Value Stream Mapping (VSM)

Value stream mapping is a Lean technique used to analyze the flow of materials and information required to bring a product or service to the customer. At Toyota, where the technique originated, it is known as "mapping the flow of materials and information" (Material and Information Flow Mapping). Each time there is a product for a customer, there is a flow of value. The challenge is to see it.

Mapping the value stream is the most important tool for understanding how to make processes truly "Lean". Kaizen or any other lean manufacturing techniques, are effective only if applied strategically in the context of building a lean value stream. Most of the time management are focused on the wrong things, such as plant equipment, machinery and organization. Value Stream Mapping focuses attention on the main thing, the product or simply ...

What the customer wants!

Value Stream Mapping:

  • Helps you to see beyond the individual process level, to view the entire flow
  • Establishes priorities for improvement efforts
  • Helps identify the source of waste and eliminate it
  • Provides a common language to talk about the processes
  • Is based on objective information
  • Is the basis of a plan of action
  • Shows the link between the information flow and the flow of material, unlike any other tool


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