Mapping your future

Waste removal is intended to increase productivity by creating leaner operations which in turn make waste and quality problems easier to identify.

Mapping your future

Why do we need process mapping Process mapping is one of the top level tools of Lean manufacturingby this I mean it is a tool that identifies the areas and steps required for improvement within the organization by using the other tools of lean manufacturing.

By using the various mapping tools that are available you can identify the various process steps that either add value or cost you money within your company. However a tool that just highlights the areas for improvement is useless unless you follow through by actually making the improvements, far to often companies invest energy into creating current state maps and fail to follow through and generate improvements.

Mapping your future

Another problem that companies often have is that of taking action without a clearly defined future state that they wish to achieve, this is like the usual analogy of the rowing or tug of war team all pulling in different directions!

A future state map provides you with this clear vision that you need to achieve and provides the team with direction. What is the value stream The value stream is the processes that your product has to go through from raw materials to delivery to the customer.

During this journey your product will go through a number of steps, some of which add value and others that add no value or leave your product sat waiting sometimes for weeks at a time. When mapping the value stream we seek to identify those value adding and non-value adding steps and delays to allow us to eliminate or at least reduce those steps that cost us money and increase our lead times.

Within lean manufacturing we are trying to reduce the lead time from order receipt through to cash, by reducing this time frame we can reduce the time that our cash is tied up in stock and work in progress and increase the time it available to us to use it!

What is process mapping?

If you remember your lean principles you will know that the second principle is to identify the value stream, and the third is to make that value flow by removing obstacles and delays, process mapping tools are what you need to identify your process flow to enable improvements to be made.

Types of Process mapping Depending on the scope and purpose of our mapping exercise there are a number of different mapping tools that we can use But before we begin any mapping exercise we must be clear about what it is exactly that we are mapping, we must set the system boundaries for our map; be that an individual work-cell or the whole supply chain.

It shows the flow of product as well as information flow internally and externally. The value stream map also shows stock levels, manning, process times and other useful pieces of information that can be used to analyze your overall process flow.

The VSM shows very clearly your potential opportunity to reduce lead times and stock holding and can often be a shock to many members of the management team. Value stream mapping is usually conducted with a team that comprises the people within the areas being mapped, where multiple products are produced by a company it is important to choose the correct product or family of products to map.

This means either choosing the most important or the one that would be the easiest to improve depending on the needs of the business.

Mapping your future

Often there is a need to do product family analysis as there are many variants and processes involved. The current state map should reflect reality, data should be gathered at the gemba where the work is donenot based on written procedures. Once the current state map is complete it is time to move towards a future state map, this is a map of where you wish to get to within a fixed time frame.

You may also have an ideal state map in mind to which your iterations of future state maps and action plans should eventually lead! Seeing the Whole VSM The standard value stream map usually maps the process for one company from supplier to customer, a seeing the whole map is very similar but seeks to map the whole of the value stream from raw materials through to the final customer via the entire value stream.

The process is the same but where you would have boxes for individual processes in the value stream map you would have companies!Sharpen your skills and meet people who can help you get your next job. Value-stream mapping is a lean-management method for analyzing the current state and designing a future state for the series of events that take a product or service from its beginning through to the customer with reduced lean wastes as compared to current map.A value stream focuses on areas of a firm that add value to a product or service, whereas a value chain refers to all of the activities.

Mapping Your Future is all about creating your future by choosing a life of the goals you desire in your own life, rather than someone else's plans for you.

Value Stream Mapping or VSM is a very useful top level view of your company’s processes from supplier through to the customer.

Mapping Your Future

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