Create a value stream map

Manufacturing companies create value stream maps to identify where there is waste in manufacturing processes, and to help find ways to eliminate that waste.

Note: To create a Value Stream Map you must have Microsoft Office Visio Professional 2007 installed. The feature is not included in Microsoft Office Visio Standard 2007 or in Visio 2003.

For example, a value stream map can show where extra materials are piling up. Ideally, materials are delivered to your company, go straight into the manufacturing process, and then move smoothly through all of the stages of the process until the product is complete. The finished product is then delivered to your customers without delay. To achieve this degree of efficiency, you need detailed and timely communication between the company and its customers and suppliers.

How can a value stream map help? First, you create a current state diagram that shows how your process currently works. Next, when you identify the problem areas, you create a future state diagram that helps you pinpoint ways to change the process to reduce waste.

The following example shows a simplified current state diagram.

Current state value stream map

The following example of a future state diagram addresses the problems that the current state diagram helped make apparent.

Future state value stream map

Create a value stream map

  1. On the File menu, point to New, point to Business, and then click Value Stream Map.

  2. From the Value Stream Map Shapes stencil, drag shapes onto the page to represent your processes, information, and materials.

  3. Drag connector shapes that indicate the flow of information and materials onto the page.

    Note: Use the connector shapes from the Value Stream Map Shapes stencil, such as the push arrows and the Electronic information shape, which have begin and end points.

  4. Drag the begin point Begin point image - green square with X inside of a connector shape to the shape that you are connecting from, and then drag the end point of the connector shape End point image, which is plus sign in a green square to the shape you are connecting to.

    The endpoints turn red when the connector is glued to the shapes.

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