Mapping your process as it is now, is the most important step. It lays the groundwork for your improvements.
As promised, I will be applying the Value Stream Mapping process to one of our processes in our business. For us, I will start with the intake process. This is the processing of items we buy for resale and the steps we take to get them ready to sell on eBay.
- A small roll of shipping paper
- Sticky notes
I wrote each step of the process on a sticky note and placed it in the order in which it happens.
I physically took a bag of merchandise and walked through all of the steps I take to process the items and get them ready to sell.
The next step is walking away for a while to clear your mind. (A big cup of coffee does the trick for me!) When I came back, I re-walked the entire process and felt comfortable that I had included everything.
It’s hard to see what I wrote, so here is the process: Bring items into house, unpack them upstairs, bring them downstairs, put them in a flat, find a place for the flat, remove price tags, wash items, look for damage, take photos, put items back in flat, move the flat to the office, place the flat on the floor, list items on eBay, place items on warehouse shelves (where ever they fit).
When you feel you have every step in it’s place and have not forgotten anything, it is time to start looking for wastes.
I can already see a bunch of them in my process, but…
We will focus on wastes next week, so be sure to come back!
For an overview of Value Stream Mapping, check this out: