Just the other day, a Value Analysis Team Leader that we were coaching asked us if it would be OK with us if his VA team started looking at the processes surrounding the products, services and technology his team was charged with to uncover any and all waste and inefficiency in their value streams.
We were delighted to hear that this team leader was moving in this direction since VA isn’t just about product, service or technology evaluation/selection. It’s all about reducing your total cost from acquisition to disposition of your products, services and technologies. We therefore have encouraged all of our value analysis clients not to isolate their product, service and technology investigations to the commodities themselves, but to instead dig deeper and broader into their value streams to eliminate any and all waste and efficiency that might reside there hidden from their view.
Over the years we have conducted numerous value analysis process engineering studies by employing a FAST Diagram*. In my opinion, it is the best value stream mapping “made simple” tool available today. I can make this declarative statement since I have used numerous value stream mapping tools in my 27 year consulting career and hands-down the FAST Diagram is the easiest one I have found to learn, understand and then quickly generate results in the shortest time.
If you’re not familiar with FAST Diagramming let me explain. FAST Diagramming will enable a value analysis practitioner to identify each function, in a logical sequence, prioritize them and then test their dependency, efficacy and relative worth to your customers in any value stream process under investigation. In this way, you can more skillfully understand the complexity of your value stream processes as opposed to becoming preoccupied and paralyzed with methods and practices of flow-charting or traditional process mapping.
We have documented, by utilizing FAST Diagrams, up to 23% in process improvements (time, labor and resources) in any business process that we have studied over the years. More importantly, we have never found a dry hole in any study to date, which is proof positive that FAST Diagrams work.
So if you want to mine even more savings for your value analysis program, don’t have your VA team(s) stop your VA studies at your product, service or technology evaluation/selection phase. Have them move on to the next phase of your VA study — process improvement.
If you do, you will find that there are both big and small savings to be achieved in this process improvement phase of your VA study that will be well worth your time and effort in doing so. Up to 23% to be exact!
*Learn more about how to perform a FAST Diagram in “The Ultimate Value Analysis Program” pages 177 to 186.