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68 The PCB Magazine • October 2014 by Steve Williams steVe williams Consulting llC Best Practices 101: Part 3 C o l u m n PoiNt of View As we deep dive into the four critical steps of value stream mapping, (VSM), by now you should have a good understanding of just how powerful some of these tools and techniques can be. And the best part? It is not rocket sci- ence; it's just common sense! Step 1: Identify the Proper Process This step cannot be stressed enough because it is often overlooked by many companies new to Lean. Fresh out of training, the VSM team of- ten runs out and starts mapping the first process they see. While VSM, if anything, is better than nothing, efforts should be focused on the criti- cal processes having the greatest impact on the product. Let's look at a typical supply chain transac- tion from the point of a customer order through delivery of the product. Figure 1 example shows a macro view of the supply chain cycle to il- lustrate how VSM works. This high-level view would be one way to drive Lean down through the supply chain to sub-suppliers. Of course, dis- crete processes within each supplier would need to be value stream mapped to enable reductions in their respective lead times. This product de- picts a process with an eight-week lead time, which, after value stream mapping the process, reveals that there are only seven hours of value- added time on this product. As unbelievable as these results sound, most organizations experi- ence a similar disparity in their processes. The figure 1: supply chain cycle.

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