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Glen Electric – Value Stream Mapping

Glen Electric – Value Stream Mapping

Published on 22/12/2011

Lean Consultancy Case Study - 
Value Stream Mapping

Glen Electric – Value Stream Mapping

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is an essential element to a well co-ordinated improvement strategy. In the case of Glen Electric it was important that all managers understood the nature of the changes required to meet the cost down targets imposed by their largest customer – B&Q.

After initial training in VSM techniques, the management team were divided into small sub-groups and asked to walk the process in order to understand the current flow of materials through the system as well as the processing times at each stage of manufacture.

GE1.gifOnce the current situation was mapped the team went on to identify the current lead-time to be approx. 4 weeks from receipt of order to dispatch of goods. In contrast, the time for processing was a mere 10 mins! 

This clearly was an untenable situation and from the customers perspective an expectation of daily deliveries of every variety with an increasingly shortening of lead time provided the catalyst for change.

One of the most significant observations was the large amount of inventory stored at each point in the value chain. This was clearly adding no value to the customer and could only serve to create confusion as each stage often struggled to locate the materials it needed.

GE2.gifWith the requirements of the customer in mind, the team set out to overhaul the complete manufacturing system starting with the order processing moving through each stage of manufacture until distribution. This was articulated in the form of a vision/future state map. 

Once this stage was complete, the team prepared and delivered a series of briefings to the whole workforce before commencing. This ensured that all staff were aware of what was happening and why.

The main aim of the programme now is to significantly reGE3.gifduce inventories by combining as many of the processes as possible. This will enable them to continuously add value to the product without unnecessary delays due to storage and transportation. A lead time of <1 week is their goal with daily shipments of each product type to their major customers.

The involvement of the staff at all levels is seen as a crucial element of this programme. A series on kaizen events have been planned throughout 2005 to begin the job of implementing lean within all business areas.

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