What Does Value Stream Mapping Mean?

The Value Stream Mapping method, which is one of the most important techniques used in the transition to the lean production philosophy, is to follow every stage of the production process of a product and to express the processes in the material and information flows with the help of visual symbols. It is the process of drawing and examining the production/service flow from the raw material to the end user using the mapping technique and improving it by eliminating waste according to lean principles.

Before eliminating wastes, it is necessary to learn to see them. Value Stream Mapping is very advantageous in terms of showing the waste regions and the causes of these wastes, the flow information from which stations the information and material pass through, on a single document. Thanks to these flows, activities that add or do not add value to the product can be identified, and wastes and sources of waste can be found.

Businesses that have stepped into the lean transformation process must now see the whole process. This means that in order for real improvements to be made, it is necessary to see the big picture. The Value Stream Mapping method clearly shows the big picture, all the steps of the process and the elements involved in it. Where, what improvements can be made, which processes need to be focused, etc. It is a guiding technique.

After collecting all the information, we can make production designs according to process analysis and customer demand, where can kanban be used and where continuous flow can be used? By deciding on these, the implementation phase is started. Thus, it provides an opportunity to use lean production techniques to be used in improvement studies more consciously.

Value streams by company

  • The process of transforming the raw material into the product from the entrance to the factory and delivering it to the customer
  • The process of product promotion, starting from the concept stage of the product, from design to industrialization
  • The entire process from receiving the order from the customer to receiving the payment

Value stream mapping is the set of activities in which raw materials are transformed into products and services that the customer needs. It covers the processes from order to collection. It allows us to see the total flow that starts with the design of the product and the customer’s order, continues with production-distribution, and results in after-sales revenue.

There are many activities that the customer will not accept to pay this money in the total price of the product. Due to the abundance of these wastes, we will extend the total time. Our aim will be to make cash flow faster by eliminating these wastes.

History of Value Stream Mapping

Value Stream Mapping, which became popular with Toyota in the 1900s, was not discovered by Toyota, contrary to what is known, and is called material and information flow within the Toyota production system (TPS). The person who developed the value stream mapping (VSM – value stream mapping) technique by seeing this technique of the Japanese is John Shook, known as the Japaneseized American.

He worked at Toyota for 17 years and made history as the first American to be made a manager by the Japanese. He created the value stream mapping technique by blending the Japanese technique with a little bit of American and European infrastructure. Companies that have adopted the lean philosophy have made it an important issue to start their lean activities by applying this method.

Value Stream Mapping 1

How to Create a Current and Future State Value Map?

While creating the Value Stream Map, the boundaries of the work are considered to be between 2 doors, where the material enters the factory and is shipped to the customer as a finished product. In other words, a study is made in the form of mapping the process from raw material to delivery to the customer. The main purpose is to map the current situation between customer – planning – supplier – production processes. While drawing this map, the path of the product in the factory should be followed.

What stages does the product that enters as raw material go through and what route does it follow until it is shipped to the customer?issues should be addressed. Therefore, all processes must be toured virtually and the number of parts produced, cycle times, stock levels, set-up times, etc. information should be collected and the current situation map should be revealed.

The most critical point when creating current state and future state value maps is the need for employees to look at the entire process from the perspective of the customer. Processes should be drawn in a language that everyone can understand. Thus, the use of a standard document, a standard format and a standard language begins in the enterprise.

How is value managed?

What is the value? Value is the service or product attribute that the customer agrees to pay for within a certain time frame.

Define the value stream. It is the sum of the stages from customer order to product delivery or service purchase.

Provide the value stream. Identify, eliminate or minimize all the elements that cause loss or delay in the value stream, and ensure the flow.

Install a traction system . Meet the expectation on time in line with customer demand.

Perfect the job. Be open to development opportunities and ensure continuous development by doing activities as necessary.

The message that Taichi Ohno, who is known as the father of lean thinking system, wants to convey with the above statement is basically based on the necessity of minimizing the time between raw material and finished product. It set out with this philosophy when establishing methods such as zero error and just in time.

Benefits to the Business

It ensures that the process is drawn in a way that everyone can understand, so that the big picture can be understood.

It lays the groundwork for a product flow design where there is no waste and continuous flow can be achieved.

It shows all process details such as process times and flow times, bottlenecks if any.

It enables all units and employees to see the process in detail from start to finish.

It provides standardization in documentation, initiates a planned improvement process, makes improvements visible and measurable.

It ensures that the development is visible and continuous, and gives the path to operational excellence.

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