Technicians using a Front Line Worker Platform for Lean Value Stream Mapping
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Lean Value Stream Mapping

Among the many effective techniques in lean manufacturing, value stream mapping or VSM is used to analyse, document, and improve process activities involved in delivering a product to the customer. Also referred to as lean value stream mapping, VSM is most effective in manufacturing processes where products or items must pass through multiple phases or departments before reaching the customer. But what are the benefits of value stream mapping to manufacturers and how does a Connected Worker Platform improve a value stream map? Let’s take a look!

Benefits of Value Stream Mapping

No matter which industry you find yourself in, value stream mapping can benefit your company in the following ways:

  1. Identifying waste

As a visual planning tool, VSM provides a clear and detailed picture of the entire manufacturing process from start to finish. Using VSM, manufacturers can examine processes including the flow of materials and transport, and identify the stages that are adding value and those that are not. This helps eliminate waste from processes.

Waste in lean manufacturing refers to any task or process that does not deliver value to the customer. Using value stream mapping, manufacturers can graphically identify and eliminate non-value adding tasks or wastes.

  1. Creating process efficiency

Value stream maps or value stream mapping can improve process efficiency by eliminating or reducing waste.  Value stream maps can also establish the completion time, lead time, and time between process cycles at every point in the manufacturing process. By identifying where value is being delivered or not in the process, manufacturers can improve process efficiency .

  1. Integrating various cross-functional teams

The value stream mapping process involves multiple cross-functional teams including sales, supply chains, logistics, and operations . A huge benefit of value stream mapping is that it integrates cross-functional teams and provides them with a united perspective of the current and desired states of a process. This level of shared understanding can help in improving core manufacturing processes and create the ideal workflow to deliver the product quickly and efficiently to the customer. This collaboration can also help manufacturers develop a future state map. Managers that conduct value stream mapping learn invaluable lessons about the process steps necessary to bring their product to market and the teams that make it possible.

How does a Connected Worker Platform improve value stream mapping  and reduce wasted time? Let’s take a look!

How Do Connected Worker Platforms Improve Value Stream Mapping?

Here are four easy ways in which a Connected or Front Line Worker Platform can improve value stream mapping in lean manufacturing:

  1. Providing real-time data

Connected workers are digitally integrated into their work environment through their devices (laptops, smart glasses, tablets, or mobile phones). Using digital workflows, connected workers can capture real-time data at every step in the lean manufacturing process.  This improved information flow provides management with a current state map that can help manufacturers discover value adding steps, bottlenecks and overprocessing.

With these valuable data insights, the Connected Worker Platform can improve the accuracy of value stream analysis and transform the value stream to its ideal state through data driven continuously improving iterations. When done properly this reduces wait time for customers, helps information flow mapping, and elevates knowledge work done by your front line teams.

  1. Providing a holistic view of the manufacturing process

Connected Worker Platforms provide a holistic view of the overall operations and manufacturing process with real time data on all processes. With this increased operational visibility, Front Line managers can determine the tasks and processes that add customer value to the value stream and those that don’t. This enables manufacturers to improve efficiency, eliminate overprocessing wastes during the entire process and deliver the product on time to the customer. This is one of the most crucial reasons for value stream mapping.

  1. Incorporating VSM learnings into the workflow

With a Connected Worker platform, manufacturers have the ability to create standardized workflows that can optimize inefficient manufacturing processes. Standardized workflows can elevate work quality and reduce the level of rework. Visually rich training  and step specific instructions help incorporate best practices and tribal learning into the digital workflow. This reduces the level of defect wastes by creating reliable quality processes.

  1. Enabling collaboration among diverse teams

As mentioned before, a key element of value stream mapping is its ability to bring diverse teams together and build collaboration. Connected Worker platforms enable increased collaboration among diverse teams using chat integrations and platform announcements during the production process. This increased level of communication helps when handoffs occur. Management teams are also immediately notified of any near miss or compliance issues using keyword supported smart alerts.

 

  1. Extending the Connected Worker experience

The benefits of value stream mapping are not just restricted to your essential internal workforce and most crucial processes but can be executed across the entire supply chain. Using quality inspection workflows that extend to supply chains and product deliveries, Connected Worker Platforms can easily track deviations and help resolve issues when they occur to eliminate defects.

 

Conclusion

Value Stream Mapping is an integral part of lean manufacturing and helps deliver high-quality products on time to meet customer’s demand and improves material flow throughout the company.

Atheer’s AR Powered Front Line Worker Platform enables companies to implement lean manufacturing and elevate value stream mapping by providing essential real-time operational data to analyze and iterate processes. These valuable data insights improve information flow, eliminate waste, enable continuous improvement and improve process efficiency to affect crucial metrics like OEE.

With its low- and no-code platform, Atheer helps manufacturers develop a clear picture of their Front Line operations and easily implement them into their business processes. Our team is here to support you every step of the way.

Interested in taking your lean manufacturing practices to the next level?

Book a free demo today.

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