Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lean Manufacturing 101: Value Stream Mapping

Hi everybody!

Today I wanted to talk about the foundation of Lean Manufacturing and where to start your Lean implementation. 

First things first, what is Lean?

Lean manufacturing's philosofy  is to identify, reduce and eliminate waste in the process in order to generate value. Many people start their Lean Manufacturing training by explaining what waste is and the different kinds of waste a process may have. However, I think it is more important to first explain and understand what value is and how can We determine how much value are We adding throughout the process.


In my personal oppinion value could be defined by the following statements

  • "Everything the customer is willing to pay for"
  • "Fulfilling customer requirements."
So whenever you want to start your Lean implementation before you start with Kaizen and many other Lean Tools to start making your business more productive first you have to determine your value chain and how your current operations are adding value to your products or services.

The best tool you can use to determine your value chain is Value Stream Mapping, 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".

A simple process of what VSM is looks like this:

Value Stream Mapping example.

This is a brief introduction of what Value Stream Mapping is, for more information and detail please post any doubts or questions you might have.

So tell me my friends:

What does value means to you?

Leave your comments below!

Thanks again for following!!

And remember: Everyday is a great day to improve!!


  1. Value stream mapping is a very good tool. From my experience, VSM can be used in both make-to-stock and make-to-order products.

  2. Nice post. I am a lean practitioner myself and agree with you – we should collect failed stories so that we can get an understanding of what not to do.lean manufacturing training

  3. Thank you for your great information. It will be very helpful for me .....
    Lean Manufacturing definition
    Value stream mapping