Using Value Stream Mapping To Improve Productivity
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Using Value Stream Mapping to Improve Productivity

Keeping on top of production is a difficult task, regardless of your environment. Whether your operation is involved in manufacturing, processing, shipping and logistics, retail, health care, or even education, making sure that the correct steps are taken at the correct time and that the resources required for each step are available is critical to success. In the Lean environment, many organizations turn to Value Stream Mapping (VSM) to help keep a handle on the process flow.

What is VSM?

VSM is a visual aid to help you monitor and control any process that your organization is engaged in. This can include assembling a car engine, stocking shelves in a grocery, producing custom software or fulfilling internet orders. Or more. Any process where discrete actions are performed to produce a product or service of value can benefit from Value Stream Mapping.

What are the Advantages of VSM?

Since VSM gives you a picture of the flow of work through your system, you can easily:

• Determine the status of the current operation at a glance.

• Anticipate the need for supplies, components and personnel for upcoming operations.

• Spot potential bottlenecks and trouble spots in the process.

• Accurately forecast output, based on real time information.

How to learn about VSM:

Uttana .com has a series of on line courses that covers the basics of VSM:

• Overview of VSM: This course will cover:

  • The basics of VSM.
  • The components of VSM.
  • The various types of Value Stream Mapping with tips on how to choose which one will work best for your setup.
  • A detailed look at the materials used in the VSM process.
  • A detailed look at and the icons and symbols used in VSM and what they represent.

Value Stream Mapping Forms: Integral to the Value Stream Mapping (VSM) process is a series of forms used to collect and disseminate information as well as for analysis. These will be discussed in detail and you will be given information to help determine which kind of analysis is appropriate for each stage of your operations. This includes:

Pareto Analysis: This is an analytical technique based on the Pareto Principle, which maintains that in most processes, 80% of the value is achieved by 20% of the total expenditure of time and resources, while the remaining 20% of value will consume 80% of the total available resources. This analysis technique helps you to determine what porting, if any, of that remaining 20% of value is worth expending resources on, or is it better to quit while you are ahead.

Product Family Matrix: A procedure that uses charts and worksheets to help you group processes by Product Family. This allows you to maximize efficiency and enhance product flow through your system.

Histogram Analysis: This is a chart that helps you to visualize the spread of data over a process by grouping like numbers. This allows you to identify which elements in the analysis have the greatest impact on the process.


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