Process mapping is one of the simplest techniques used for identifying waste, streamlining work, and improving efficiency. Process mapping is also referred to as flowcharting, value stream mapping, or process charting. When constructed, the map shows the sequence of activities and events to complete a task and the outcome. Process mapping also has the ability to provide information on resource needs and cycle time. Benefits of process mapping include the following:
- • Engaging employees and build consensus
- • Uncovering of waste
- • Facilitating process streamlining
- • Highlighting areas where standardization can occur
- • Helping participants to gain a thorough understanding of how the process functions
Process mapping is a good way to identify all of the steps that are performed to determine the as is condition. Once the as is (Figure 10.3) condition or process is known, it is easier to determine what the to be (Figure 10.4) condition or process should look like. Process mapping was used to determine
As is process.
To be process.
the current process flow and provide information on areas that needed improvement to increase safety of workers and efficiency for the customers in completing and tracking their chemical inventories. One thing to avoid when developing a map is to avoid overcrowding. An overcrowded process map is difficult to read and buy into. To ensure the process is mapped sufficiently, ensure that an experience facilitator is used.
There were some process efficiencies made to the to be process that was not a part of the current process. However, the biggest change is in the way in which the inventory is being conducted, which minimized potential risks of injury and improved productivity.