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Value stream mapping (VSM) is an approach that helps companies improve the flow of products and services throughout their supply chain. It involves identifying bottlenecks in the process, analyzing how those bottlenecks affect customer satisfaction, and then making changes to eliminate the bottlenecks.
Process Flow Tools document a process in a consistent manner. These tools provide observational and real information on current problems. Additionally, they help simulate and evaluate new options.
Below are several great ways to visualize your factory and build understanding among colleagues
What’s it for?
Process mapping is the way to create a flowchart of a process.
It is the framework and foundation for more detailed tools.
TIPS: Parking lot of ideas not directly related to the process mapping – improvement ideas, assumptions, questions, out of scope issues/ideas
Step back and talk about how to measure key information
Concentrate on the process, not the details, times or other non pertinent information
1.Get the team together
2.Team brainstorms steps. Organize sticky notes on a board
3.Use symbols that are relevant to your business
4.As a team, agree on and arrange steps in order.
5.Keep the process flow moving in chronological order. Only go in reverse if there is a repetition of a step
6.Walk the process forward to understand the flow. Then backward pretending to be the customer of the process
7.After reaching an agreement on all the steps, number and transfer to a spreadsheet.
Here’s another take showing 5 steps to creating a value stream map – 5 steps to creating your own value stream map
TIPS: Remember, you can depict more than just people movement, you can visualize material or even information.
1.Find or Create a workplace diagram
2.Start with existing flowchart or brainstorm steps
3.Mark where the first step of the process happens
4.Draw arrow to the next task location
5.Map all steps
6.Evaluate the diagram
Look for crisscross lines, returning repeatedly to a common location, long travel distances
7.Extra Steps – add time and information to better understand the value add versus nonvalue add time
1.Receive work task from manager
3.Go to field
5.Go to propagation building
7.Fill liner trays with media
9.Apply Rooting Hormone
12.Transfer to carts
13.Moving to field
14.Place in liner growing area
16.Return to break area
Only 6 of 16 steps are Value Added!!!!
Evaluate with respect to customer.
Identify waste areas. Steps and tasks should be evaluated based on function.
Value Added – Essential to deliver plant to customer
Pruning, fertilizing, spacing, upsizing containers, weeding, watering
Business Nonvalue Added – Required for business operation
OHSA/EPA reporting, frost protection, equipment maintenance
Non-Value Added – No value from customers perspective.
Transportation of product, movement around nursery, overproduction, excess pruning, waiting
Tools to help you identify the root cause of a problem
What’s it for?
Never allow the same mistake to be made twice.
Ask “Why” five times in a row to get to the root of the problem
Level of Problem
Corresponding Level of Countermeasure
The belt is broken
There was a tear in belt
Monitor belt Integrity
The belt was misaligned
Adjust belt tracking
The belt was not properly adjusted
Create a belt adjustment procedure and acceptable range
No one noticed or spoke up that the belt wasn’t aligned
Educate on proper operation
The crew did not receive proper training on what to look for
Setup training program for new hires
What’s it for?
Tool to arrange and organize many potential causes of a problem.
Used to identify critical areas to investigate and not miss other areas that may be root cause
Good tool for persistent and reoccurring issues
Use this tool to organize different causes of a problem and determine which areas you should test to find root cause.
There may be more than one root cause. Fishbone diagrams provides structure to your evaluation.
Some simple tools to improve efficiency of your operation
What’s it for?
Poka-yoke is a tool to eliminate failures by designing them out of the process. Stop a mistake before they occur or prevent it from making it to the next step of production.
Corresponding resolution should be proportional to associated risk
Mistake prevention allows an operator to still attempt to put something together incorrectly, whereas mistake proofing allows an operator to put something together any way and it will be correct.
You must slowly reduce WIP inventory to find the “rocks” that are hindering your production. When you remove these rocks from your production process, the entire business can run more smoothly
Things to Note:
Once you have a process map and times you can start to understand: