Lean - Value Stream Mapping

Value stream mapping is a lean manufacturing technique used to analyze and design the flow of materials and information required to bring a product or service to a consumer. At Toyota, where the technique originated, it is known as “material and information flow mapping”. It can be applied to nearly any value chain.

Traditional lean software tools allow you to draw a value stream map, Simul8 adds simulation to make your value stream map live so that you can really understand the dynamics in your process to identify waste elimination opportunities. For example, rather than estimate the time work will spend in inventory, Simul8 will predict it accurately for you taking into account the random variation of the real world.

To create a value stream map in Simul8 select the objects from the Value stream tab and drop them onto the simulation window.

The 4 key objects in the value stream map are:

  • Supplier - where orders enter the value stream
  • Inventory - where work waits to be processed
  • Process - where work is processed
  • Customer - where work exits the value stream and is delivered to the customer

The other objects allow you to add visual, informational notations to your value stream.

In general you should add an inventory before each process step.

A value stream map should be a very high level representation of your process. Once you're ready to do further deeper analysis consider using Simul8's main object set.

See Also