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Lean Manufacturing 15.07.21

Value Stream Mapping for a performant company

Value Stream Mapping: a Lean Manufacturing tool?

For an optimal management of the industrial process, all the companies that are the most successful today have adopted the Lean method.

Lean management consists in the efficient elimination of all that is superfluous in the organization, including waste.

Value Stream Mapping is a tool introduced to create a Lean organization more easily.

It is a method to identify wasteful processes and to implement Lean in a more efficient way.

This tool will structure and indicate the direction to follow for your company to reach a global production optimum.

What is Value Stream Mapping?

Value Stream Mapping, simply called VSM, takes the form of a process map and will allow to list all the activities produced by a company. These activities include both value-added and non-value-added activities.

How does a VSM map look like?

VSM map represents the interaction between the flow of information and the flow of goods within a company.

More specifically, it shows the following information:

  • The details of the customer’s request
  • The flow of information, circulating between the production manager and the production line
  • The physical flow of the product, i.e. the steps in the production chain
  • And finally, a timeline detailing the waiting times between the different stations.

How to perform a VSM mapping?

To carry out such a mapping, it is first necessary to choose the family of products to be examined, i.e. a set of products that have a similar design and production.

By going through the production room, we must then follow this family of products, against the current, starting with the finished product and ending with the raw materials.

At each stage, the major characteristics are indicated, such as stock and waiting time.

In a second step, we can study the information flows that govern the physical flow of goods.

Our tips for carrying out Value Stream Mapping in an optimal way

In order to use this tool in an optimal way, it is necessary that all the actors involved in the production chain under study participate.

This will have a positive impact on the team spirit and will help to avoid erroneous characteristics of certain production steps, as explained in the article Value Stream Mapping and the concept of Lean on the BPMS site.

Note: The process must be described as it really is, and not as we would like it to be!

Once the mapping is completed, it will be easier to identify your capacity to deliver the quantities requested by the customers and within the required timeframe.

The second step will be to make the mapping as you would like it to be in order to make the necessary changes for a better organization.

Written by Emma Guignard

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