Productivity improvement in a client-based service company through value stream mapping and simulation
thesisposted on 22.05.2021, 17:08 by Sam Ataei
For many years, productivity improvement through value stream mapping and simulation has been studied in manufacturing industry where the flow of materials is visible and the work can be standardized. In recent years, the service industry has become a new arena for lean operations. Within the service industry, client-based companies have distinct challenges in streamlining their process, as it may not be feasible to standardize the needs of different clients. This thesis focuses on a case from a client-based company in the area of graphic communications and brand point management services. The thesis examines the application of lean principles towards a set of subjective processes and provides directions for improving productivity. Some lean methods utilized in the study include creating process flows, conducting operator interviews to back-up the process flow, collecting data such as processing time and creating a detailed values stream map of the retail packaging process in order to analyze any necessary areas of improvement. Value stream mapping has been used to identify the areas where the non-value-added tasks can be reduced, and simulation models have been used to imitate and predict the company's different scenarios in dealing with bottlenecks, different kinds of wastes, and to assess potential areas for improvements. The analysis of results indicates that it is necessary to have two different streams of the processes; one for a team-based job and another one for a non-team-based job. The proper touch points from each department have been found and value-added and non-value added times have been determined in order to create the current-state. Furthermore, future-states have been created with some recommendations kept in mind to validate the time savings. The results have been verified through a simulation analysis.