Value Stream Mapping
Many companies have embraced the principals of Lean, and are actively searching out opportunities to eliminate waste in their organizations. These searches usually identify a lot of low-hanging fruit, and the subsequent Kaizen efforts appear to result in significant improvement and excitement. These efforts do fix one small part of the value stream but without improvement in the rest of the value stream – both upstream and downstream, the results never show up on the bottom line. Disillusionment, and the search for another quick-fix program, follows.
What these companies have failed to do is to map the entire value stream in their business, before they begin the improvement efforts.
Value stream mapping can be tailored to suit your business. Whether you are a one-product company, or a large manufacturer of a broad range of products, the technique can be applied successfully in a short period of time, giving your people the improvement targets necessary to ensure each step in the Kaizen process builds upon the previous ones.