Time to reconsider how we use Value Stream Mapping
Value stream mapping (VSM) is considered an essential tool for lean practitioners that allows to visualize the structure of operations, capture the state in time and discern wasted vs. value-added activities. Lean pioneers successfully used a static representation of the dynamic system for years since the system they analyzed had a low level of product/service variations, therefore, reflecting the situation accurately enough to make proper decisions.
Today world is completely different. We see increasing demand for product variation, uniqueness and speed of delivery. Manufacturing industries are compelled to build better responsiveness and agility in their operations. Digital product and system development became a frontier of product variations, uniqueness, and speed. Look at Amazon or Netflix, these are alive digital systems with hundreds of changes released daily. You always use a new version of a product/service.
In such a dynamic world with high product variety, the conventional static VSM cannot adequately solve all burdening issues with production processes, such as queues state fluctuation, cyclical demand, employees and customer behavior. Therefore, various computer simulation methods were proposed to expand the static nature of VSM. These methods provide an ability to understand the behavior of a system and the performance/financial implications of structural changes. A combination of VSM and simulation techniques can spot redundant activities, recognize queue impact and verify optimization scenarios, saving time and money. Though such a combination requires a different set of questions. While building a map/model we shift from discrete numbers, we step into the world of distributions for processing time, wait time, cycle time, etc. As a result, lead time, cost per unit, activity ratio etc become dynamic derivatives of a model, instead of static base metrics.
VSOptima creates a dynamic value stream models, find an optimal scenario, and facilitates transition. VSOptima helps you to find the path to excellence.