into small steps, it is really quite easy to understand.

Visualizing the entire processes and procedures throughout an entire company is quite powerful. Oftentimes we just take things for granted ,and once they are 'seen', they take on a different perspective.

Is Value Stream Mapping For You?

A manufacturing facility is very complex. It is only when you can visualize the entire picture, that you can understand the individual components, their relationships, the hidden waste and time-domain behavior.

Visualization helps produce a comprehensive understanding and causes major breakthroughs in productivity and performance. It helps It literally helps everyone be on the 'same page.' When you are finished making the map, you have a great tool for communicating, but the greatest value lies in the process of mapping. This is when consensus grows, paradigms shift, and insights develop.

While any business can reap huge rewards from value stream mapping, and lean manufacturing in general, certain types of business seem almost designed for lean. Plastic injection molding companies are a great example.

Mapping the Present State

Mapping the present state demonstrates things as they currently exist. You will immediately see opportunities for improvement and change. Depending on your future plans and capabilities, you can decide on specific areas or the entire company.

Value stream mapping the Future State

Value stream mapping the present state is much less complicated than mapping the future state. This requires an in-depth understanding of the lean manufacturing process. When comparing the present with the future state there is always a lot of animated discussion, which is good

When employees see that their part plays a significant role in the overall operation of the company, the natural reaction is to be more motivated and involved. When they are involved in mapping out the future, they have a say in the matter and a stake in the future of the company.

What are the benefits of value stream mapping?

This is a great question because, especially in the past, lean manufacturing programs tended to be like the 'program du jour.' One month it is Kanban, the next Kaizen, then it is JIT, etc. It is understandable that many employees take these program with a dose of skepticism.

However, when lean manufacturing programs are properly implemented, the company atmosphere and morale is significantly improved. Not only that, but your profits will increase, due to the improvements.

Value Stream Mapping Software

One of the most powerful tools used in lean manufacturing is Value Stream Mapping software. The ability to visualize the current and future state of you company is a powerful thing indeed.

Value Stream Mapping Software and Flow Charts

Using flow charts to get started with value stream mapping software makes great sense for the novice. You gain insight and understanding to help with your consultant.

Value Stream Mapping And Six Sigma

If you have implemented Six Sigma in your organization, and you want to further reduce waste, you should consider using Value Stream Mapping. A good consultant can introduce you to this relatively new methodology.

Value Stream Analysis

Value stream analysis simplifies the process for you to successfully implement lean manufacturing and derive the associated benefits. You need to learn how to monitor your progress and make necessary adjustments to your lean manufacturing program.

If you want to learn how to use, I highly recommend the Lean Manufacturing web-based training course. You will get a thorough understanding of all the components of the lean manufacturing process, including Value Stream Mapping.

Visit our website: to learn how to increase profits and create a better atmosphere throughout the company.
Randy Hough and Jon Arnett work together helping companies become more efficient and productive. Their website: http://whatisleanmanufacturing is full of great resources to help you become more profitable. Value stream mapping is just one of the tools.

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