Lean is defined as, “A systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste (non-value-added activities) through continuous improvement by flowing the product at the pull of the customer in pursuit of perfection.” In business process or administrative environments, the product is usually information or information based, such as closing books at month end, a purchase order, a help desk call, a customer order, an employee request, a new product design or something similar.
Most business processes and value streams are informal processes that have “grown up” over time. These processes and value streams are often spread over several functional areas with a great deal of waste built into them inadvertently as changes have been made. This causes administrative value streams to fail to meet customers’ expectations in terms of response time and accuracy. It also causes administrative value streams to require excessive resources (people and time), which increases the cost of doing business. Eliminating waste in key business processes by applying administrative value stream mapping will provide benefits to organizations and their internal and external customers by reducing lead time, improving quality and reducing cost.
WHAT IS A VALUE STREAM MAP AND WHAT IS THE VALUE?
• Enables a company to identify waste in manufacturing and administrative processes and develop a plan to reduce or eliminate it, by streamlining work processes and cutting lead times.
• Maps the current state from customer back to raw material including all steps, both value-added and non- value-added.
• Helps visualize more than just the single process level – “See the Flow”
• Provides a blueprint for Lean Transformation – the Future State Map
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