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Value Stream Mapping: The Path to Efficiency

A Value Stream Map is simply a visual depiction of a process.  By viewing workflow at it stands currently, manufacturing and even service companies can “see” where it is wasting time, materials, manpower, and other strategic resources. From there, it is possible to make both quick alterations that create immediate savings and comprehensive, company-wide, integrated changes in approach, process, and output that produce long-term competitive advantage.

Value stream mapping (VSM) is especially well-suited for application in procurement, warehousing, staging, and other process-heavy tasks common to maintenance, repair, and operations supply chain management. MRO extends to virtually every value-adding activity within a manufacturing firm.

The real power of VSM lies in putting the information it makes apparent in the hands of experts who can apply it to specific situations backed by the ability to benchmark performance against some of the most efficient operations in existence.

The True Value of Value Stream Mapping

As value-chain professionals, SDI employs VSM in our own business to gain insights into our service-delivery mechanisms. This technique has helped find weak links, bottlenecks, interruptions and sub-optimal workflow. And with experts on staff with decades of experience in plant layout, efficiency creation, and cross-silo functionality, SDI can help your organization harness the power of Value Stream Mapping.

SDI engineers will  work with both your decision-makers and your front-line employees to thoroughly map your entire MRO enterprise; from order triggers for each SKU through delivery, storage, implementation, and exhaustion. We will help you discover steps that can be streamlined, combined, and even eliminated. Duplication of effort will be a thing of the past. Each department will comprehend its precise roles and how they interact with all other departments, both upstream and downstream.

Then we analyze the current VSM and challenge departments to become as streamlined and cost-effective as possible. But that’s just the beginning. In the hands of experienced professionals like SDI’s process experts, VSM can reveal the effects these changes  will have on other areas of production. It’s the net effect that counts. SDI’s service then guides your employees toward a “future” map where they can analyze how changes in one area may improve another. Common questions that are addressed at this stage include:

  • Will this task be more effective if we re-arranged the workspace?
  • Can we eliminate some or all of the inspection steps by error-proofing the process?
  • Would industrial vending at the point of use reduce the amount of changeover time at x machine?

Mapping Out Your Future

SDI remains by your side, assisting in the transition from “as is” to “future” map states. Drawing on their field experience, process know-how, and product familiarity, our technicians  will help establish goals and develop metrics so you can gauge progress and evaluate performance every step of the way. Once the new map is in place, we will assist with reviewing the results. If your metrics have improved, we can fine tune the map. If the business environment has changed, a more comprehensive analysis may be in order. If some departments have become skeptical or resistant to the mapping goals or process, SDI and your VSM team can revisit the obstacles and demonstrate the improvements VSM has brought in order to ensure everyone in the organization remains on board.

SDI believes in Lean Six Sigma and the concepts of Value Stream Mapping. We can show you its advantages, then walk you through as you adopt VSM principles for your company. SDI’s professionals will be there for you to:

  • Help document the need for change, identifying potential areas for waste reduction and productivity improvements.
  • Create the current VSM that will shed light on current inefficiencies.
  • Map the future value stream that will synergize your departments and processes to achieve integrated improvements.
  • Implement the improvements identified and ensure they become standard operating procedures – the final step to competitive advantage.

For more information on MRO and its impact on productivity, check out the SDI “What is Enterprise MRO?” page.

To schedule a discussion of how SDI and Value Stream Mapping can benefit your business, call us today at 844-235-9657.

Success Story

SDI is an MRO integrator and partner that really helps drive categorization and a best practice approach.

SDI at Work

In the third post in this series on MRO As-a-Service by Spend Matters, Pierre Mitchell and Michael Lamoureux talk about how managing MRO as a process delivers benefits from efficiency to effectiveness and beyond to an evolutionary phase. The next generation of value, MRO-as-a-Service, helps organizations build intelligent, agile, scalable and integrated supply chains (direct and indirect).

The project team has worked its way through Define, Measure, Analyze, and Improve. It’s time to begin the Control phase. The key stakeholders gather to evaluate the solution as implemented and create a plan to sustain the improvements. The goal is to standardize the improved processes, establish an audit schedule and schedule periodic follow-up to identify additional opportunities for improvement.