While every operation has unique elements, certain principles underlie the creation of value in every process. Unlike some continuous improvement programs, which create cookie-cutter solutions by applying a standardized tool set to any problem, SAI’s Chaos to Clarity methodology focuses on these underlying principles.
- Value. Only the customer can specify the value of a product. This sounds elementary, but, in fact, studies indicate the vast majority of activity (85-90% depending on the sector) in any industry is non-value-added when measured solely by the customer’s criteria of value.
- Value Stream. Any business process is a sequential series of actions that add value to an input to transform it into an output of greater worth to the customer. Value Stream Analysis is a structured approach to separating value-added from non-value-added activities in the process. Waste is often hidden, and hard to detect amid the quick tempo of daily operations. Through Value Stream Analysis, we help you and your employees learn to see clearly the value you produce and to separate it from the non-value-added activities that waste resources.
- Flow. The product moves through the process in a flow that may be streamlined or turbulent. Earlier strategies of mass production tried to optimize each process step by working large batches of units at a time. History has shown, however, that the most efficient workflow is “single piece flow,” where each unit is passed to the next step just as capacity becomes available to work it.
- Pull. Traditionally, processes were designed to push items down the line and out the door as fast as possible. This can result in over-production, which amplifies the waste inherent in the process and causes the extra cost and liability associated with excess inventory. A Pull system takes its cue from customer needs and, using single piece flow, pulls the product through the production process to satisfy customer demand.
- Perfection. By consolidating the four principles above under the motto “never pass along a defect,” an organization can approach the ideal state of perfection, producing zero defects and 100% customer satisfaction.