Management Systems Inc

More business improvement stuff than you can shake a stick at

What is Value Stream Mapping?

Posted by isoeasy on May 23, 2006

Lean Thinking, a concept that is based on the Toyota Production System, extends continuous improvement efforts to reduce the costs of serving customer/s beyond the physical boundaries of a manufacturing facility, by including the suppliers, distributors and production system that support the manufacturing function. These improvements and cost reductions are achieved by eliminating the muda (wastes) associated with all activities performed to deliver an order to a customer. Wastes are defined as “all activities that consume resources (add costs to the product) but contribute zero value to the customer.” According to Jim Womack and Dan Jones, there are five steps for implementing Lean Thinking in an enterprise:

1) Define Value from the perspective of the Customer,
2) Identify the Value Streams,
3) Achieve Flow in the facility,
4) Schedule production using Pull, and
5) Seek Perfection through Continuous Improvement.

Womack and Jones define the value stream as “the set of all the specific actions required to bring a specific product through the three critical management tasks of any business: …problem solving, …information management, …physical transformation”.

Basic Concepts of VSM

Unlike traditional process mapping tools, VSM is a mapping tool that maps not only material flows but also information flows that signal and control the material flows. This visual representation facilitates the process of lean implementation by helping to identify the value-adding steps in a value stream and eliminating the non-value adding steps, or wastes (muda).

Using a VSM process requires development of maps: a Current State Map and a Future State Map. In the Current State Map, one would normally start by mapping a large-quantity and high-revenue product family. The material flow will then be mapped using appropriate icons in the VSM template. The (material) flow path of the product will be traced back from the final operation in its routing to the storage location for raw material. Relevant data for each operation, such as the current schedule (push, pull, and order dispatching rules in effect at any process ex. FIFO) and the amount of inventory in various queues, will be recorded. The information flow is also incorporated to provide demand information, which is an essential parameter for determining the “pacemaker” process in the production system. After both material and information flows have been mapped, a time-line is displayed at the bottom of the map showing the processing time for each operation and the transfer delays between operations.   The time-line is used to identify the value-adding steps, as well as wastes, in the current system. The comparison between the processing times and the takt time (calculated as Available Capacity/Customer Demand) is a preliminary measure of the value and wastes in a stream. This takt time is mostly used as an ideal production rate for each operation to achieve.  Ideally, the cycle time for each operation should be less than or equal to the takt time.

Based on the analysis of the Current State Map, one then develops a Future State Map by improving the value-adding steps and eliminating the non-value adding steps (waste). According to Rother & Shook, there are seven guidelines, adapted and modified based on the concepts of Lean Thinking, that can be followed when generating the Future State Map for a lean value stream:

1) Produce to takt time
2) Develop continuous flow
3) Use supermarkets to control production where continuous flow does not extend upstream
4) Schedule based on the pacemaker operation
5) Produce different products at a uniform rate (Level the production mix)
6) Level the production load on the pacemaker process (Level the production volume)
7) Develop the capability to make “every part every (EPE) <time period>”

Advantages of VSM

> Relates the manufacturing process to supply chains, distribution channels and information flows.
> Integrates material and information flows.
> Links Production Control and Scheduling (PCS) functions such as Production Planning and Demand Forecasting to Production Scheduling and Shopfloor Control using operating parameters for the manufacturing system ex. takt time which determines the production rate at which each processing stage in the manufacturing system should operate.
> Helps to unify several IE techniques for material flow analysis, such as Production Flow Analysis (PFA), Business Process Reengineering (BPR), and Process Analysis and Improvement (PA&I) that, to date, have been taught and implemented in isolation.
> Provides important descriptive information for the Operation and Storage icons that, to date, has not been captured in standard Flow Process Charts used by IE’s.
> Forms the basis for implementation of Lean Manufacturing by designing the production system based on the complete dock-to-dock flow time for a product family.
> Provides a company with a “blueprint” for strategic planning to deploy the principles of Lean Thinking for their transformation into a Lean Enterprise.

