Value Stream Mapping

Value Stream Mapping

The most in-depth way to look at the effectiveness of business, manufacturing and distribution processes is through a Value Stream Mapping (VSM) project. VSM provides a clear view of how various business processes are related to each other, assesses the need for those processes and how efficient they really are. During Value Stream Mapping, a model is Value Stream Mapcreated which shows how much time, effort and cost is required for a specific process. It is applicable to small functional processes, manufacturing processes such as building a product and complex horizontal processes such as “order to cash” which is the most common project we do at Group50®.  Value Stream Mapping is as much about getting people to think about improving the processes they own as it is about getting to the details of how a process really works and giving the organization the tools and skills to implement long term improvement. It is especially effective in understanding the intricate details of a global supply chain.

A VSM project:

  • Realizes immediate results
  • Identifies causes of waste (Muda), in-efficient process flow (Mura) and misaligned capacities (Muri)
  • Provides significant insight to lead times and bottlenecks in any business process, supply chain or manufacturing process
  • Identifies the shadow systems inside the business which are wasteful and error prone
  • Identifies organizational issues that contribute to process inefficiencies
  • Provides insight to how effectively a company’s technology backbone is being used
  • Formulates a roadmap that outlines the short, medium and long term projects that will take the current state to a future state that will deliver a significant ROI

These are fairly typical deliverables for a VSM project. Group50® has a series of tools it uses during its VSM project activities including Lean Business and Lean Manufacturing Assessments which are part of our Company Physical®. We extensively use Kaizan techniques and other core Continuous Improvement Tools for implementing short term projects, planning the mid- and longer-term projects and transfer the requisite knowledge and tools so that people in the organization can continue without us.

As with any process changes it is important to involve the process owners.  Group50’s unique approach to this is our Brown Paper Exercise.  The Value Stream Map is generated with process owners and engages them in helping to develop a process map that people at all levels can touch and feel.  During this process, we have been known to generate hundreds of suggestions to eliminate waste, shadow systems, identify quality issues and create short-medium-long term process improvements.  The adjacent picture shows an example of a brown paper generated for an order to cash project we recently completed.  Unlike Visio diagrams it is easier for people at all levels of the organization to truly understand the relationships between various business processes.  
Group50 has successfully utilized these VSM processes in manufacturing, distribution, big data services companies, customer service and distribution to name a few. We routinely provide our clients with a double digit ROI on projects we have done.

The following recent articles provide more insight on this topic:

For more information on how Value Stream Mapping can help you understand the inner workings of your business or pieces of it, call us at (909) 949-9083, mail us at or request more information here.


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