Serving our global customers in medical technology, aerospace, and high-end industrial sectors means being ready to take on new customers and new projects for existing customers seamlessly and efficiently. Our engineering team here at Swiss-Tech recently began applying the concept of Value Stream Mapping for new-product introduction, taking a project from product proposal through development, creation and delivery in the most efficient way possible.
The basic goal of implementing a Value Stream Mapping process at Swiss-Tech is efficiency. We’ve been using a couple different forms of bringing in new products and customers, and with the implementation of this new system, we’re working to make this more standardized and efficient.
What is Value Stream Mapping?
Value Stream Mapping is a process that helps management teams visualize the steps needed to take a project – or in Swiss-Tech’s case a product – from development to creation to delivery to the customer in the timeliest manner possible.
The flow-chart style of the Value Stream Mapping is visual and easy to follow – making it an approachable way for our engineering team to manage new projects.
Value Stream Mapping is used in many different industries for all different types of company goals, but at Swiss-Tech we’ll be using it to implement a development and production plan for new products to have a clear and concise plan, and optimize efficiency to save time and make the product in the most cost-effective manner for our customers.
How does it work at Swiss-Tech?
When an existing or new customer brings a product or part to Swiss-Tech, we currently have a process in place that involves up to 40 steps to get that product from development to delivery.
Our goal with implementing Value Stream Mapping was to streamline that process and take it from being a very loosely organized process to a process with very dedicated steps, goals and timelines. With Value Stream Mapping, we’ve been able to take those 40 steps and streamline them down to 10 processes, where we’re tracking tasks and milestones on the timeline digitally.
“Everything gets entered into a digital tracking system and is signed off on by the engineer in charge of the project,” said Rory Groonwald, Swiss-Tech’s Engineering Supervisor.
Who’s in charge of it?
We used to move the responsibility of a project from department to department as the project progressed. With Value Stream Mapping, we now have one engineering technical leader who is in charge of the process and manages it throughout the entire timeline. That person is responsible for making sure the project stays on track and gets done in a timely and efficient manner – following the Value Stream Map.
“There’s checks and balances along every step of the process to make sure what we’re doing best matches what the customer’s needs are,” Groonwald said. “I was skeptical at first, but now having helped tailor the process for Swiss-Tech, I’m much more confident in it being better for our customers.”
“There’s a ton of opportunity for growth in new products with our existing customers and new customers, and we will now be prepared internally to handle that growth,” Groonwald said.
We are looking to roll out the new process of Value Stream Mapping around Thanksgiving, and are looking forward to having a more efficient process for managing and executing new projects. Call Swiss-Tech to see how we can efficiently get your product from development to delivery.