Disadvantages of VSM

> Fails to map multiple products that do not have identical material flow maps.
> Fails to relate Transportation and Queuing delays, and changes in transfer batch sizes due to poor plant layout and/or material handling, to operating parameters (ex. machine cycle times) and measures of performance (ex. takt time)  of the manufacturing system.
> Lacks any worthwhile economic measure for “value” (ex. profit, throughput, operating costs, inventory expenses) that makes it similar to the Flow Process Charting technique used by IE’s.
> Lacks the spatial structure of the facility layout, and how that impacts inter-operation material handling delays, the sequence in which batches enter the queue formed at each processing step in a stream, container sizes, trip frequencies between operations, etc.
> Tends to bias a factory designer to consider only continuous flow, assembly line layouts, kanban-based Pull scheduling, etc. that are suitable mainly for high volume and low variety (HVLV) manufacturing systems .
> Fails to consider the allocations and utilization of an important resource – factory floor space – for WIP storage, production support, material handling aisles, etc.
> Fails to show the impact on WIP, order throughput and operating expenses of in-efficient material flows in the facility ex. backtracking, criss-cross flows, non-sequential flows, large inter-operation travel distances, etc.
> Fails to handle complex product BOM’s branched and multi-level Operation Process Charts and Flow Diagrams that result in complex value streams.
> Fails to factor queuing delays, sequencing rules for multiple orders, capacity constraints, etc. in any map .
> Lacks the capability, due to the manual mapping method, for rapid development and evaluation of multiple “what if” analyses required to prioritize different alternatives for improving a Current State Map when time and/or budget constraints exist.

19 Responses to “What is Value Stream Mapping?”

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    any problems of plagorism or copyright violation?

    My site has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any techniques to help prevent content from being ripped off? I’d certainly appreciate
    it.
    Have you ever considered writing an ebook or guest authoring on other websites?
    I have a blog based upon on the same ideas you discuss
    and would love to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my readers would enjoy your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.
    Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to look it over. I’m definitely enjoying the
    information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Terrific blog and brilliant design.
    Fantastic blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .
    . Any recommendations? Appreciate it!
    My coder is trying to convince me to move to .
    net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on a variety of websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to another platform.
    I have heard good things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress posts into it?

    Any kind of help would be really appreciated!
    Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to send
    you an e-mail. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.
    It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this outstanding
    blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will talk about this site with my Facebook group. Chat soon!
    Greetings from Florida! I’m bored at work so I decided to
    browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how
    fast your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, good site!
    Hiya! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My site discusses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you happen to be interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Superb blog by the way!
    Currently it appears like Drupal is the preferred blogging platform out there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what
    you are using on your blog?
    Excellent post but I was wondering if you could
    write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Kudos!
    Hi there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one? Thanks a lot!
    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Thanks!
    Hey there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!
    Hey there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m
    getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m
    looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be awesome if you
    could point me in the direction of a good platform.
    Hello! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post
    reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this.
    I will forward this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read.
    Thank you for sharing!
    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video
    to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking
    about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to
    your weblog when you could be giving us something
    enlightening to read?
    Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea
    shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.

    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to
    go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

    Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a
    forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation.
    My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had
    to share it with someone!
    I was curious if you ever considered changing the structure of your site?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so
    people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?
    Hello, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam feedback?

    If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can advise?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any assistance is very much appreciated.
    This design is wicked! You most certainly know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!
    I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Superb work!
    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad I
    found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!
    Hi there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group? There’s a lot
    of people that I think would really enjoy your content.

    Please let me know. Many thanks
    Hey, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog site in Safari, it looks fine
    but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then
    that, wonderful blog!
    Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.

    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it
    Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog. Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out
    pretty fast. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to start.

    Do you have any points or suggestions? Thank you
    Hi! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when viewing from my iphone4. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to
    fix this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share.
    Thank you!
    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back down the road. Cheers
    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking
    to construct my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from.
    thanks
    Amazing! This blog looks exactly like my old one!

    It’s on a entirely different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!
    Heya just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve
    tried it in two different internet browsers and both show
    the same results.
    Hello are using WordPress for your site platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my
    own. Do you need any html coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Hi there this is kinda of off topic but I was
    wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Hello! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing many months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any methods to protect against hackers?
    Good day! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that
    would be ok. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.
    Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any recommendations?
    Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine Optimization? I’m
    trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good results. If you know of any please share. Thank you!
    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own
    weblog and was wondering what all is required to get set up?
    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very
    web savvy so I’m not 100% positive. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Appreciate it
    Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to figure
    out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    I’m not sure exactly why but this website is loading very slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end?

    I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.
    Heya! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 3gs!
    Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Carry on the fantastic work!
    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Regardless, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

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