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How to use Value Stream Mapping to lean your business

By now you’ll be aware of our love of Value stream mapping (click here for our value stream mapping resource center). A while ago we put down the points of a common VSM program in our (How to Value stream Mapping series). However one of the common questions is how to transition your future state map from the current state map. Future state maps typically show improvements in the process having removed wastefull activities (check out these case studies from industry forum showing results). In this series we’ll take a more detailed look at how at how VSM can pinpoint areas of waste and how you can target these in improvement projects.

To start with let’s remind ourselves of what the common wastes are and then we can look how a completed VSM can help us focus in.

First off lets define our wastes (we’ll use the seven wastes model commonly used within lean programs), they are:

1/ Overproduction
2/ Over Processing
3/ Transport
4/ Defects
5/ Inventory
6/ Waiting
7/ Motion

OK we've defined our wastes to let's look at the first example of how Value Stream Mapping can highlight over-production.

 

 
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